Houston Astros: 9 statistical oddities from 2017


After a great season like the Astros had in 2017, it is fun to look back at statistical oddities, because so many of them are on the positive side.

Here are nine oddities for the 2017 season:

  1. In nine previous seasons in the majors, Charlie Morton had only once (7-4 in 2013) won more games than he lost and had a career 46-71 record. And then he won twice as many as he lost (14-7) in 2017.
  2. In parts of five major league seasons heading into 2017, Brad Peacock had appeared in 60 games, including 46 starts and was 11-17 with a WAR of 0.5 for his career. He had never had a strikeout rate higher than 8.3 K/9 IP. Then in 2017 in 34 games (21 starts) he was an insane 13-2 with 11 K/9 IP and a WAR of 3.2.
  3. Of the seven pitchers with 10 or more starts, Mike Fiers had by far the worst ERA (5.22). However he also led the team in games started (28) and innings pitched (153.1 IP). Talk about room for improvement.
  4. Of the 9 Astros with the most ABs in 2017 – George Springer, Brian McCann, Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran and Marwin Gonzalez, all of them had increases in BA and OPS over 2016, except Beltran (lower in both) and McCann (BA down 1 point in 2017).
  5. Gonzalez had 49 walks in 2017. That was more than any two other seasons combined.
  6. The Astros led the majors with 346 doubles. They in turn were led by someone who had seven career doubles headed into 2017 (Yuli Gurriel with 43).
  7. The Astros easily led the majors with 854 RBIs, but they in turn were led by the 90 RBIs of Marwin Gonzalez which was tied for only 32nd in the majors.
  8. The Astros won 101 games during the regular season, but only had three pitchers with 10 or more wins (Morton, Peacock, and Dallas Keuchel). But they did have 18 different pitchers with at least one win and 10 with at least five wins.
  9. The Astros won at home at a pace that would have equaled 96 wins for the season, but won on the road at a 106 win pace.

Is there anything that caught your fancy statistically about the Astros this season?

Advertisements

60 comments on “Houston Astros: 9 statistical oddities from 2017

    • In the off-season there is no track, old pro – just looking for any conversation at all.
      The plus on Cole
      – His age – 27 years old – prime time
      – His salary – not set yet because he is arb eligible – but likely to be reasonable
      – Has pitched more than 200 innings in 2 of the last three seasons
      – His WHIP improved in 2017 as did his K/BB ratio
      The negative
      – After an excellent 2015 – he was hurt some in 2016 and 2017 his numbers are a bit bleh (4.26 ERA/12-12 record)
      – He only has two years of team control
      – His HR rate tripled last year and he gave up 31 dingers for the season.

      Not sure if he is worth the very best prospects – but if they think he is going to bounce back to 2015 level (19-8, 2.60 ERA) he would be worth a pretty good package.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was hoping Cole had three years left of control, but you are correct at two years.
        I just cannot see the Astros wanting to include Tucker or Whitley in this trade, knowing only what we, as fans, know. But there are tons of lit bits that our front office only is privy to, and therein lies the rub. Here are some crazy imaginings that could influence such a trade:
        Kyle Tucker took his brother’s trade hard.
        Charlie Morton truly is going to hang up his cleats after 2018.
        They made an extension offer to Keuchel and he didn’t want it.
        Their brain trust doesn’t think Armenteros has the right stuff to make it.
        Paulino is toast.
        George Springer and his wife-to-be have purchased a home in New England, making Kyle Tucker untouchable.
        Verlander approached the Astros about an extension, because he literally loves the Astros.
        Frances Martes would rather be a reliever in Houston than go back to Fresno to work as a starter.
        The Astros know everything and we only know what we saw on the field in 2017 and what we have been told since.
        I do know that the Astros can field exactly the same lineup in 2018 as they did in the playoffs in 2017 and that is the best lineup in the majors. If they upgrade their rotation even more, that upgrades their bullpen that much more and they would be the odds on favorite to be in the 2018 World Series.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t expect these rumors to be accurate, but one of my biggest complaints about Luhnow in previous years was that he played things so close to the vest that he couldn’t help the team with bluffs. When he went after Robertson and Miller, he offered more than they got from other teams because they didn’t want to play in Houston. However, he still jacked up the price. I suspect Cole gets traded to NYY, but at least if HOU is throwing names into the ring the Yankees should have to surrender some prospects that will hurt. If this is another one of those Stanton trades…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. #5 Gonzalez’s patience at the plate to totally change his BB-rate may have led to everything else he accomplished. How will a time clock affect him at the plate, because he is probably the worst in baseball at wasting time in between pitches?
    #9 was even better than it seems, what with all the player’s homes under siege during the hurricane.

    Like

  2. I am hoping that the Gerrit Cole talk is just a clever negotiation ploy to bring down the price of our real target. After all, if someone is seriously talking giving away Whitley – much less Whitley and Tucker – for a guy who over the last two years could only manage a 4.25 ERA and an over 1.30 WHIP, with an approximately .270 BAA, in a league without a DH, I have to wonder what we would have to give up to get a real front line starter who has the proven ability to pitch in the American League.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. OP, Devin and Bill –
    On a related side note – I’m not sure what to read into Crane being out front on “deals” this off-season. First saying we were one of the 4 or 5 teams that could take on Stanton. Now talking about us chasing TOP arms. It did not seem like he used to talk much about moves prior to them happening (or not happening).
    Is this because he is a little more in the spotlight after the WS win and he is taking on more interviews? Is he wanting to appear to be more involved with the day-to-day decision making? Is Luhnow using him to confuse the enemy?

    Like

      • I wouldn’t have it any other way. Heck, half the time, especially when it is slow on the blog, I will just post something that I know is going to be unpopular just to draw out the lurkers and the long knives. But it is unpredictable. I remember being really negative about the acquisition of Mr. Morton last off-season – and that nobody really responded to call me on it. But I remember before that being completely right about the disaster that was the Carlos Gomez acquisition, and getting ripped-to-shreds.

        Like

      • When you have to hear it from a golf course comment, that Charlie Morton was last Spring’s big surprise, Hinch and Co. as always were playing their cards close to the vest.

        A good question might be, who was the best acquisition of 2017? Verlander, or McCann might be the easy answer, but Morton delivered the Dodger death knell!

        The guy I want this offseason is Yellich, but everyone is In on him.

        Like

      • A bit of a treasure here too, so Bill has at least some international recognition. As I noted a couple of days ago, I’d rather see Tucker be used for Yelich, especially now that 1OP has confirmed his pouting over big brothers dismissal.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Off subject but..
    Garrett Cole “Lack of vertical break” Astros concern.
    I wonder with the turnaround Peacock and Morton experienced, with what we did with Keuchel and McHugh in 2015, if Cole could benefit from our staff?
    Then again, I’m not enthused about giving up Fisher [+] Whitley, or Tucker for him. The Astros will probably be willing to unload some of the AAAA we keep mentioning if they’re serious about adding a top end, though, or Crane wouldn’t be so public. The ante has definitely been raised with Ohtani to the Angels, and the Yankees acquiring Stanton.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/qopbaseball/status/950476340381204481?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Like

  5. Dan:
    In the last post, Free Blog Weekend What Me Worry, I posted a comment right at the end that has a lot to do with this post. It’s about some stats I found on Evan Gattis that is a topic of conversation.
    I invite people to go and read it and connect it to your post of statistical oddities and how they apply now.

    Like

    • What op wrote….
      “From his first game of last season, April 4th, to August 3rd, when he got hit in the head by the bat of Corey Dickerson, Evan Gattis had 264 plate appearances with a slash line of .278/.330/.490/.819. and 11 homers with 45 rbis
      After his three weeks on the DL, he suffered a wrist injury which put him back on the shelf. Both of those injuries are things that have a huge effect on a player’s hitting and from the time of his concussion until the end of the regular season Gattis had only 61 plate appearances, a slashline of .203/.230/.322/.552, with 1 HR and 10 RBIS.
      It’s pretty easy for me to see why the Astros would like to keep Gattis healthy and let him get the kind of at bats as a DH that he got before his injuries.
      He was a good productive power hitter with a much lower K rate when he was healthy. Gattis’s 1.2 WAR in a half a season of PAs in 2017 was 1.2, and his dollar value at $8million per 1.0 WAR means he was worth twice his yearly salary in only 1/2 year of PAs.”

      Like

      • Not to rain on this parade, but wasn’t that ‘good’ string of at bats by Gattis almost exclusively while he was catching – not when he was DH-ing? Between April 4 and August 3, our right-handed DH was some really highly-paid guy named Beltran.

        Like

  6. Well like I pointed out previously, when Gattis had the DH as a full time job – back in 2015 he was OK – not great, but better than 2017 Beltran. And I believe Gattis is a better hitter now than in 2015.
    I think what OP was trying to say is that when they used Gattis the most at DH in 2017, he was not fully healthy or fully returned from injury.
    I guess we will see how this goes. If Gattis struggles at DH, he may be a candidate to go elsewhere during the season.

    Like

    • It is all academic right now, but I wonder if, against righties the better plan wouldn’t be to have Moran, Fisher, or Kemp (whoever sticks) DH and let Marwin play LF.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill, I still think Luhnow will do something in left. Marwin will remain the relief man at 3, 4, 5, with a bit of 6 and 7 which is perfect for us and him. If the season starts with Gattis at DH, he’ll hit lefties and righties. I just don’t think those other guys get a shot until an injury, and we’ll have ample ten day versions. So even if Luhnow finds us a new left fielder, I think the other roles stay pretty much intact.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill, I’m a Yelich guy, to the extent that I’d give them the second Tucker if Luhnow is unable to pawn Fisher and some others for him.

        By the way, I don’t think I was one of those rotten guys picking on you for not being thrilled about Gomez. But the Brewers do have a guy today that I’d take for left, even though he’d be another righty bat.

        Like

  7. I believe what I’m saying is that for the first four months he was healthy he was a good hitter and when he got hurt his ABs were bad. The Astros obviously don’t care about him hitting when he was catching, they want him to stay healthy and DH.
    Oh, and the lefty/righty thing didn’t matter. Gattis had plenty more ABs against righties than lefties and still had better numbers against righties. I think the Astros think that Gattis is the guy they have right now on this team that can be the DH.
    What do I think? I think that Gattis is still learning how to hit. At age 30, with his background of little minor league experience, I believe he might be still developing as a hitter. I also think pitchers won’t particularly like facing Evan Gattis in the middle of the lineup. I think he makes them nervous.

    Like

    • When anybody thinks he’s the best hitter we have to throw into the middle of the line-up, it/he sure makes ME nervous!

      I mean, the middle of the line-up is Correa, Gurriel, and Margo. Does anybody really see him being better in the middle of the line-up than those guys? If I am making up the line-up, and he’s hitting, it’s no higher than 7.

      Anyway, OP, I sure hope you are right that he is just learning how to hit at age 30. With the improvements made by the teams in our division, we are likely to actually need some production out of our DH this year.

      Like

      • At age 30, Evan Gattis has had 900 less at-bats in his entire professional career than 26 year old Jonathan Singleton.
        I thought Evan Gattis was a goner after the 2015 season. But, according to the stats and to the eye, he has improved every year of his Astros career. I think getting him out from behind the plate will make him an even better hitter. If he wants to be the DH for the World Champions, he will make himself into a DH. I really believe he can do it.

        Like

      • I think Gattis will be a distressing figure stepping into the box to any pitcher, whether he’s hitting anywhere between 5th and 9th. There will absolutely be no easy outs, especially if Luhnow upgrades left.

        Like

    • Gattis is a streaky hitter. He has been his entire career. When Luhnow acquired him he gushed to the press that Gattis was going to hit it into the Crawford Boxes 30 times that year. He did hit 15 HR at home that year, but missed the Luhnow projection.

      I wouldn’t discount the notion that Gattis will put up better offensive numbers when he catches than when he plays DH. That has been the statistical trend and until he erupts on a real hot streak while playing DH it will be the narrative. Also, the Astros do not have a backup catcher as of right now. I suppose you can live with the backup plan of moving Gattis back into that role if no one can win the job during spring training. However, his defensive value may reduce his offensive value while catching and perhaps negate it entirely, too often.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Did you know that:
    Charlie Morton and Joe Smith were 3rd round draft picks.
    Brad Peacock was a 41st round draft pick.
    Collin McHugh was an 18th round draft pick.
    Dallas Keuchel was a 7th round pick.
    Ken Giles was a 44th round pick and then a seventh round pick.
    Will Harris was a 9th round draft pick.
    Chris Devenski was a 25th round pick.
    Tony Sipp was a 45th round pick.
    Justin Verlander, Joe Musgrove and LMJ were 1st round picks.
    Hector Rondon, Michael Feliz, Frances Martes, David Paulino and James Hoyt were never drafted.
    Pitchers come from everywhere. You go get hundreds of them and try to get 12 or 13 to make it. It doesn’t matter where they started, it’s only about how they end up.

    Like

  9. Saw this exchange on a mlbtraderumors.com “chat”

    MetsRealist
    Astros need for TOR starter, Mets in need of a lot really, Degrom for Whittle, Tucker and Moran? Seems like great deal for both sides

    Steve Adams
    The Astros don’t *need* a top-of-the-rotation starter. They’d like to add another one. I’d be shocked if they parted with Whitley and Tucker for three years of deGrom.

    Made me laugh

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Will Jeff add a backup catcher before ST? Or will Max Stassi start the year as Brian McCann’s right-handed hitting backup?

    Max is 26. His lifetime slash line in the minors is .247/.319/.739. He has some pop, having maxed out at 17 bombs, 20 doubles, and 80 RBIs back in 2013 when he was at Corpus. Like Gattis, even though he’s a RH batter he historically has hit RHPs much better than he hits LFPs.

    We let Centero go. Does that mean the FO think’s Max is an upgrade?

    Like

      • Max will be fine to start with. I don’t want Lucroy, whose regressed huge in two years. The guy who intrigues? J T Realmuto. A lot of natural ability!

        Like

    • Catcher is a huge subject. McCann is only costing the Astros $11.5 million this year, but that option for 2019 is for $15 million, and he’ll have one more year on that body.
      Do the Astros try to get some RH hitting help to go with McCann at catcher.
      What will the Astros do if McCann starts to fade?
      What will they do if Stassi has problems?
      How long before Lorenzo Quintana is ready for the American brand of baseball?
      What if Stubbs continues to not hit? If they get 100 games out of McCann plus the playoffs, do they go with that $15 million option?
      Do the Astros think they can get by with what they have this season and next, and worry about catcher in 2020, when they know about Stubbs and Whitley and Tucker and Altuve and Springer as far as salaries are concerned?
      Gattis is #3 and that’s nice to have, but he is a FA in 2019. That DH, who gives you an emergency catcher could be gone in a year. What then? Remember when it really didn’t matter what they did at catcher because they were going to lose 100 games anyway? Now it’s a whole different ball game, so to speak.

      Like

  11. I’m not ready to consider Stassi an automatic yet. I’m expecting to see Lorenzo Quintana goes to camp. At 28, we might as well find out now what he can do now. OP, do you have any idea what the guy has been doing for the past couple of years?

    Like

    • 45, yes, have seen those stats. Am wondering what he’s been doing to keep sharp over the past two years. No records seem to exist for 2016 or 2017. An injury? But as 1OP originally reported, the Astros gave the guy 200K so there must be some plan in place for him.

      Like

  12. The Astros projections for 2018 has these players with more projected WAR than in 2017:
    McCann and Gurriel
    Correa and Gattis
    And these players to have less WAR than in 2017:
    Altuve and Reddick
    Springer and Marwin
    Marisnick
    Bregman is projected to have a WAR equal to his 2017 WAR.
    Apparently, the Astros will have five position players with less WAR but will still have more WAR in position players than any other team, according to Fangraphs.
    Of Course, this includes players currently on major league rosters, and does not include any future moves.
    Losing Carlos Beltran’s negative 1.1 WAR is a huge deal in figuring out team WAR for the coming year, apparently, because Altuve is projected to lose 3.1WAR from his MVP year alone and still the Astros are projected to have the best lineup.

    Like

    • If Altuve fads to that degree, it will be due to significant injury issues. He’s not capable of that much drop off otherwise.

      I can see potential regression from Reddick, Marwin and Jake. But then again, Jake is still quite young and might just be getting the hang of things.

      I think Springer is beginning his best years. I think Bregman is not yet even beginning his best years.

      I don’t see the projections for McCann and Gurriel. I see similar stats to that of 2017.

      I agree on Gattis and Correa. They should both get significantly more at bats.

      Like

      • I think it is interesting that in his year 27, Jake is still quite young, and in his year 28, George is beginning his best years.
        Compared to me, they are both babies.
        Compared to Bregman, they are old, at least in baseball life.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Calling a trade for Cole with Astros as ‘immenent’!

    Lordy! be prepared because that one might hurt if they won’t bite on a Paulino, or Martes instead of Whitley. And even those two names are going to be a tough for me.

    I do favor the notion that Cole’s numbers have slipped bc of a lack of incentive (Post season, Pirates indecision to rebuild), and that we’ll have another bonafide.

    This pressing trade makes me think that Keuchel’s decision to leave, and the Astros letting him, carries some kind of undercurrent. It also may mean that we just need to find a place other than HOU for some of our guys who are blocked (Moran, Martes, Fisher)?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Looking like the Gerrit Cole stove is heating up. I think it would be a nice acquisition but have some concern about pitchers coming into the American League from the National. I remember seeing something about that transition not working well for the majority of pitchers changing leagues National to American while American league pitchers generally fared better in the National League. Cole’s +4.00 NO ERA makes me a little nervous.

    If we do land Cole who is odd man out in the rotation? I’m still not a big fan of McCullers and his lack of durability and fastball command. How about packaging McCullers for Yelich? OTOH, I would be intrigued by the prospect of looking at Peacock as a closer. I think his temperament is steadier than Giles and his command has gotten better as the season wore on.

    Like

      • Hey – Dr. Bill – interesting stuff – especially about the NL vs. AL – Chip just posted a new post on Cole so the talk is over there now.

        Like

    • This is brilliant re Peacock as closer because the Astros are the type to *name* a guy, but then use him in the highest leverage situations, which effectively saves the game.

      I abide by the notion myself that it’s just a comfort word: closer. The versatility, a 46th round pick? He’s nails.

      Where is the nat’l story about Brad Peacock? It defies me how valuable he is.

      And I’d be totally in board for LMJ for Yelich, but I think there’s a clubhouse element that I may have no clue about. About Lance. Like, the guy with the supreme confidence! In the biggest setting the guy comes in to bat lefty and advance a runner in his NL WS start. Another one with amazing grit – hate to part with those types.

      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