Astros’ 40-man roster: Ranking players top to bottom


In this post, we will evaluate each of the Houston Astros on the 40-man roster and give them a numerical value based on a subjective grade (1 through 10, with 1 being awful and 10 being great) for each of six areas reflecting overall value to the team. The goal is to provide comparative value of each of the 38 players currently on the 40 man.

All readers may throw rocks at both the categories and the grade, but are requested to leave their glass houses prior to lobbing those stones.

Past Performance

The value given will reflect where this player should fall vs. the rest of MLB players at their position. It is weighted towards recent performance, but takes into account the volatility of past performance year to year. If a player only has minor league experience his number will be 1.

Upside Potential

This value can be higher for players who are young enough to expect to develop over time, but also takes into account the fact that some of these players are not expected to develop much at all.

Injury History

Straightforward. Someone injury prone like Castro will get a much lower number than a warrior like Jose Altuve.

Team Control

Again, straightforward. Higher numbers will be given to rookies or people under multi-year contracts than guys about to go to arbitration or free agency.

Position Value

Some positions (2B/SS/SP) hold more value than others (1B/RP).

Name Past Perform. Upside Potential Injury History Team Control Position Value Total
Jose Altuve 9 5 9 7 8 38
George Springer 7 9 5 9 7 37
Dallas Keuchel 8 6 8 7 8 37
Collin McHugh 8 6 6 8 8 36
Brett Oberholtzer 5 7 7 7 7 33
Chris Carter 6 8 9 6 3 32
Dexter Fowler 7 6 5 6 7 31
Scott Feldman 7 4 8 4 8 31
Jason Castro 6 7 5 5 8 31
Jon Singleton 4 7 7 8 4 30
Jonathan Villar 2 6 8 7 7 30
Robbie Grossman 5 6 8 7 4 30
Marwin Gonzalez 6 6 5 6 7 30
Brad Peacock 4 6 4 8 7 29
Josh Fields 3 6 5 7 5 29
Jake Marisnick 4 7 7 8 3 29
Jake Buchanan 4 6 7 8 4 29
Michael Foltynewicz 3 7 7 8 4 29
Luis Cruz 1 8 7 8 5 29
Matt Dominguez 3 6 8 6 5 28
Max Stassi 4 7 4 8 5 28
Domingo Santana 1 8 8 8 3 28
Hank Conger 5 6 5 6 6 28
Tony Sipp 7 4 8 3 5 28
Chad Qualls 8 2 7 3 7 27
Carlos Corporan 4 4 8 7 4 27
Asher Wojciechowski 1 8 5 8 5 27
Gregorio Petit 5 3 7 7 5 27
Will Harris 5 4 6 7 4 26
Kevin Chapman 4 5 7 7 3 26
Marc Krauss 2 5 8 7 3 25
Sam Deduno 4 4 6 7 4 25
L.J. Hoes 2 5 7 7 3 24
Darin Downs 3 5 6 6 3 23
Josh Zeid 2 5 5 8 3 23
Anthony Bass 4 4 5 6 3 22
Alex Presley 3 4 5 6 3 21
Alex White 1 5 4 6 4 20

Plenty to chew on, moan about and revise.

  • Do you agree with the 5 categories? What would you suggest instead?
  • Do you agree with the results? The relative rankings?
  • Who was over-valued?
  • Who was under-valued?
  • Who would be your top 10 Astros in relative worth?
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117 comments on “Astros’ 40-man roster: Ranking players top to bottom

  1. 1st this looks like something an engineer would come up with other than just giving a guy a “29” – which is probably the best guess number. Second, not sure how (example only) the four catchers play the same position or share time with DH and get a different position number. Toward the bottom – you were more than kind on some past performance numbers. As to top 10 – not sure Obie belongs there, but don’t see anyone except maybe Qualls (unless we are playing the A’s) that deserves top 10 ranking. Overall an excellent job my friend.

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    • Astro 45
      Guilty as charged on being an engineer. What I wanted to do was see how grinding through this would give me a different order than if I just sat down and put them in order myself.
      My thought on the catchers was that Castro as the starter is worth more position wise than the backups or potential backups.
      I may have been too generous some places – no doubt.
      It was an interesting process but perhaps more interesting to me than y’all.

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  2. I question Altuve’s upside potential. Considering that his upside is as a batting champion and his age is 25, his potential to deliver his upside is terrific. He is a terrific contact hitter and his peak years as an extreme contact hitter are from now until his year 30. His upside potential should be an 8 or a nine, jumping him to over 40. His potential is not diminished by the fact that the Astros are now in the AL, where he could be a DH as he ages, thereby taking any defensive regression out of the equation. I could see a potential good fielding, high OBP second baseman coming along in a few years and letting Altuve save his body by moving to DH, even if it is as a two or three game a week move, so that Altuve doesn’t end up being worn out by age 30.

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    • Point taken old pro – I struggled with that particular number. It was hard for me to see areas where he could improve a lot – the biggest area would be power in my mind though at his size I am not sure he will be a 20+ homer guy like Biggio.
      Of course he might end up hitting .370 or something.
      I guess I woosed out giving him a middle of the road 5.

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    • I believe the “upside” potential for Altuve lies not necessarily in him hitting for a higher average, getting more RBI etc, but in consistency. If he can come anywhere close to a 15-year career with similar numbers, that’s his upside. My concern for him long-term is his size. Smaller bodies often break down quicker than taller, slenderer bodies. That’s why teams are also concerned with players like Sandoval and even Fielder…due to their weight.

      And, yes, good stuff Dan!

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      • Thanks Chip. The plus side is that Altuve is short but not tiny – he is solidly built and hopefully he can last and be an Astro for a very long time.
        But yes that is a concern .

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  3. Why does Springer get a 9 for team control, but Folty and Santana get 8’s?

    Also, you should consider adding a downside potential column as well. Steady guys might have their value intrinsically higher because you don’t have to wonder whether a two month stretch was a mirage.

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    • Good catch Devin – I did this over like a 3 day period so I won’t claim it is perfectly consistent. So if we drop Springer down to a 8 – he is tied with McHugh rather than Keuchel – fine with me.
      Interesting thought about the downside potential column – that is probably in Luhnow’s computer program….

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  4. Dan, I know this is a lot of work but I wish to see you do this again in January and put both of them in the same post! It will be interesting to add up the team total on that one and this one.

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  5. First of all Cudo’s to Dan, Chip , and Brian, you all put a ton of effort into these posts for us 30 Astro geeks TY. I would agree with one post that Obie might be a little high. I love his heart not sure of his long term success. I think everyone under Wojo should be gone of the 40 , Next .
    On a side bar, Altuve starting in Japan the last 2 games because Cano broke a toe, 6 hits and the first 2 wins for Team USA (-;

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    • Thanks, Kevin – we are here to please.
      – Guys below Wojo who might have value.
      – Thought Petit looked like a solid middle infielder backup – good in the field and decent at the bat.
      – Chapman is an interesting guy – Pitched very well in 2013, pitched poorly to start 2014 (walking way too many people) but only gave up 1 run in his last 13 appearances (only walking 1 guy in those appearances).
      – Deduno showed a decent arm – not sure whether they are looking at him for a 5th spot in the rotation or in the middle of the pen

      Love to hear that Altuve is tearing it up (again) – OK – his upside number should be 9 and he will be the first guy to hit .400 since Teddy Baseball.

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  6. Off topic but still interesting: On April 3, 2014 TCB listed the 27 players on the opening day OKC RedHawks roster. As of today, 3 of those 27 players are listed on the Fresno roster and they are Stoffel, Ruben Sosa and Ronald Torreyes. Some moved up, a couple moved down and the vast majority are gone.

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      • 9 of the players are now on the Astros roster and 13 of them are no longer in the organization, 3 are still there and 2 have been moved down.
        Fresno currently only has ten players listed on their roster, which certainly doesn’t prop up excitement with baseball fans in that town.
        Still, that is certainly a huge turnover. A guy like Santana will certainly be put back on Fresno’s roster in April, but the Astros have a lot of moving up to do, to fill out that roster, especially the starting pitching, where Tropeano, Folty, Doran, Martinez, McHugh, Clemens, Owens, Cisnero, and Buchanan are either up or gone, and White/Wojo are kinda in Limbo.

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      • Wow, I used the word “certainly” in 3 consecutive sentences. That shows my reluctance to use the word “surely” in honor of Leslie Nielsen. A case of respect limiting vocabulary

        Liked by 1 person

      • I certainly use that word too often too. How about having “too” twice in the same sentence?

        I think Altuve can and will continue to grow in the area of selectivity, which should allow him to see better pitches to hit harder and certainly (there we go again) raise his OBP in the long run. I also think he can become an even higher percentage base stealer. We might not see 50 stolen bases a year for long, but he will get thrown out less and less.

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    • oldpro – I found the article for last year – but where are you seeing their current roster? The one I just looked at only showed 10 players on the Fresno roster. I’m assuming there are some (like Santana) that will get invited to the major league camp but likely assigned back to Fresno before the season.

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    • That is right and quit calling me Certainly. No it does not have the same ring as quit calling me Surely.
      “A hospital? What is it?” “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.”

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  7. I thought for sure that I would get complaints about where Singleton ended up and especially Villar. Well when Becky gets here…..Villar goes down.

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    • I could see flipping Marwin with Villar as the former is steady and versatile, but don’t have an issue with his ranking. I might value Singleton a bit higher, but I am in the minority there. His epic K fest last season gives us good reason to be concerned, but I don’t agree with the experts analysis on his swing. His problem is preparation. I’d pay Bagwell seven figures (of Crane’s money)to tutor him all spring on the finer aspects of watching video (no Dan, not of Sponge Bob) and anticipating pitch sequences in different situations. Surround him with Carter and Springer and he should get pitches to hit. Convince him to drive it to both gaps, like he did in the minors, and we something.

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    • Devin –
      Lots of good points there sir.
      I’m afraid that Singleton’s video heroes may be:
      – Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused
      – Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemeont High
      – Cheech and Chong in (pick a movie)
      – Al Pacino in Scarface
      – Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
      (you get the idea)

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  8. And if anyone is looking at all these movie quotes and wonders – what the heck…..
    Please, watch the movie Airplane at your earliest convenience and laugh your McLane off….

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  9. I’m struggling with this one – I know it is not big bucks – $1 million – but he will be 30 next July and never has translated good AAA numbers to good major league numbers except for one 50 game call-up back in 2011. He’s not God awful but he is not good. Not sure what this signals at all.

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    • They must like Presley, which makes sense because they haven’t said they like him, they just sign him for a million out of the blue.. Shirley, that fits the way they do things in Astroworld!

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    • I’m thinking it is an effort to have five warm bodies in the OF without forcing Santana / Tucker / Aplin into the opening day 25. I see it also as an indictment on LJ How’s…but it also worries me that a trade involving Fowler could be in the works.

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      • Devin, I typed that this might be a lead up to a Fowler trade but I scrubbed it because there are just too many scenarios out there. so I’ll let it fly now. Maybe they signed Presley because of his leftiness and they have a deal working for Grossman. Maybe somebody wants Aplin so they sign Presley for insurance. Maybe they want to be rid of Fowler’s salary and have a replacement in mind. Maybe they have a trade lined up for a $10mil SS or 3B for Fowler and his $9mil. Maybe the Cubs want Castro for Castro and want Presley, too. Or maybe they want Conger and Grossman and Ober for Castro. Maybe somebody wants Marisnick or Tucker for a third baseman.
        With all the talk by the team about wanting to improve the COF, who knows what they are gonna do? This is a merry-go-round.

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  10. Note to Jeff Luhnow:
    Did you not learn ANYTHING last year, about pitchers who are on the DL nearly EVERY SINGLE YEAR? I don’t care if Brett Anderson *IS* from Houston……the guy
    has back problems BIG TIME. Don’t go dumpster diving this year….grrrrrrrrrr.

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  11. I’d rather have switch hitting Joe Sclafani on my roster than Presley as a 5th outfielder. Can his arm be worse? Can Presley play any infield? And I have little doubt that Sclafani can put up a better OBP than the ,299 that Presley has lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Don’t get too down boys…….help will soon be on the way, because Corpus is *loaded* with talent! I just can’t wait that long! Our next discussion should be who we want Santa to bring us next year, and *NO* coal!

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  13. DanP, what is your numbers rating on Brett Anderson. If JL was leery of Aiken with a potential injury problem, I think he is just trying to get others to bid up Anderson. But with Presley (by your system) being a 21 – who comes off the 40 man at what number IF Anderson comes on with his ?? number. (I promise not ask you to do this for every trade rumor up to and including ST)

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    • Yes the wave of talent that was populating Lancaster last season is mostly up a level. I want some AA to majors promotions if we have the need and the guy is nailing it at CC this season.

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  14. OK – Astro 45 – I would say his recent performance was worth a 3 – good pitching on very few innings. His upside potential as he hits 27 in a few months is 4 (obviously if he could stay healthy he could do more – but no reason to think so). His injury history is a 1 – hurt just about all the time. Team control – well he is a FA – but assuming he signs a 1 year prove it deal – 2. His position value as a 5th starter – let’s say 5. So I am giving him a 15. It could be argued that that is a little low, but holy guacamole batman – he is way below anyone we have on the 40 man – the two Alex’s – White at 20 and Presley at 21.
    1) They don’t have to take anyone off the 40 man – because they only have 38 warm bodies there.
    2) I could see bringing him in as a NRI – but how do you give a spot to a guy who is likely to be broken down by May?
    3) If I had to take any one off the roster it would be White, but even he is not the injury risk of Anderson.

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    • Thanks, Sir. I would take Aiken before Anderson. (Using your patented Dan-O-Graph Rating System). And below adding to Becky’s post. I believe most contending teams would not take a flyer on a Rule 5 prospect. So if the better prospects are still a year away, they should be relatively safe. A pitcher that could be used in the bullpen or as a spot starter might be worth a gamble, but that 25 man is normally ONLY for players – not prospects.

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  15. Norris AND Cosart burned some bridges. Number one rule in sports………keep your mouth shut about your previous team. Some guys never learn that.

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    • And perhaps some of this ties to yapping while still with the same team.
      First amendment rights allow you to say whatever you want however they don’t prevent your employer from sending you packing.

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  16. Teams have until 10:59 Central time tomorrow to round out their 40 man roster.
    The Astros currently have 38. It will be interesting tomorrow for sure!

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    • Yeah – will they fill the two spots from outside or within? Will they trade anyone currently on the 40 man like Castro Fowler Peacock?
      Good deadline point Becky.

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      • Don’t forget that Velasquez, DeShields, Torreyes, etc. are not yet on the 40 man. How many of the prospects is JL comfortable leaving unprotected in favor of gambling no one will sign the legendary Krauss or Hoes?

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      • Yeah that was the question we pondered a while back – thought DeShields was a prime candidate to get traded.
        I sure would rather lose Hoes or Krauss than any of the ones you highlighted Devin.

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  17. seems like they may be delaying while pursuing a trade. wouldn’t be a big surprise if they did some sort of deal where we send more players than come back to us, opening up a couple of more slots to protect people.

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      • maybe we can send presley in a deal lol. i don’t get that signing at all unless something else is in the works. i thought he would be a good non – tender candidate.

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      • It us not like he is awful but I would have more expectations that guys like Villar, Singleton and Grossman (22 – 24 years old) have upside than a 28 yo.
        Maybe another shoe is going to fall but as old pro talks about above there are a lot of possible shoes that could drop…

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  18. dan a subject that might be fun would be a ‘fearless predictions for 2015’ post. one i’ll throw out there is that villar may very well be your starting shortstop for at least part of the year. i will now run and hide till becky calms down.

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    • So what are the chances that Stanton opts out after 6 seasons? If he is only about money he won’t; but if any part of him is about winning – he might.

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  19. rj…….joke son! Villar has the talent, he just can’t pull his head outta his rear end to use it!!!!!!!
    Dan……I can’t even THINK what was in Loria head doing this. Stanton saw what he did two years ago, by trading ALL those high dollar players, a month after the season started. Stanton told reporters he wouldn’t sign a long term deal BECAUSE of that very thing. DAAAAAANG……I would have some very bad dreams because of the *idiot* who owns the Marlins.

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    • I guess he is thinking that it is not a ridiculous contract for awhile (first 6 years are at approx. $16 million / year) and that after that maybe so much money is pouring in from future TV deals that the approx. $32 million / year will not be a millstone. Pretty big gamble.

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    • whew! (crawls out from under the bed). lol Yeah Becky i see why you don’t like him, he still plays like he is in jr high school. but i am hoping that he matures this year kinda like carter did – big jump there but i am hoping. also i think its a pretty good bet correa shows up this year or at the beginning of next year at the latest which means we don’t need to be putting our scarce dollars into ss. marwin is there also so there are options. lets get a big bat instead!

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      • Like I wrote a few posts ago – our SS offensive production was pretty good vs. the other teams SSs in the league. I think Marwin, Petit and Villar can bandaid this until Correa shows.

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