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Houston Astros: No. 95

Astros mascot Orbit may have something to smile about this season, thanks to GM Jeff Luhnow. AP Images/Cal Sport Media

This story is part of ESPN The Magazine's September 29 Fansourced Issue. Subscribe today!

Last year's rank: 117
Title track: 85
Ownership: 94
Coaching: 76
Players: 60
Fan relations: 103
Affordability: 64
Stadium experience: 70
Bang for the buck: 106

The Astros are on their way to a sixth straight losing season, but there is some acceptance that the massive rebuilding effort of GM Jeff Luhnow is beginning to produce results. For one, Houston's overall franchise ranking is 22 slots better than a year ago. Second, the promotion of top prospects George Springer and Jon Singleton is a big deal; the Astros vaulted 49 places in our players category. Third, Houston is not charging its fans much to see its grand experiment; the Astros improved 31 spots in affordability.

However, the front office took a bad PR hit when it was unable to reach a deal with top 2014 draft choice Brady Aiken, and the in-season firing of Bo Porter, a manager who was never given a chance to succeed, did not go over well. Mostly, though, fans would like the team to act (and begin to spend) as if it resides in the fourth-largest city in the U.S. "What I'd like to see is Luhnow and the rest of the organization go out of their way to make the Astros the most attractive team in baseball to other players," says one fan on AstrosCounty.com. "Houston should be a marquee destination for any player who needs a team."