Future Astros part 3: A look ahead at 2021


This is the third excursion into the fantasy world of how the Astros team might morph in the next three seasons. In our first two efforts, we saw the Astros make quite a few changes for both 2019 and 2020.

Now the psychic orb gets even blurrier looking at possibilities for the roster in 2021. Talk about your Butterfly Effect! Many of these guesstimates can be un-done by almost anything, including action or inaction at this year’s trade deadline.

Free Agents

The following players could become free agents after the 2020 season:

Arbitration

The following players will face arbitration if they cannot come to some other agreement with the team after the 2020 season:

POSITION 2020 2020 Salary 2021 2021 Salary
1B YORDAN ALVAREZ $600 K ALVAREZ $700 K
2B ALTUVE $29 MM ALTUVE $29 MM
SS CORREA(ARB) $13 MM CORREA(ARB) $18 MM
3B BREGMAN (ARB) $6 MM BREGMAN (ARB) $10 MM
C STASSI (ARB) $2.5 MM STUBBS $1 MM
DH GURRIEL $8.4 MM GURRIEL (ARB) $10 MM
OF TUCKER $600 K TUCKER $2 MM
OF SPRINGER (ARB) $16 MM SPRINGER (FA)                      $22 MM
OF REDDICK   MYLES STRAW $13 MM   $600 K MYLES STRAW                       $1MM
SWISS ARMY KNIFE GONZALEZ $8 MM GONZALEZ $8 MM
BENCH TONY KEMP $600 K KEMP $1 MM
BACKUP CATCHER STUBBS $600 K STASSI (ARB) $2 MM
SP PEACOCK (ARB) $7 MM FRANCIS MARTES $700 K
SP COLE (FA) $20 MM COLE (FA) $20 MM
SP MCCULLERS (ARB) $9 MM MCCULLERS (ARB) $12 MM
SP MORTON (FA) $16 MM TRADE FOR VETERAN $10 MM
SP FORREST WHITLEY  

$600 K

WHITLEY $700 K
RP JOSH JAMES $600 K JAMES $700 K
RP DEVENSKI (ARB)  

$5 MM

DEVENSKI (ARB)  

$7 MM

RP GILES (ARB) DEAN DEETZ $600 K DEETZ $700 K
RP BROCK DYKXHOORN $600 K DYXXHORN $700 K
RP FA PICKUP  

$8 MM

FA PICKUP                   $8 MM
RP ROGELIO ARMENTEROS  

$600 K

ARMENTEROS  

$700 K

RP CIONEL PEREZ  

$600 K

PEREZ  

$700 K

RP 2018 TRADE DEADLINE PICKUP  

$6 MM

2018 TRADE DEADLINE PICKUP  

$6 MM

MISC. PART OF REDDICK, ETC  

$6 MM

MISC. $3 MM
TOTAL 2020 Total $165.9 MM 2021 Total 176.3 MM

 

Discussion

If the guess at the 2020 opening day roster was a wing and a prayer, the proposed 2021 roster is a shot in the dark. It is obvious there will be major changes, but the actions they take will be a true reveal of what type of organization this is. How much are they tied to the folks who got them to the mountaintop? Do they tear back down to start over, spend themselves into a corner, or try to hang on while fighting the economics of the situation with the promotion of young (cheap) talent?

Gone

  • Brad Peacock. Maybe they will avoid this situation by working out an extension before putting him in the rotation in 2020. If not, he may want that one big payday.
  • Josh Reddick. If they don’t let him go in 2020 they will surely send him down the line after his $13 MM a year contract runs out.
  • Charlie Morton. If he is thinking seriously of retiring now, he will likely head out to pasture after his imaginary two-year/$32 MM contract runs out in 2020.

Looking to Keep

  • George Springer. The guy is the heart of the team and even in a down year, he still can give them a lot more than most teams ever get from their leadoff hitter. And there is no obvious replacement for him in the minors behind Kyle Tucker.

More Discussion

  • The biggest challenge in 2021 will be how to complete the rotation, especially if Peacock and Morton are both gone. There is a fair chance that the Astros may go out and do another Gerrit Cole trade in that off-season to fill one of those spots or to pick up another Morton-type.
  • Or…. perhaps it is time to see what some younger folks can do in that rotation. Francis Martes will be 25 y.o. headed into that season and hopefully ready to step into a bigger role.
  • Depending on what their budgetary concerns are, the Astros might spend a bit more in the bullpen – especially if the 2020 season does not go so well.

So…

What do you think about this shot at the Astros future?
Can this team still be a contender with so many changes between now and 2021?
Where do you think they will vary from this shot in the dark roster and why?

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148 comments on “Future Astros part 3: A look ahead at 2021

  1. It’s already posted our stellar pitching has been hittable lately & the lineup can’t seem to hit their way out a paper bag & yet we’re still in the midst. That bodes well when, if they really catch on fire offensively.
    I am not having fun with this tms offense. It is hard as hell watching them sputter nightly against some very mediocre pitching (Jurado gave up what, 107 hits in 100 + inngs down on the farm) and he’s mowing through our lineup like a zero turn powered by a Hemi. Our regular lineup when healthy was not exactly tearing it up but they were winning series.
    Right now I’m feeling a move to shore up this offense, thinking how a good, sexy move might spark a fire like JV did last yr. Is this thinking farfetched, unnecessary or even feasible? My premise for this thinking is some of our career yr guys from last season kinda, uh, stink right now. We do have some very talented high ceiling young’uns who could explode at any time on this roster. Other than Tuve (Bregman stock is rising yes, add Yuli to the mix perhaps) whose career stats in this lineup offer above average offensive #’s?

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  2. OK time for the Tucker experiment to end. He’s not ready for Prime Time and we need somebody who can hit. That’s not saying he won’t but we need all hands on deck right now.

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      • Sorry, but I have been like Becky this entire game. It is disappointing for hit balls to go straight to the other teams gloves. But that is baseball. Davis not being familiar with the shift and almost running into Bregman, is tough to watch, but there have been mental errors, plus poor play. Lots of bad baseball in my opinion.

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  3. Gattis has one hot month. Other than that he stinks. Only hitters we have right now are Springer and Bregman. Everybody else is in a slump. And yes, I’m moderately PO’d.

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    • Gattis, compared to other DHs, is about average with .242. But on RBIs, he is behind Encarnacion 71 to 64. There are nothing but poor DHs this year. Some really are no better than a pitcher at bat. So, I would like to see him hit more, but he is way above average for the position.

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      • Probably more to do with my opinion of the DH. I can almost compare the DH to the “closer”. I think both are overrated. We were discussing giving Gattis 8MM per year. Just not enthused about it.

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  4. So Altuve is out all next week. When he returns, he will have 50 games. He has 134 hits. He needs to average 1.32 hits per game to get 200. He has averaged 1.288 hits per game. He, like the Astros, need a hit streak.

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    • I have to comment on something that Bagwell said on TV years ago. When Altuve and J D Martinez came up as rookies, he said don’t worry about them, they can hit. In the AL currently, Altuve and Martinez are 2 and 3 behind Mookie Betts at .329 and .324

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  5. I smell a BIG trade coming. And…losing Altuve AND Correa for the next 3-4 weeks ain’t gonna cut it. I’m not sure I’m gonna watch tomorrow’s, game.
    I *despise * everything about that team, only exception is Beltre. Watching McCullers self destruct when he has guys on….IS BRUTAL.
    JEEZE…this next road trip is the most important of this season, and ALL of these teams are going head hunting with this team. I’ll just pray for them…that’s all I can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky, I feel pretty much the same way. The last few games have been like a bad dream. It’s just not a lot of fun watching these guys. They really look like they don’t want to be there. Is there anybody on the team that can light them up? Or as George Patton said, “a swift kick in the ass”.

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  6. This may be the World Series hangover finally coming home to roost where offensive underachievement is the accepted norm. This is probably gross heresy but if they put Kemp at 2B and leave Bregman at SS I think our up the middle defense will be improved and Kemp may even give a better AB than what we’ve been getting from Altuve. Put Yuli at 3B and Davis at 1B. Send Tucker back to Fresno or let the pitcher hit. Bring back White and Myles Straw or(almost gagging) Fisher Let Marwin play two days out of five. Let Maldonado get behind the plate even if McCullers wets his pants. Lock the offense in a room for three or four hours and watch Bregman ABs until their eyes bulge. BTW, at least for his last AB Alex retired his Wonderboy bat which he had used for at least six weeks. Of course he hit a bomb with the new wood.

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  7. A quick look at Kyle Tucker:

    Tucker does not look overmatched at the plate. He has really quick hands and he gets to the hitting zone quickly. His bat is quiet through the zone and stays on plane very well. If you watch video and pause at the contact point, his swing and hand position actually compares well to the games best hitters – he gets to the ball quickly and in good hitting position. His 2 handed follow through makes his swing look odd during his finish.

    • Tucker’s K rate of 23.8% is very manageable and actually really pretty good for a 21 YO seeing his first major league action.

    • His BB rate is 7.1% – a little low but not out of line

    • Tucker is making contact in 69% of his at bats – that’s a pretty good number

    • He has 1 GIDP

    Here’s where it gets interesting.

    • Tucker is squaring up a LOT of balls – His average exit velocity of 91.8 MPH is the highest on the team (Stassi at 89.9 MPH). League avg. is 88.6 MPH.

    • Tucker’s launch angle is a good 12.7 deg, about the same as Springer’s and right at league average of 12.3.

    • Tucker has an insanely low BABIP of only .188 (league avg. is right around .300)

    Tucker is not overmatched, but has been very unlucky. He’s hitting the ball hard with nothing to show for it. If he continues to make contact results will follow.

    BABIP should start to come up as AB increase. League average is just under .300 with an average exit velo of 88.6 MPH and average launch angle of 12.3 deg. BABIP is expected to trend proportionally and linear to exit velo (i.e. as exit velo increases, so does BABIP), so a “normal” BABIP for Tucker should be above .300.

    As a check, two of the highest exit velo hitters are Giancarlo Stanton (93.6 MPH) and Aaron Judge (95.8 MPH). Stanton carries a .358 BABIP, while Judge has a .377 BABIP. At Tucker’s exit velo I think somewhere between .305 – .315 is not unrealistic.

    Tucker’s best is yet to come and I think it will come quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • one third of the original starting 9 is on the DL, including 2 of your best offensive and defensive players. Not much else you can do. Might as well mix it up a little and try to get something going.

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  8. We’ve been pretty fortunate all year with injuries. They will happen. Better now than in September. At the same time, our highly touted farm system needs to produce. It has not. Who has come up in the past couple of years and really had a positive impact? Right now, White or Davis need to provide a real boost. And if they don’t, maybe there is no room for them on the 40 man come winter.

    My only real concern with this team over the next 60 days is the pen. I think teams like the Yankees and Red Sox will have success against several of our present group.

    In the meantime, we’ve lost three straight and have 3 important guys out. Other teams have had it worse. It’s time to see how the World Champs will react to a bit of a test.

    Vewill1 already illustrated why we should not be giving up on Tucker. I’m looking for him and White to have a positive impact starting now.

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