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Numbers tell the story: Whence the Astros have come


The Houston Astros have gone through a tremendous transition since the nadir of the 2013 season. Most fans know that the most important numbers which demonstrate that improvement are 51 and 86, the number of wins in 2013 followed by the number of wins in 2015.

But there are a lot of other numbers that tell this story of improvement.

Offense

Stat 2013 AL Rank 2015 AL Rank
Runs Scored 610 14 729 5
Hits 1307 15 1360 13
HR 146 12 230 2
SB 110 7 121 1
Caught Stealing 61 15 48 14
BA .240 14 .250 10
OBP .299 15 .315 8
SLG .377 15 .437 2
OPS .676 15 .752 2
BB 426 12 486 5
K 1535 15 (most) 1392 15 (most)

These stats show the tremendous improvement the Astros made in many categories, which resulted in a leap from next to last in the AL to 5th best in scoring runs. It is also easy to see that the Astros need to address certain areas that did not improve or improve enough. None of these are that much of a surprise to anyone paying attention to the club. They have room for improvement in the areas of BA/hits, OBP, Ks and being caught stealing.

Pitching

Stat 2013 AL Rank 2015 AL Rank
Starters
ERA 4.72 13 3.71 2
BB 364 15 288 T8
K 666 14 817 4
WHIP 1.47 14 1.25 3
OPS against .778 13 .701 4
Relievers
ERA 4.92 15 3.27 4
BB 252 15 135 2
K 418 15 463 6
WHIP 1.52 15 1.11 1
OPS against .816 15 .638 2
Save 32 15 39 10

The improvement in pitching is even more dramatic as they were basically at the bottom in everything. The Save (Giles)number (Giles) is one place (Giles) where they might be able to improve.

Fielding

Even giving fielding a cursory look they made big strides between 2013 and 2015 in fielding percentage from .979 (15th) to .986 (3rd), errors from 125 (15) to 85 (3) and unearned runs allowed from 82 to 46.

So….

  • Are there any statistics that shock you?
  • If you could pick one stat for improvement in 2016 what would it be?
  • Which statistic(s) do you think they will show improvement in 2016?
  • Which statistic(s) do you think they may show regression in 2016?
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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

66 comments on “Numbers tell the story: Whence the Astros have come

  1. Diane
    January 22, 2016

    Numbers tell the story: 60, 4, 27, 1.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      January 22, 2016

      Those are good numbers. How about we add to them this year?

      Like

    • Dan P
      January 22, 2016

      OK – I am being dense – what the heck are those numbers?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 22, 2016

        Core of the Astros:
        60 Keuchel
        4 Springer
        27 Altuve
        1 Correa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • astrocolt45
        January 22, 2016

        DanP, thanks for asking the question. I did not want to have to do it as I was as lost as could be on those numbers.

        Like

      • Dan P
        January 22, 2016

        Duh…Me. Thanks, op – great numbers Diane.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 1oldpro
    January 22, 2016

    I guess the statistics that shock me are that we were dead last in every relief stat in 2013.
    If I could pick one stat for improvement in 2015 it would be hits. #2 would be Ks.
    I think they will show improvement in saves.
    I think they could show negative regression in hitting HR.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 22, 2016

      Home runs will be an interesting stat for them.
      – They may lose HRs with Carter gone and with the chance that they may not use Gattis as much
      – They should gain some HRs with more games from Springer, Correa and Gomez.

      The key will be – what/who gets the 1B and DH ABs and whether they are more BA/OBP or power folks

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        January 22, 2016

        If they could move up into the top 7 or eight in hits, I could live with them slipping a couple of numbers in HRs.

        Like

  3. Devin_
    January 22, 2016

    I’m not sure they improve the save statistic. Ideally Giles gets the job done and Gregerson remembers he is a great, 8th inning guy. This pushes other guys back an inning and helps shorten games. Instead of a 5-1 lead dwindling to 5-2 and becoming an easy picking 3 out save, it is just a hold by whomever gets the 9th inning. Last year Melancon saved a ton of games more than Gregerson because he had a lot more opportunities.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 22, 2016

      The Astros pen was 27 W – 30 L, while the KC pen was 30 W – 14 L. And i know not all those 30 losses were blown saves, but if they can cut that down a bit and also win some games that are tied late – they could have more save chances.

      Like

      • uncleknuckle
        January 22, 2016

        Yes Dan, wins and losses, the most important stat! Our bullpen was very good except where it really counts.

        Like

  4. astrocolt45
    January 22, 2016

    Batting: I don’t think you can lead the league in SBs and not be thrown out a bunch. However, a 40% CS number is way too high. I was watching some video of Bregman’s swing. If a couple or three players learn to swing like that, the BA and OBP will definitely improve. Pitching: I don’t see how they improve very much from 2015. But I will take another year of the same stats.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 22, 2016

      They were an awful 64% stealing in 2013, but were a very good 77% in 2014. 2015 fell in the middle at 71%. They need to get that back over 75%.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Steven
    January 22, 2016

    I’m apt to believe the reason in the nearly 30 game improvement is 75% pitching. In 2013 the Astros were awful in most metrics when it came to pitching, in 2015 they were excellent (in metrics at least) and featured a Cy Young winner.

    The offense could use some improvement in the way it addresses closer games and how they scratch and claw for that win – to me if they can do that they will close that sub 8 game gap in one run games – and they might win 90.

    That makes the assumption the pitching remains solid (maybe even improved with Giles), but then we know the only thing predictable about your pitching is that it’s not predictable.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 22, 2016

      In 2015 the Astros won 86 games, but based on their run differential their Pythagorean record says they should have won 93 games. It is certain to me that he inconsistency of this offense is behind this differential. They have to score on a more consistent basis and they can be a 90+ win team.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 22, 2016

        Maybe there is a significant difference in the Pythagorean record for a team who did it with their pitching and defense, rather than their offense.
        I’m more inclined to think it has more to do with the lack of BA and OPS.
        Maybe a team who depends on HRs for half of their runs and combines that with leading the league in Ks is more likely to not score than a team with a high BA and OPS.

        Like

      • Steven
        January 25, 2016

        I think what they are likely to do is beat up a mediocre pitcher and win today 7-2, but lose tomorrow 2-1 against an ace. They have to improve their ability to make contact against the best pitchers if they want to change that 1 run game record and improve their playoff chances.

        Like

  6. astrosfan57
    January 22, 2016

    I just received a notice on my phone the MLB Pipeline has AJ Reed as the number 1 prospect in baseball

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 22, 2016

      He is the #1 1B prospect in baseball. The Top 100 players will be named a week from today. I suspect he will be around the top 20. There’s little chance he will be named #1 as a first baseman. It’d not a premium position.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 22, 2016

        It’d be weird.

        Like

      • astrosfan57
        January 22, 2016

        Wasn’t Jon Singleton also the #1 1B prospect for a while?

        Like

      • Tim
        January 22, 2016

        Yes, Big Jon was the #1 1B prospect at one time. However, he never put up numbers like Reed did in 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky⚾
    January 22, 2016

    Ok….I’m calling bull sh*t, Wandy gets $1 million if he plays in the bigs this year+$3 million incentives……and Luhnow is hauling Castro into arbitration over $250.00?
    Granted Castro didn’t have a “good” year, but in the grand scheme of things, $250,00 is pennies, when you think about the nearly BILLION dollars teams shelled out for the free agent starting pitchers. I don’t get it.

    Like

  8. 1oldpro
    January 22, 2016

    Cespedes to the Mets. Only three years but he gets an opt out and a no trade clause to counter the shorter term. It’s 3/75 and it helps the Mets hopefully beat the Cubs and the Nationals again. If I could pick a team to play a World Series against, it’s the Mets because it’s New York and because we owe them for the past.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. rj
    January 23, 2016
    • Dan P
      January 23, 2016

      Thanks rj – we sure hope someone steps up or is allowed to step up with the big club this year.

      Like

    • drbill14
      January 23, 2016

      Either they don’t consider Singleton a prospect because of his number of MLB PAs or they don’t consider him a prospect at all. I would concur with the latter.

      Like

  10. Becky⚾
    January 23, 2016

    I know how everyone feels about the writers for the Houston Chroicle, but I watched a fun clip of Correa playing in the snow in New York a few min ago. He and Keuchel are up there to get their trophies for AL rookie, and Keuchel Cy Young award.
    Now……here’s where I’m going with this, Correa has a little brother who is graduating this year from the same academy his big brother went to, and has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Alvin Jr. College next year. He will be ready to take over SS when big brother moves over to third base. This kid looks, and plays EXACTLY like Carlos! Same build, not as tall…….but man, he has a sweet swing, and plays short just like Carlos!! His name is Jean Carlos Correa……and he’s gonna be *awesome*!!
    Can you imagine having BOTH of them manning the hot corner and SS for us in a few years!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan P
      January 23, 2016

      I’m not sure what to say about chron.com (Spit!). It is just where modern sports journalism has gone these days. Or not gone. There should have been a place for Chip’s fan blog but suddenly there wasn’t.
      Hey I would take Carlos Correa 2.0 right now – though if any other team thinks he is that he won’t make it out of the top 5 when his draft time comes.
      Dallas doesn’t have any beardless teenage brother tearing it up does he?

      Like

  11. 1oldpro
    January 23, 2016

    I know it’s early, but I want to remind everyone what the opening day roster looked like last April 1st.
    http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2015/4/1/8318997/astros-2015-opening-day-roster
    Pay particular attention to the pitchers on the roster and remember that is what the pitching staff looked at and then look again at the numbers that staff produced last year. Now look at the staff we have right now, this day, Jan 23rd.
    It’s better. It’s a lot better. It has a young guy in it who is a real good pitcher.
    Now look at the bullpen. The guys who had problems last year are gone and the guys who are replacing them are good. It looks like a better pen and it may look even better when Hoyt joins it.
    Look at the outfield last year and the infield last year.
    Compare it to the guys we have now.
    This team has improved and if a couple of the guys step up better than last year, a couple of guys stay healthier, we could really be good. If one of Singleton, White or Reed can produce as a first baseman should, we could be really, really good.
    We don’t need no stinkin’ free agents. We just new a few of our prospects to be ready.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      January 23, 2016

      Good heavens, I forgot about some of those guys!! Yeah….our 2016 lineup is looking pretty dang good!!

      Like

  12. DiveBomber108
    January 23, 2016

    Took my son to Astros FanFest today. I CAN’T WAIT for baseball!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. uncleknuckle
    January 24, 2016

    Even Gattis has apparently spent the off season working with a personal trainer and altered his diet resulting in a lost of 20 pounds off his big frame. In contrast, we understand that Jonathan Singleton has pretty much done nothing this winter. Does the guy even belong in today’s Astro clubhouse?

    Like

    • uncleknuckle
      January 24, 2016

      Even Evan?

      Like

    • Dan P
      January 24, 2016

      The hope is that Singleton is dabbling in pounds and not in kilos.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin
        January 24, 2016

        That’s a hoot, tough to get in shape with a diet of marshmallows and Doritos.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Dan P
    January 24, 2016

    To tag team off of what old pro included above here is the Astros 2013 opening day roster which explains a lot especially how their bullpen was last in every category.
    C Castro
    1B Brett Wallace
    2B Altuve
    SS Ronny Cedeno
    3B Matt Dominguez
    LF Carter
    CF Justin Maxwell
    RF Rick Ankiel
    DH Carlos Pena

    Bench
    Marwin G
    Fernando Martinez
    Brandon Barnes
    Carlos Corporan

    Starters
    Bud Norris
    Lucas Harrell
    Phillip Humber
    Brad Peacock
    Erik Bedard

    Bullpen
    Alex White
    Rhiner Cruz
    Josh Fields
    Wesley Wright
    Jose Veras
    Hector Ambriz
    Xavier Cedeno

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 24, 2016

      And I should point out that they would trade off three of the better performers – Norris, Wright and Veras and use 25 pitchers and 25 everydays during the rock bottom 2013 season.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      January 24, 2016

      is it any wonder that was one of the worst teams in major league history?
      It’s amazing how Altuve has stuck with us. He must have wondered what he had done to deserve that brutality.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin
      January 24, 2016

      This just gave me heartburn.

      Like

      • Dan P
        January 24, 2016

        The plus side is that only 2 guys remain from that 2013 opening day roster.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 24, 2016

        Castro, Altuve, Marwin, Fields, Peacock. I miscounted the first time I looked at it, too.

        Like

      • Dan P
        January 24, 2016

        Oops – yes

        Like

      • astrocolt45
        January 24, 2016

        That 2013 team could have starred in Major League III or IV. However, Charlie Sheen would have pitched a no-hitter against them. (But he and Big Jon would have had a ball making the movie)

        Like

    • Billy Castillo
      January 24, 2016

      Uhh…Alex White didn’t pitch at all that year. Were you counting him in the bullpen as being on the DL?

      Man that is one awful roster.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        January 24, 2016

        Sorry – all I will say is that it was hard to find the 25 man opening day roster for 2013 and I can’t vouch that my source did not boo boo.
        How’s that for sliding out from under it.

        Like

  15. 1oldpro
    January 24, 2016

    Reid Ryan was very newsy yesterday at the Fan Fest. According to TCB, the Tal’s Hill/center field renovation is pretty much on permanent hold, as I predicted.
    The new Sunday blue uniform top that the players loved a couple of years ago coming out of spring training is now a real uniform top, in non-fade, streamlined uniform material.
    Carlos Correa Fedoras will be available.
    Now that there are Astros core players who won’t be traded, player bobbleheads will make a comeback as promotions.
    Evan Gattis has lost 20 lbs and has been on a rigorous training program and diet all winter. He might go to spring training in the best shape of his career. The record for inside the park home runs appears to be in jeopardy.
    Complete changovers to LED lighting in MMP and a total-coverage state of the art wifi system will both be ready by the home opener.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 24, 2016

      So the hope is that by being choosier about what he eats – Gattis will be choosier about what he swings at?

      Like

  16. Becky⚾
    January 24, 2016

    Sooo..why is Luhnow looking at Doug Fister? Just because he would be “cheap”?
    I realize no one wants to lose a pick by signing Gallardo, but Fister?? Just because he USED to be pretty good…..doesn’t mean is still is. Oh well, it’s Crane’S money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      January 24, 2016

      I think it’s interesting that everybody outside of the Astros organization has had the Astros in on just about every free agent and yet the Astros have made only one significant move. There is a good reason for that. Our prospects
      Two months ago I said I would like Carter and Conger and Villar out of the picture.
      I thought it would be best to trade Castro and go with younger catchers. Suddenly there seems to be no Conger and an arbitration impasse with Castro.
      I thought it would be best to trade Gattis and put White and Tucker at DH. Gattis is still here, but is trying to improve himself and the other two are still with the club.
      The club had nobody in the organization like Giles, so they went out and got him, trading from their excess. It is no surprise to me that Martes, Paulino and Musgrove are suddenly the pitchers at the top of the prospect list. They have stuff and command and now are being recognized for it and the pitchers we gave up for Giles were not rising.
      This team has it’s future in the minors, and guys like Gattis and Marisnick and Valbuena and Castro are going to try and step up to do better because they have to be better in order to keep their spots with Houston. Even that may not keep them here.
      Fresno is going to start the year with the best team in the minors. Those players are pushing and are going to continue to push. The reason we have been able to trade away so many prospects to get what we need to field a good team is because of the players we still have in the minors. The reason we have such a highly ranked system in the minors is because of the players we still have down there.
      The Astros are on The Threshold Of A Dream.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        January 24, 2016

        Well the Days of our Future Championships is not Passed. We will dedicate this team to our Children’s Children. It is after all a Question of Balance.
        My Mood(y) is not Blue

        Like

      • Becky⚾
        January 24, 2016

        EXACTLY…OP, but I don’t know why Luhnow has so little faith in our young guys.
        Granted he gave McCullers and Tucker a chance, but trust me…..both of them were on a short leash. There is more talent in Corpus Christi, than we know, and yes INDEED Fresno is going to open the season with a dang good group of VERY talented young guns! Quit rummaging in the garbage bin…..we have talent just begging for a chance!!

        Like

      • Tim
        January 24, 2016

        Well, Becky, to be fair, Luhnow has just done window shopping as we have not signed any FAs to the 40-man except Tony Sipp. Also, I would argue he does trust our young players, but is taking a methodical approach with them. I think this is the best way to work in young players.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        January 24, 2016

        I think the fact Luhnow hasn’t gone out and spent a ton of money on long term contracts shows that he does have faith in our young guys.
        He got Giles, who is a young guy.
        Valbuena will be a free agent after this year. The fact that Luhnow hasn’t shopped for another 3B means he is thinking about Moran and Davis and Bregman.
        The fact he didn’t pay for a long term outfielder means he has faith that one or two guys will step up, especially Kemmer and Kemp.
        The fact he didn’t pay long term for a pitcher means he does have faith in who we have in the minors. And the pitchers he did not trade are the pitchers he thinks he wants on our team in the future.
        He hasn’t gone after a 1B from outside like a lot of experts predicted he would, because he does have faith that one of our own will take that spot.
        The fact that he jettisoned Conger and held his ground on the Castro’s money means he does have faith that we have some young catchers coming up. Castro is a free agent after this season.
        Summing up, he got rid of some guys that he did not see as part of the future because he thinks the organization has the young guys to take their places..

        Liked by 2 people

  17. astrocolt45
    January 25, 2016

    I disagree with JL on some of his decisions. However, he is privy to much more information that I could possibly see. He has never done anything to purposely hurt the team. So I think his best trades are the ones he gave a pass. Not only will this team be cheaper this way, but younger and probably better than anything that was a FA past the top 5-8. Lot of used up players on the 2015 FA list.

    JL has created an interesting scenario by adding Aplin, Gonzalez, Duffy & Fontana to the 40 man. And the pitchers Gustave, Reynolds, Musgrove, Paulino, and Minaya. These need to step up or they will be replaced next Fall with better prospects. I don’t see how any of them can crack the 25 man – but lets hope for a surprise or three. I think familiar names like Straily, Peacock, Stassi and some others need to impress this spring, or this may be their last hurrah with the Astros. Obviously a message has been sent to Gattis and Castro.

    Like

  18. Kevin
    January 25, 2016

    I had a dream last night that pitchers and catchers had reported to ST. Then I was rudely awakened by an NBA score, who frigging cares about the NBA. “Play Ball”

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 1oldpro
    January 25, 2016

    You make a good point about next fall’s Rule 5 protectees. Looking at the players we drafted out of college in 2013 that could offer some tough decisions, there are a few: Kent Emanuel, Conrad Gregor, Tony Kemp, Chase McDonald, Kyle Westwood, Jon Kemmer and Tyler White.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 25, 2016

      I meant this as a reply to ac45. I guess I need more java!.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin
        January 25, 2016

        See OP you had the same dream LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  20. astrosfan57
    January 25, 2016

    Astros minor league pitcher Jose Rosario was killed last night in a motorcycle driving accident in the DR.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and loved ones.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Becky⚾
    January 25, 2016

    Kemp made the top 10 list for 2nd baseman today! I didn’t realize he was as short as his is….5’6″. It appears, he will either be turned into an outfielder, or used as trade bait, because we have a guy manning 2nd base for a lot of years to come!
    Yes….let us remember Jose Rosario in our prayers, a tough loss for his family.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 26, 2016

      Tony was an outfielder before Vanderbilt asked him to play second base his last season. He played quite a bit of outfield last year.
      Kemp has good speed and has a knack for making spectacular plays in the OF. The team wants him to work on taking better routes on fly balls. He is a ballplayer with a good head on his shoulders. I would love nothing better than for him to make those outfield adjustments and have his BABIP even out next season. He was a monster with a super high BABIP in AA and merely decent with a low BABIP in AAA.
      But then, in the AAA playoffs, he was spectacular and was the PCL Championship Series MVP to finish out the season.
      He was pretty awesome leading off in front of Correa last year in CC. His OBP was over .450 and it seemed like every time he got on Correa knocked him in.

      Like

  22. Dan P
    January 26, 2016

    I think it says something when a player like Kemp who is not in the Baseball America top 10 prospects for the Astros is top 10 at his position in all the minors. There is a lot of depth to this organization as old pro and daveb point out time after time.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2016 by in Astros.
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