The 2022 baseball season is over, and the revenge tour is complete. The Houston Astros are the 2022 World Series Champions. The Astros have been to the ALCS in six straight years. They have made it to the World Series four times since 2017. This is the sustained success that everyone in baseball is aiming for, but so many fail to achieve. How did they do it? Well, they didn’t just go out and buy top players every year. They achieved this success through development and organizational depth, and nobody’s story displays that more than Jeremy Peña.
The Houston Astros are 2022 World Champions! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/E0K9WNmKCH
— Houston Astros (@astros) November 6, 2022
On March 19, 2022, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa opted to sign with the Minnesota Twins over resigning with Houston. The news shocked the baseball world, and some wondered how the Astros would fill the massive gap in their lineup.
In comes Jeremy Peña. Peña was drafted 102nd overall in the third round of the 2018 draft. By 2021, he was the Astros’ fourth overall prospect in their organization according to MLB Pipeline. When Correa signed with Minnesota, it seemed likely that Peña would become the starting shortstop for the Houston Astros on opening day.
Flash forward to today. Jeremy Peña won a gold glove, the ALCS, and you can go ahead and add World Series MVP to the shelf as well. The Astros were one of the best teams in the league all season long, and they didn’t miss Carlos Correa one bit. They let a top five shortstop in baseball walk in free agency, and Peña came in and filled his shoes impeccably. He is a prime example of drafting and development leading to sustained success. This Correa-Peña scenario will be the goal for every general manager going forward.
Jeremy Peña was asked to step in at shortstop for Carlos Correa as a 25-year-old rookie
🔸Gold Glove (first ever by rookie SS)
🔸22 HR in regular season
🔸.345 BA | 4 HR | 8 RBI in playoffs
🔸ALCS & WS MVP
🔸World Series Champion
Safe to say he was up for the challenge pic.twitter.com/iZ5uwKftgP
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 6, 2022
However, when discussing the Astros sustained success, it doesn’t just start and end with Peña. They have let free agents such as Gerrit Cole and George Springer walk in recent years. Did it hinder them? Absolutely not. Players such as Chas McCormick and, most notably, Yordan Alvarez, have come up from the minors and alleviated the hole left from Springer. In Alvarez’s case, he has surpassed Springer from a hitting perspective. José Urquidy, Christian Javier, and Framber Valdez have come up and allowed the Astros to be able to move on from Gerrit Cole.
The Houston Astros are the best organization in baseball because they are the best at identifying talent, developing that talent, and knowing when it is okay to move off of star players. Nobody personifies that strategy more than Jeremy Peña. Congrats to him and the rest of the Houston Astros community on a second World Series championship in six years.