Some things haven't changed. I still like to look at the big picture. I don't care so much about what a player does in one game as I do about what he does over time, the trends and tendencies, whether he is moving forward or falling behind. I also still make mistakes and I always will. I strive for accuracy, but time is not always my friend, and sometimes there isn't enough coffee in the world to sharpen my wits. And I still largely write for my own entertainment, about the things that I'm most interested in.
But the one thing that has changed more than anything else is the depth of talent in the Astros system. Back in the day, I was hard pressed to find very many bright spots. Now I find it difficult to keep up with all the talent. Over the past five years, I've conducted ~184 interviews with ~148 players (in addition to dozens of interviews with coaches, managers, front office personnel and others). Of those 148 players, 31 have now made their major league debuts, and another two or three dozen more from that list will likely do so in the next five years. I no longer have to search to find the silver lining.
I do not know where the next five years will take me, but as of right now, I plan to keep traveling, taking photos, and talking to minor league players, coaches, managers, fans, writers, broadcasters, agents, scouts, front office personnel, clubbies, groundskeepers and whoever else will talk to me and then writing about it. I will write about upcoming star prospects, but I will also continue to look for under-the-radar players, players with great stories, underdogs and the next wave of young talent. And I hope to continue making friends and making memories. Thank you for continuing with me on this journey!
George Springer, Jayne Hansen and Rafy Valenzuela
August 2012 - Lancaster, California