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Stumbling 1st-place Astros make 2 top 5 selections on day Carlos Correa gets called up

The Houston Astros have been arguably the biggest surprise of this MLB season thus far, running out to a big lead in the AL West after a string of awful seasons as the team went into rebuild mode. The Astros reached a season-high 14 games over .500 on June 3, but four straight losses has the team back at 34-24 and 3½ games ahead of the Texas Rangers in the division.

Even with this mini-slide, Houston has to be thrilled with its position considering where the team has been over the last few years and where they were projected to finish. Most people thought there would be some improvement, but not many figured there would be THIS kind of improvement. There’s certainly still a chance the team falls apart, but the Astros have stayed strong (for the most part) more than a third of the way through the season.

Even if Houston falls back to the pack and doesn’t make the playoffs, the future remains bright considering the young talent in place. Part of that bright future is shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012. Correa has been called up to the majors and is with the team in Chicago on Monday.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

The Astros also added to their young talent pool with two top picks in the 2015 MLB Draft on Monday. After Vandy’s Dansby Swanson went No. 1 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston took LSU junior shortstop Alex Bregman with the second pick. Shortly after, high school outfielder Kyle Tucker was selected by the Astros with the No. 5 pick. Nothing like being in first place and making two top five picks in the draft.

No matter what happens to Houston the rest of the way this season, there’s a lot to be optimistic about moving forward. The front office has patiently rebuilt the squad with an analytics-heavy approach over the past few seasons, and we’re beginning to see the results. Expect the Astros to be a yearly contender in the AL for years to come.

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