Astros glimpse future with prospect-laden lineup

Astros glimpse future with prospect-laden lineup

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros' top three prospects -- shortstop Carlos Correa, first baseman Jon Singleton and outfielder George Springer -- were all in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Tigers at Osceola County Stadium.

Also in the lineup was the team's No. 7-rated prospect Delino DeShields Jr., who replaced Dexter Fowler about 15 minutes prior to the game.

Singleton and Springer have a shot to make the Opening Day roster, but seeing them in the same lineup as veterans like Jose Altuve and Jason Castro gives you a glimpse of what the Astros could look like in the near future.

"It will be good to go out there and play some with pretty talented guys," Springer said.

DeShields played the entire game and went 0-for-4, including 0-for-2 against reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Springer was 0-for-2, striking out against Scherzer. Singleton was 0-for-1 with a walk and Correa was 0-for-2.

"I think it's great for these young guys to be able to give them a measuring stick," manager Bo Porter said. "When you come to Spring Training, you're in big league camp and whether you make the team or not to be able to face the elite pitchers -- or if you are a pitcher, to be able to face the elite hitters in this league -- I think it really helps you as far as your development goes, as far as your confidence goes. It can only be a plus."

Porter will handle the playing time of veterans and youngsters differently. For guys like Fowler, Altuve and Chris Carter, he'll talk with them about how many at-bats they need. The prospects get as many at-bats as Porter deems necessary.

"They've come here this year fresh off another year in the Minor Leagues in which they played at a high level," he said. "We see these guys as part of our present and our future, and they're going to get a long look this entire spring."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.