There, is that “Texan” enough for everyone? I’m excited to be joining the Prospects1500 team as the Houston Astros MiLB contributor.
My love for baseball goes back to the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers, as I imitated Jack Morris in the living room of our house in Rochester Hills, Michigan. That love continued into the 1990’s watching Cecil Fielder hit dingers onto the roof of Tigers Stadium and stayed strong into the early 2000’s even when the Tigers lost a record 119 games in 2003. But then something…no, someone…happened in 2005 that changed my perspective of how I followed baseball; Justin Verlander.
Admittedly, until JV was drafted I had never followed a prospect every step of the way from draftee to MVP. With Justin, I was enthralled in learning about WHIP, FIP, and RA9def. Even to this day, I find myself watching videos of Justin’s curveball in 2012 overlaid onto 2019’s video or how a slight arm slot change gave his fastball a bit more movement. Combining my pure enjoyment of watching a baseball game with the data/science of the game has elevated my passion for baseball at all levels. Not to mention how it has changed how I watch baseball on TV and in person.
In addition to the game itself, my other attraction to baseball started with 1984 Topps…#TheHobby. Growing up with two older brothers, I routinely got the brunt-end of all trades. In fact, I still remember crying over a Cory Snyder 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie that I got swindled into trading. Growing up through the Junk Wax Era was fun for a kid/teen…cards were everywhere, millions of them. Fast-forward into today’s Invest & Flip Era and that fun isn’t as widespread…cards are nowhere, empty shelves. While the hobby can be frustrating in the new-normal, I have found amazing collectors who share my passion for cards. The mantra that works for me, “Collect how you want, who you want, when you want.” I’m sure there will be some hobby crossover into my Astros coverage here.
So why the Houston Astros? While I grew up in NW Detroit, I have now been in Texas more years of my life than I spent in Michigan (it hurts to say, trust me). I attended the University of North Texas for Biology and Kinesiology. During the day, I am the Director of Beverage Operations & Training for a beverage marketing agency in Houston. I am a Sommelier and Cicerone. In my career, I’m blessed to travel a lot for work, so I have been lucky to visit many MLB & MiLB stadiums over the past few years. If I am not at an MLB or MiLB game, which is everyday right now, you can find me on a golf course.
I’m looking forward to sharing my Astros insights and viewpoints with our readers. I can’t wait until the 2021 MiLB season arrives so I can watch Astros prospects at Whataburger Field, Dell Diamond, and Minute Maid Park.
You can follow me on Twitter @DET_Guru_Kurt.