Top prospects: A look ahead at the Astros’ long-term health


There will be a lot of work done in this off-season to set and hopefully upgrade the Astros’ major league roster. But just as important to the long term health of the organization is the quality and depth of the minor league prospects. Here is a summary of the top 15 prospects from mlb pipeline (more or less) and highlights of their recent performances.

1)  Francis Martes (20 years old) RHP – Playing way above his age group at AA, his 9-6 record with a 3.30 ERA and 9.4 K / 9 IP opened eyes. He got hit around a bit at the Arizona Fall League – big deal, he’s 20 years old and reportedly working on a changeup. This could be the crown jewel of the Jarred Cosart trade.

Prospect. Expect him to arrive in Houston in 2018.

2) Kyle Tucker (19) OF (1st rd – 5th overall pick in 2015) – The teenager had a very solid 2016 in A ball with a hot cup of coffee for 16 games at Lancaster (A+). He put up a combined .286/.360/.798 line, 25 doubles, 7 triples, 9 HRs and 69 RBIs with 32 SBs, which bodes very well for the future.

Prospect. Considering the lack of OF depth in the organization he could make the majors by the end of 2018.

3) Forrest Whitley (19) RHP (1st rd – 17th overall pick in 2016) – Sure he had a 4.82 ERA in 18.2 IP, but that 26 Ks looked pretty strong for the young man in rookie ball.

Prospect. It will be a while – maybe 2020?

4) David Paulino (22) RHP (Part of the Jose Veras trade) – His short stay at AAA and his one start in the majors were OK. The core of his success was 64 innings at AA where he put up a 5-2 record, 1.86 ERA, and an impressive 10.1 Ks/9 IP and 1.5 BB/9 IP.

Prospect. A good performance in 2016 could give him a shot at more than one start in the majors by the end of the season.

5) Derek Fisher (23) OF (1st round supplemental 2014) – The left handed hitter had a solid year split between AA and AAA with a .255 / .367 / .815 split. His 21 HRs 76 RBIs and 28 SBs make him one of the next men up for the Astros in a year they may be looking for some young outfield help.

Prospect. They probably want to give him a little more experience at AAA, but if he does well and if they are hurting…. look for his debut this season.

6) Daz Cameron (19) OF (1st round supplemental 2015) – After a good start at A- (.278/.352/.770) he crashed and burned in 21 games at A ball (.143/.221/.442). Again he is only 19, but of course he has the pressure of Tucker’s success weighing on his mind.

Prospect. That bridge is too far to see….

7) Albert Abreu (21) (Free agent out of the Dominican) – Pitching mostly at A ball and 3 games at A+, his 3-8 record does not match his 3.50 ERA. His 10.2 Ks/9 IP are great; his 5.1 BB/9 IP are a work in progress.

Prospect. If….he can improve that control he could be ready by 2019.

8) Colin Moran (23) 3B (Also part of the Cosart trade) – He looked totally overmatched in 9 games with the Astros, but was it any worse than Alex Bregman‘s career start? He had a decent season at AAA with his BA (.259) and OBP (.325) but he continues to be light on power for a corner infielder. Maybe a repeat at AAA will help him hit his stride.

Prospect. It is hard to picture where he fits with Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel standing between him and 3B in Houston. Maybe he will be part of a trade.

Note: Teoscar Hernandez‘s 100 mlb at bats moved him from the 9th spot.

9) Franklin Perez (18) RHP (Free agent out of VZ) – Very impressive season at A ball. 3-3 record with a 2.84 ERA and an eye popping 10.1 K/9 IP to go along with 2.6 BB/9 IP. Great season at that level and that age.

Prospect. He could be in the bigs in 2 or 3 years.

10) Miguelangel Sierra (18) SS (Free agent out of VZ) – In 2016 he had a very strong start at rookie ball (11 HR with a 1.006 OPS in 31 games) and then was totally overmatched at A- ball. What were you doing at 18 years old?

Prospect. Way way too early to speculate.

11) J.D. Davis (23) 3B (3rd round in 2014) – After all these 18 and 18 y.o., Davis feels like a much older brother. His 23 HR and 81 RBIs at AA may not see the light of day with all the 3B depth ahead of him.

Prospect. Maybe he can leap over Moran with his bigger bat and end up as a bench bat for the Astros. Maybe.

Note: Cionel Perez was in the next spot until his deal was voided.

12) Jonathan Arauz (18) MI (Part of the Ken Giles deal) – The 2nd Arauz in the deal, the kid looks like a typical light hitting middle infielder with a .249/.323/.661 split in rookie ball.

Prospect. No telling

13) Gilberto Celestino (17) OF (Free agent out of the Dominican) – Seventeen? Maybe we should be reporting on whether he is shaving or  not. He had good combined numbers in rookie ball – his 15 steals in 18 attempts stand out in 56 games.

Prospect. He will be 18 next season….

Note – Skipping 30 year old James Hoyt and his 22 appearances….

14) Riley Ferrell (23) RHP (3rd round in 2015) – His 12.6 K/9 IP and 1.8 BB/9 IP rocked at A+ Lancaster until he went down with shoulder surgery last May.

Prospect. There is room for relievers with great stuff and control in the organization, but health will be the primary focus.

15) Ronnie Dawson (21) OF (2nd rd in 2016) – His OBP (.351) impressed more than his BA (.225)/ He showed some power (7 HR and 36 RBIs) and speed (12 SBs) in 70 games at A- ball.

Prospect. Mr. Dawson looks to be three years away, if ever.

Honorable mention – Freudys Nova,  Anibal SierraBrendan McCurryBrady Rodgers,  Guadalupe Chavez,  Jake RogersStephen WrennJandel GustaveYordan AlvarezReymin GuduanRamon LaureanoJason Martin

Advertisements

269 comments on “Top prospects: A look ahead at the Astros’ long-term health

  1. My opinion of the signing of Charlie Morton is the same way I looked at the “brilliant move” of signing Conger for his pitch framing. Morton has shown to be close to Feldman and Fister recently in stats. Just don’t see how this improves the pitching. It looks to me like swapping the devil for the witch.

    Aoki appears to get on base more than Tuckempdez would. That is a slight upgrade.

    Like

    • I look at it in the same way I looked at the “brilliant move” of signing Collin McHugh since they are very similar pitchers, except Morton throws harder and is more of a groundball pitcher than McHugh. Basically, Morton has the potential to be an upgrade from the 2014-2015 McHugh assuming he remains healthy. His health issue is the primary reason he only cost $7M/year.

      Like

  2. The good thing about Morton and Aoki is that they did not cost any potential Astro players – just a commitment of $21 M of the owner’s money.

    Oh, wait – but doesn’t that translate into another $2 or more per game for individual game ticket, and another uptick in already ready ridiculous concession prices – BEFORE WE EVEN MAKE ANY SUBSTANTIAL UPGRADES to the team?

    Like

    • In Aoki’s case it’s not a commitment yet as they haven’t gone to arbitration. Technically, they could still non-tender him.

      Regarding the ticket and concession prices how do the Astros compare to the rest of major league baseball? I haven’t researched it yet so I am just asking. Are the prices higher, lower or around the league average?

      Like

    • Just remember Epstein had a stronger major league team, farm system and larger budget than Luhnow when he took over. Oh wait, facts like that are not allowed in debunking a good narrative. My apologies, AC.

      Like

      • The only thing I’ll quibble with there is the stronger major league team part. It was a conscious decision to put the worst possible product on the field to obtain 1.1 draft picks by our FO and management team. The fire sale actually started under Wade, I believe, but Luhnow made every effort not to field a competitive team those first couple years.

        Like

      • Well, did the Cubs field a competitive team under the first couple of years of Epstein’s regime? They just happened to have a few extra players that were decent compared to the Astros, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the Cubs gave a concerted effort to win during the early years of Epstein’s tenure.

        Like

      • Devin, my point was that when Epstein took over he had better parts to trade off than Luhnow. The Cubs weren’t great when Epstein was hired, but they were better than the Astros when Luhnow took over.

        Like

    • Furthermore, Luhnow NEVER said the Astros would win the World Series in 5-years, but said the Astros would return to being a contender, which he accomplished in year 4. Oh darn, another fact that gets in the way of a good narrative. I hate when that happens.

      Like

      • I don’t work off sick feelings and woe is me attitudes. That comment provides very little to this conversation.

        Tim your rude know it all attitude is getting tiring. I thought this was the old Chipalatta blog where anyone could voice their opinion.
        You can consider me gone so there’s one less person to convince.

        Like

      • That is your choice, but the constant Luhnow bashing without any statistical evidence is getting tiring to me. I’m a lone wolf over here and have taken bashing from many here, but I keep coming back for more punishment. It’s like water off a duck’s back for me.

        Like

      • And I apologize for my prior comment. I’m getting worn down by the negativity here and I allowed it to cloud my judgement. I’ll try to remain more civil in the future.

        Like

  3. Tim, my comment was not a personal attack on you. It was a note about Astros fans being patient. How many years of patience do you recommend? The reason we ended up with Fister last year, was because “all of the top end SP were signed.” That is correct, but it was also due to Astros either not liking the deals, or the players and the agents don’t want to deal with Luhnow. Either way, we continue to be asked to be patience.

    Like

    • I have discussed this before during your hiatus to Yellowstone. Fans, in general, don’t have patience so I understand being impatient. What grates on me is when people are critical without offering any suggestions on what they would do differently. Comments like ‘ho hum, just another mediocre pitcher for a team that won’t spend money’ doesn’t work for me. Tell me why you don’t like the acquisition and what you would have done differently. The pitching market is a barren of wasteland this off-season so I completely understand Luhnow’s reason for trying to find value in someone that no one else sees. Fangraphs rated Morton as the 2nd best free agent pitcher behind Rich Hill. Clearly, there is value in him, but the biggest issue is his injury history. How much do you think Morton would have cost if he had consistently put up numbers like he is projected to do next year? I can assure you it would have been well in excess of $7M/year for 2 years. He has the potential to provide better value than Nova and Volquez, but both of those pitchers will cost much more than Morton. Volquez and Nova are ‘bigger’ names and may excite the common fan more, but I would much rather gamble on a 2/$14M contract with Morton than, let’s say, 5/$75M for Nova or Volquez.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What’s funny is I almost commented earlier asking what you, Tim, would do instead. I thought we were to the point that collecting 4th and 5th starters wouldn’t improve the team much. It’s possible Luhnow is dead set on Devenksi remaining in the bullpen, or wants to find ways to limit his and Musgrove’s innings, or something else. I’d really like to be highly critical of this signing, but you’re correct that the FA market stinks and signing guys who will put up the same (meaningful) numbers as Morton or a Fister for long term deals is too much of a gamble. The Astros either couldn’t get it done or wouldn’t get it done inking players the last two years and it’s hurting them now with such limited options available.

        I’d still like to see them bring in a guy or two with the potential to take the ball in a pressure situation and shut the other team down though.

        Like

      • Devin, Morton provides much needed depth to the rotation, or even bullpen. You can’t have enough pitching and considering the injuries to Keuchel and LMJ last year adding a BORP, that could be a MORP, at a decent price is understandable. Yes, Morton has an injury history, but he also provides depth in the event of injuries to other guys. This signing was made simply to give the Astros more depth and with the potential to really improve the starting rotation, if he remains relatively healthy.

        Like

      • So what are we looking at?
        Keuchel
        Morton
        LMJ
        McHugh
        Musgrove / Fiers

        My assumption is this moves Devenski to the bullpen and forces Fiers to be traded if he can’t beat out Musgrove (he can’t unless the ability to send Musgrove to AAA is the factor). Do you believe Morton (if healthy) is better than anyone not named Fiers in that list?

        Where are we stashing this depth? Morton and Fiers can’t go to AAA. Peacock has to pass through waivers as well, right?

        Like

      • I think there will be a trade (probably Fiers or McHugh) and I think Morton, if healthy, will be better than McHugh and 2016 Keuchel. What we don’t know is if the Astros have any concerns about the long-term health of Keuchel and LMJ. Maybe they think either or both could spend some time on the D.L. This is where Morton provides value and depth.

        Like

  4. I think:
    A healthy Dallas Keuchel is an improvement over 2016.
    A healthy LMJ is an improvement.
    Charlie Morton could be and excellent long reliever if Devo becomes a starter.
    A healthy Aoki is an asset. An injured Rasmus was a liability
    The Astros have done what they needed to do with their four free agents.
    Adding their best LH MILB reliever to the 40-man was a good move.
    Using Marwin the way he should be used will keep help his wrist injury from affecting his swing.
    The Astros are going to add more and better players.
    The addition of Gurriel and Bregman to the lineup makes us much better than last year and brings us down to three spots in the batting order that are lacking. I believe the Astros are targeting those three spots.
    Musgrove and Devo will be better pitchers in their second year than in their first, barring injury.
    Alex Cora could bring something to the team that may have been missing.
    The Astros are better right now than they were at the beginning of 2016 or the end of 2016.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope you are right and I am wrong, but I just don’t see an improvement enough to get to the post season. A drop in 32 homers (14%) from 2015 hurt especially with many in 2015 being timely. Some of that should autocorrect in 2017 if we add a hitting catcher, and at least one OFer or 1st Baseman that can improve the hitting.

      Like

      • AC, I agree with you. We don’t have enough improvement to get to the postseason…yet. It’s a good thing today is November 17th and there’s still plenty of time to improve the team and plenty of quality free agents available. Give it time and let’s see where the team is on February 1st.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree the FA SP market appears to be way over priced. You can eliminate, in my opinion, all that are 34 and older. Then narrow it down to a precious few and you see market value at $14 Million. That is hard to swallow. So it would appear that the only possible huge upgrades would be by way of a trade. I believe you trade from a perceived excess. That means Springer has to stay or included in the trade needs to be 2 OFers and a SP. So to make a big upgrade, we have to be willing to part with (A) a really good infielder, and/or (B) cash. We still need to address catcher and that can be done with money. Wilson Ramos is hurt, and had a career year in 2016, but if the scouts think he can maintain something close to his numbers, he would be a huge upgrade at catcher – maybe starting in June. McCann will cost cash AND prospects. A pitcher like Archer who appears cheap, may cost too much in prospects.

    But just because none of the pretty girls will go to the prom with you is no reason to take your ugly cousin. She may turn out to be great, but those odds are against you.

    Like

  6. OP have to agree with most of this, I still think they could have done better than Aoki, love Cora hiring.

    However whats your thoughts if
    DK is 12-12
    LMJ never stays healthy
    Morton is a bust after being out in 2015

    Like

    • If DK goes 12-12 that’s a 1.5 game improvement. That means the rest of the pitching staff has to make up another 5-6 wins to get the team to 92 wins.
      If LMJ can’t stay healthy or the team thinks he can’t stay healthy, then he should be the big prospect in a trade for a TOR pitcher.
      If Morton is a bust, Luhnow made a bad signing. If he is a 1.5+ WAR pitcher, Luhnow looks much better.
      Aoki looks bad if he doesn’t maintain his stats. If he does, it’s a good move.

      Like

      • I just think we still need Hard throwing proven Starter at #2 and a big time bat to really make a run.and hope Giles is the guy.

        Like

  7. I think we can all agree, even Tim, that we are stuck with an ownership group that is not going to spend the money needed to win in a traditional way. So we’ll continue to see an Aoki here and a Morton there. Luhnow really has not been given a choice. But in the long run, you pretty much get what you pay for. Sure, there are wonderful exceptions like Collin McHugh, but at the same time, we’ve had a batch of clunkers picked up off the scrap heap who have remained clunkers. We can all name them.

    Our big topic this week has been the signing of Charlie Morton. I’d love for Salty to become another Luhnow success story. Heck, I’ve already given him a nickname. But really, he does pretty much suck. We can talk about him adding depth, we can use words like potential and point to Frangraph projections, and even use terms like spin ratios and advanced stuff like that, but unless Charlie is fully reinvented, we’re screwed by his deal. Sure he’s cheap by today’s standards, but the most glaring issue is one we have not talked about yet.

    Salty is worse against lefties than Sipp or Neshek or any other major league pitcher that I’m aware of. He’s faced left handed bats 1872 times in his career, and I really mean it, he might be the worst against those guys of any veteran pitcher in the game.

    .307, .392, .859? Those are lifetime stats! A .392 OBP? Maybe that’s because he’s spent too much time intentially walking any guy that can hobble up to the left side of the plate.

    Every team in the league will put every lefty bat on the roster up against him. Can Charlie learn how to get lefties out at this point in time? I’m not buying it, even if he can stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice post Dave and of course agree. We cant compete with the elite when we keep signing baseballs B players to rub elbows with 4 or 5 great young kids, wont work. Not to mention look at what are so called top prospects have done in AFL, ugh

      Like

    • Steamer does not project pitchers that ‘suck’ to put up a 2.1 WAR. It doesn’t work that way. Did you read the article on Fangraphs that alluded to the changes Salty made to improve his velocity? He also changed his pitching repertoire to use his 4-seamer more than his 2-seamer, which was the pitch that LHs hit well. There is a lot of data used by Steamers in coming up with these projections. I can assure you ‘suck factor’ is not a data point.

      Like

      • I’ve read them all Tim. Let’s bag it for now and see how it turns out. If I’m wrong, I’ll be just as pleased to admit it as you will be to remind me that I was wrong.

        Like

    • I’m cautiously optimistic. Adding a cutter is something he did specifically to address the lefty issue. I hope he isn’t the splash, I hope a archer or sale move comes, but I do hope Morton replaces Fiers.

      Like

  8. Astro prospect Frances Martes gets another AFL start today against highly-touted Tyler O’Neill and the Peoria Javelinas. Coming in Martes has posted a 4.15 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP, with 18 Ks and 7 BBs in 17.1 IP. Frances, please give us something to be upbeat about!

    Like

      • I understand, but since you were so down on our farm system (based upon one of your prior posts listing their stats) I took it that you were concerned about Martes’ limited stats in the AFL. Good luck to Frances tonight.

        Like

      • No, I am not down on Frances. I with him well. It is just that I do not expect from him what I expected from guys like Devenski and Musgrove, because I have never seen from him anything resembling I saw from Devenski and Musgrove. So far he has looked like Brad Peacock to me – impressive stuff in theory, but inability to control it, command it, and get crucial outs with it against real hitters.

        Like

  9. On the McCullers injury front – if I told you that a 23 year old pitcher has one of the best curveballs in the league – and throws it almost 50% of the time – and throws a lot of non strikes running up his pitch count every game just to get through 5 – and btw throws the hardest curveball in the game by FAR (2 MPH average than the next closest guy) – and is having elbow issues, are you surprised? I’m not. The problem is when it comes to making him a primary piece of any trade for a true TOR pitcher – other teams know as well.

    At this point, we are better off hoping his elbow is unnatural, or the Astros change up his pitch mixture and have him throw it less.

    Like

  10. Astros aquire McCann from the Yankees for Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman, the Yankees threw in some money, but I bet Crane is absorbing a LOT of his remaining contract. A good signing. I’ll give Luhnow an A on that trade.
    Tim……you just stepped in it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I, on the other hand, am excited about this trade. The next best option for a LHH bat at catcher was to sign Matt Wieters. McCann is cheaper, hits RHP better, doesn’t fare that much worse against LHP (despite not being a SW), and has a shorter contract than it would take to sign MW. Abreu has a live arm but no control.

        Also, McCann will hold guys responsible for not playing like professionals.

        Like

    • I’m in definite favor of this trade. A proven catcher for 2 real young low level pitchers? Works for me. And…NO MORE CASTRO!!!

      Like

  11. Got our guy, McCann, and havent even “dented the farm” yet!

    Shaping up nicely if we can get Beltran. Springer was CS far too often, and he needs a true leadoff guy on-base to bring up his slugging!

    Aoki LF
    Springer RF
    Altuve 2B
    Correa SS
    Beltran RF
    Gattis C
    Bregman 3B
    Gurriel 1B
    McCann DH
    Teoscar CF

    Anxious to see if Alejandro Garcia, or who exactly will capture CF?! Fowler could be that perfect leadoff guy..

    Like

    • Answered that question without delay, Luhnow.

      Josh Reddick it is! Kid’s been pretty good last four years, barring his rehab stint w Dodgers.

      Like

  12. This is a big deal.
    A well respected C/DH waives his trade rights to join the Astros. Huge!
    The Astros pull the trigger and spend the money to get the absolute best solution to their Catcher/LH batter needs.
    They didn’t have to give away the farm or a “super prospect” to do it.
    They still have Franklin Perez.

    Like

  13. Boom! That left-handed hitting outfielder with a good OBP.
    My grill is heated up if anyone likes their crow with a smokey flavor. It goes well with whine.
    The Astros are all in for 2017!
    Now, about that pitcher.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. A good day for Frances Martes today. He went 5 innings, allowed 0 R, 2 H and 2 BB while striking out 7. He was the winning pitcher for Glendale. Well done, Frances!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Awesome now were talking 2 solid proven players, winners, and no BS Guys. GOOD JOB UNCLE JEFFFFFFFFFFFFF. and we didn’t lose that much in prospects or stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UJ now has vaulted into the 10 ten of GM’s get that big time arm , Top 5, God I hate being Cynical!!

    Like

  16. I wonder if bringing Cora in to the fold might have added a little dugout respect and made a difference to McCann and maybe Reddick Anyone?

    Like

    • I was hoping the Cora/Beltran friendship and Correa/Puerto Rican connection. Ok, I’ll shut up about him until I know HOU was not on his 10-team Trade list last Summer, or if it was simply about where he fit well. Many had the Indians and Royals way ahead of TEX to get him! If it’s just $10M, get it done!! That gives us three or four solid DH’s — a huuuge hole last year…

      And poor Yankee fans thought the news was a Rich Hill signing Lol!

      Like

  17. Picking up Reddiick and McCann was huge !!
    Now I am getting a bit stoked.
    I feel sooo much better about anti ing up for the tickets.
    With Musgrove, McHugh/Morton, Keuchle and Devo….I even fell pretty good about the pitching. LMJ will give some quality innings before ????
    Is 1B covered ?

    Like

  18. I have wanted Reddick all along. Good job JL. I am satisfied with McCann as well. But *ducking* resigning Castro would have been ok with me too. I still want a #1 or #2 starting pitcher. So call me greedy. So, does this mean we have Guriel 1B, Aoki LF, Springer CF, and Reddick RF with Gattis and McCann splitting C and DH? Or is Beltran still a possibility? How much does JL have left to spend?

    Like

    • I think Encarnacion is cost prohibitive, although we have “heavy interest”. It’s down to 4 teams for Beltran, and RedSox spotlight to replace Papi is pretty tempting. Joel Sherman is reporting that (Odorizzo/Archer or Verlander as possible for Astros. Means we’re still looking for pitchers😋 And hitters!

      Like

    • The Astros spent $118 million last year on salaries, the draft and free agent rookie signing bonuses.
      If they are OK to increase spending and they are limited in their FA signings in 2017 by going over their spending limit in 2016 and their draft spending would be very similar to last year because of their drafting position(15th), they could go for more.
      Right now their payroll is estimated to be at $101 million for 2017. I think they have as much as $15-20 million more to spend if the right guy comes along.
      I’m just going by the fact that they spent $118 last year and Luhnow says he could spend more for the right player.
      I’m still looking for a trade for a player with a substantial salary who will cost prospects, too.

      Like

      • Are you counting Aoki into that $101M? The reason I ask is because, if they find a better option, they still could non-tender him. Also, isn’t Mike Fiers arb eligible? I guess they could non-tender him as well, but I am sure they could find a trade partner for him. He would fit well in a place like Miami or San Diego that is a pitcher’s park and a team with a relatively low budget.

        Like

  19. Two great things about getting Reddick. It should move Springer to CF and since he was traded mid-season the Dodgers couldn’t give him a QO. The Astros still have the 16th pick in the draft. Of course, if Luhnow wants to go crazy and sign Encarnacion I could live without the 16th pick. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tim, I don’t know if they are even willing to go after EE and give up that pick.
      BUT, the thing I would love about that move is that it would probably move Correa back to the 3-hole where he belongs and move Altuve up higher and get him more at-bats.
      And, of course, it would finally solve our 1B dilemma after so many terrible years at that position.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Well I get to eat some crow now and I’m pleased to do it. I come back from Thirsty Thursday and a couple of very significant things have taken place while I was fighting the local mosquito population down on the beach. Apparently, in direct response to me, the Astros are indeed prepared to spend good money after all.

    And Tim you sure can be a tool sometimes, but I agree, this should get Springer over to center where he belongs. I wish you could keep in mind though that not all of us have a thick skin.

    That said, we sure should be getting about the best power production from the catcher position in the league. Lucroy can’t catch 162 games. We’ll be putting a homerun threat back there every night. We’ll also be losing a bit of defense, but Luhnow has fixed a real hole in the line up. We lost two good arms, but both are years away.

    Reddick was not my first choice, but he’ll be another solid left handed bat and plays his position well. I don’t think he’ll hit enough against left handed pitching, but we can figure that out with a guy like Teoscar.

    Let’s spend some more money!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. So does Preston Tucker go on the block now or is he relegated to hang with Singleton another couple years? We really need Teoscar to come to spring training ready to rake LHP…although Reddick/Aoki can’t be worse than Rasmus was in 2016 and Marisnick is probably only about as bad as Gomez.

    Like

  22. I remember what a tough out Reddick was when he was with the A’s…so I’m glad he’s on OUR team for the next 4yrs!!
    Sandy…..don’t leave us girls! Some folks might not agree, but we are a family….and families always have each others back. So don’t leave Nance and Diane and me! Ok!?

    Like

    • Sandy,

      I was wrong and I really do sincerely apologize. I was being a tool and my comment was undeserved and unwarranted. I can be condescending and arrogant, but that comment went above and beyond that so I hope you can let bygones be bygones and understand I had a lapse in judgment. You have valuable insight and you are very much appreciated around here. Come back, girl. You are a keeper on this blog.

      Like

  23. Final comment of my night. I heard an interview of McCann on MLB.com and he said he is coming to Houston because “they are a winner”.
    He talked about our youth and said he can’t wait to catch our pitchers! Spoken like a true catcher.

    Like

  24. Sandy we love ya. You ever notice a common theme here every month or so we ask people to come back because the same person insults people over and over. Move on start your own blog your act is old man

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still going to be me, but what I said to Sandy was not me. If you don’t like my arrogance then you may be the one that should leave. I get tired of the same old boring comments from you regarding Luhnow, especially in mid-November before any big fish have even signed. If you’re still going to made ridiculous comments without any substantive facts then I will call you out. With that being said, once again, I was wrong for my comment to Sandy and I did apologize to her.

      Like

  25. Sandy, we will miss your comments and insights. A few of us let our passion for the Astros get in the way of common sense at times. I know I do. You ladies bring balance to Chipalatta. We need you and could use a few more.

    Like

  26. Concerning the two pick ups, McCann and Reddick. This is like the Trump win. It takes a little time to digest what this brings to the team. There is the “first thought” and then later, more thoughts come along. Today, in reviewing Gov’s comment and line-up, we no longer have 2-3 automatic outs. It will also cause some favorite sons to probably be DFA’d by end of ST. But from a hitting point of view, the team is vastly improved over 2016. If it does not work out, even JL’s most vocal critics (insert Astro45) have to at least say “he tried” to get the team better.

    Like

  27. Sandy, all us Astroholics have to stick together. We don’t all have to agree. Apparently, we don’t all have to play nice anymore. But when – whenever – the WS win finally comes, we need to all be there, arm-in-arm, cheering our home town heroes on.

    Like

  28. I was originally hoping to see Bregman in left, at least for the start of the 2017 season. But if I had to guess, and I hesitate to do that for obvious reasons, Bregman will be our starting third baseman and Aoki will own left field, at least initially. I think that then makes Gurriel our first baseman and part time DH. I’m now more apt to want Teoscar on the 25 man when the season starts, as he gives us a right handed bat against the lefties that Reddick does not hit very well. He also give Aoki a day off on a regular basis. And I think Teoscar can be a very solid outfielder. And after last night, we’ve got the catching situation resolved. Again, I’m just guessing here, but our starting 9 seems to be set.

    Now I’m enthused to see what else Luhnow might get done with the rotation. Could we still lose one of our present starting 9 in a deal to bring us an upper rotation arm? I think it’s a possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Tim, I would like to tell you a story about me. When I owned my own business, I came to work one day and someone had taped the “Thought for the Day” on my door. It read, “When your only implement is a hammer, you see everyone as a nail.” I tore up the note as it really teed me off. But after a few minutes, I had to reflect on how I acted toward other people. The reason I am posting this – is – this is the new and improved me. The sugar coated version.

        I think each of us at times, need to reflect on what we say and especially how we say it. I know I delete a lot of comments when I read what I just wrote.

        Like

      • Thanks, AC. There’s a fine line between having a strong personality and being insulting toward others. I’ll always have a strong personality, but I need to balance that out where I’m not insulting someone. My 3 passions in life are my faith, my family and the Astros. My strong personality comes out when discussing those 3 topics, but there is a line that we can’t cross and I crossed that line with Sandy.

        Like

      • Always remember when you write something online your audience lacks contextual clues that indicate sarcasm, how strongly or indifferent you are on the topic, and other things such as level of irritation. Always assume it will be interpreted in the worst manner possible. If you still feel it’s worth writing, then fire away!

        Like

  29. Jake Kaplan over at our despised local newspaper indicates that with the Reddick signing the Astros may non-tender, or try to work out a reduced salary, with Aoki. Also, it is reported that the Astros are still pursuing Carlos Beltran. I think they would like to keep Aoki and I wouldn’t non-tender him until we get Beltran or another bat that can play the OF. They may approach Aoki’s agent and basically say “Hey, we would like to have him, but he is going to be our 4th OFer and we’re not paying him $7M to be a backup. Either we will non-tender him or we can agree on, say, $4.5M.” My guess is his agent will ask for him to be non-tendered, but if they feel he can’t get $4.5M on the open market they may accept a lower annual salary. If the Astros like him enough they could try and work out something like 2/$7M contract and have him as depth for next year. Any thoughts on this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m less concerned with Aoki’s OPS and more concerned with his OBP if he is going to bat leadoff or 9th. If he is the 4th guy, I am happy with that as well. He isn’t a terrible base runner, he makes contact, works pitchers, giving him value as a pinch hitter – but defensively he is no hero and really probably shouldn’t play a lot of RF, and probably has no business in CF in MMP. We’ll see how it works out.

      My feeling on Beltran – if we keep filling our roster with old, expensive guys like McCann and Beltran or injury risks like Morton and Reddick, we have to understand we are certainly going to have 1 or 2 go sideways and watch that money disappear. I’m glad they are taking their shot as a franchise though while they have Correa, Altuve, Springer and Keuchel all at affordable rates.

      Like

    • I’d keep the guy at 7 milllion, even if he becomes a fourth outfielder. If Beltran signs up, he’s not going to play much outfield, even in the cozy left field confines of Minute Maid. With Aoki around, assuming the present group is also around, it pretty much guarantees us a first baseman in Gurriel.

      I think we’d have to pick up another mobile, quality outfield bat before jerking around with Aoki. And we should never put ourselves in the position of playing Aoki and Beltran in the same outfield at the same time.

      I agree with Steven on Beltran. And from my standpoint, it’s because I still believe in my nephew and I’m also hoping Reed comes to camp a couple of sizes smaller and starts hitting. I think we can make the DH position work.

      Like

    • I have more faith that Aoki will meet expectations than I do Gurriel. I bring him up because I was contemplating what our lineup may look like against LHP and RHP. You either treat Bregman like he’s Chris Burke or you put Gurriel at 1B/DH. That decision also impacts White, Reed, Tucker, Gattis, and Marwin. Putting either of them in the outfield hurts our defense and doesn’t necessarily improve the offense.

      TLDR; If you put Gurriel at 1B you expect something in the neighborhood of 20HR, 85RBI, .800OPS. I’m not sure we’ll get it from him. If you put Aoki in LF you expect him to track his career averages and are disappointed with any dropoff.

      Like

    • One thing to consider is that once the Reddick deal is final the Astros 40-man roster will be full. Thus, if they were to sign Beltran someone would have to be removed. Granted, there are definitely some DFA candidates like Aplin and Kevin Chapman, but just something else to consider.

      Like

  30. I’m happy these 2 moves happened, to a point – not sold on McCann, just seems so risky – but I’ll reserve my over all excitement for the end result of a rotation. Reddick nor McCann are going to go out and throw 7 innings of 2 run ball every 5th day. Unfortunately there is serious questions due to injury or consistency if Keuchel, McCullers, McHugh, Fiers, Morton, or any combination of kids that haven’t done it yet will throw 7 of 2 run ball every 5th day right now either. Needless to say, I am concerned.

    I also really hated losing Guzman, that dude has got a serious arm, but it is the proverbial lottery ticket. If he ever makes it in the bigs it will be years from now, and McCann does make this team better today.

    Gov – McCann is league average at best as a DH. So is Gattis. I would rather watch the two split catching duties and occasionally DH, and leave DH to mostly a professional hitter – i.e. Gurriel, and give a kid a shot like Reed full time. Reed is a chance, no doubt, but if he puts it together his upside is MVPesque. I know Singleton scared people – but compare Singleton and Reeds minor league numbers, and there is little to compare – Reed outperforms him in almost every metric worth measuring. I hope we haven’t heard the last of White either, that kid has raked at every level he has had the opportunity to play until here – and unlike Reed he did show flashes of it here also, just didn’t find his comfort zone and settle in, and let a little slump landslide on him. Besides, if McCann and Gattis both mostly catch, when they aren’t in the lineup they are resting – McCann’s age and Gattis knees will appreciate it and make them better in August.

    I don’t usually wade in the waters of blog etiquette anymore – I’ve learned a lot about how to approach having an opinion without being obnoxious about it from folks like Bill and OP, and just reading Dan’s work helps. Sandy you have made comments before that rubbed me wrong – saying things like, well I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I have to agree with Steven – like I’ve never been right before – and I just shrug my shoulders and move on. I appreciate ALL opinions, everyone of you folks help me from wanting to jump off a cliff every time this franchise spends 15 million dollars on Scott Feldman or Pat Neshek while the Rangers get Cole Hamels – so thanks. The thing to remember is communication is 70% non-verbal, but when you write, you only get the 30% in, so sometimes what you write, and what you mean to write, doesn’t always come out the same. I’ve found myself in that exact spot, upsetting people, so give Tim some leeway.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love to see different opinions as long as they are based on facts and stats. It’s one reason I don’t post much because you gals and guys know so much. Having said that I really love what JL and Crane have done and I’m ready to give them 5 more years. This franchise was a disaster in the last years of the Grocer and it took a complete tear down to start over. We are now signing free agents and having established veterans waiving their no-trade clauses to come to Houston. I hope one day to rank JL with Gerry Hunsicker as the top 2 GM in Astro History.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pencil, we’re just faking it. I look up a few stats, try to sound informed and hope nobody calls me out on it. Between you and me, I think it’s the same MO with the rest of us. My take on your new 5 year plan is that we pretty much have to give the owner 5 years, or even 10 if that’s what he wants to do. But with all this new talent landing in Houston suddenly, its time for our GM to put it all together and make big things happen. I sure hope he pulls a big pitcher out of his hat. And If it happens, it’s going to hurt.

        Like

      • Pencil,

        You don’t have to convince me regarding JL. I love what he has done with this organization and his commitment to developing the farm system and making the Astros a contender. Like the other 29 GM’s in baseball he is going to make mistakes, but, and I have said this over and over again, considering where this organization was in December 2011 and where it is now tells me all I need to know. Especially when you consider how barren our farm system and major league roster was at the time. I have heard over and over (moreso on the Chron comments than here) that any GM should have been able to do what he did with 3 consecutive #1 picks. It’s simply not that easy and, in my opinion, the complete teardown and rebuild was the absolutely only way to get this team back to being a contender in such a short time. It is clear from my comments that I am a HUGE Luhnow fan…and I mean HUGE!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s