All Things Astros and a whole lot more
The right field discussion for the Houston Astros may seem quite redundant – most of these same characters were also part of the centerfield discussion. If George Springer is not the starting CF, he will certainly be the starting RF. If there is not a Colby Rasmus/Jake Marisnick platoon in centerfield, they are likely to be manning (if it is a platoon would they be manning?) right field.
A quick look at the candidates…for right field:
This may sound like hyperbole, but I don’t think it is. George Springer’s 78 game debut gave us the most exciting mutli-tool Astros’ rookie since the days of Cesar Cedeno. He was must-see-TV (and I was one of the lucky 40%) – blemishes and all. Blemishes included the .231 BA and the 114 K’s which equates to 237 K’s in a 162 game season (MLB record is held by Mark Reynolds – 223 in 2009). Springer should run to Nike and show how he embodies their Swoosh logo with his swing.
But like a cute date to the prom, the blemishes can be over-looked because the guy scored 46 runs, hit 20 HRs and knocked in 50 runs in only 78 games. And these were impactful HRs and RBIs. He seemed to do something important in almost every game the Astros won during his 1/2 season. He covered ground like Patton’s 3rd army and after making 5 errors in his first 14 games ever playing RF, he settled down to commit only 2 errors in the other 63 games he played in the field.
If you want to see a bit more discussion on his and Marisnick’s stats go here.
But bottom line is they brought in Rasmus at $8 million to start somewhere. He’s played very little RF, but says he doesn’t care where they play him (Dexter are you reading this?) as long as he has some place to park his ultra-big pickup trucks. I would be happy if he takes over RF and Springer finally gets CF.
Anybody who has 11 OF assists in 94 mlb games played would seem to be destined to play some or a lot of right field. JFSF has to prove the offensive side of his game – most everyone who watched him last season is sold on his defense no matter where he plays.
From the Minors
You would think that the next man up from the minors would be Domingo Santana, who had 0 errors in 59 games in RF for OKC. At 21 he put up 16 HR and 81 RBIs and a very solid .296 BA / .384 OBP / .858 OPS. Yes, he looked totally fish out of water with 14 Ks in 17 MLB ABs in 2014, however… just a reminder that Springer who is 3+ years older than Santana finished last April with 0 HRs and 4 RBIs in 55 ABs including a .182 BA and a gosh awful .480 OPS. Sometimes guys do need to get their feet wet.
The other short-term possibility in RF should be Andrew Aplin. At Corpus he played 55 games in RF and gunned down 12 (TWELVE!) runners. He has not shown the power that Santana has but he is definitely a “Luhnow likes me” high OBP guy (.377 for his minor league career). He could easily end up a long-term 4th OF for someone.