Chris Carter lightly waves a long black bat. His hands are loose; his gloves engulf the handle. Just before the ball arrives, Carter allows the stick to briefly touch his thick right shoulder. Then he cranks.

It’s a swift, smooth, strong stroke. Pure speed, all power, few holes. The ball immediately skies upward, racing over red dirt and bright green spring training grass, finally landing in deep left-center field. A center-field bomb and left-center rocket follow. Then comes one of the deepest home runs hit by an Astro since spring training began last week at Osceola County Stadium.

First-year manager Bo Porter watches Carter’s entire Monday afternoon show, leaning against the batting cage and staring through dark sunglasses while the 6-4, 245-pound slugging prospect unloads.