Astros 2018 stat leaders: What a difference a year makes


Despite returning a big chunk of the 2018 World Champions – there is no denying that this year’s version is a far different club than the one that took home the trophy and rings.  This comes home very clearly when we review the players who led in individual categories in 2017 and the players who are leading those categories with 2-1/2 weeks left in the 2018 season.

Hitting (2018 stats are thru Sept. 11)

Category 2017 Leader 2017 Stat 2018 Current Leader 2018 Current Stat
Batting Average Jose Altuve .346 Altuve .318
On-Base Altuve .410 Alex Bregman .398
Slugging Carlos Correa .550 Bregman .555
OPS Altuve .957 Bregman .954
Runs Scored George Springer / Altuve 112 runs Bregman 99 runs
Hits Altuve 204 hits Bregman 160 hits
Doubles Yuli Gurriel 43 doubles Bregman 49 doubles
HRs Springer 34 HRs Bregman 30 HRs
RBIs Marwin Gonzalez 90 RBIs Bregman 97 RBIs
SBs Altuve 32 SBs Altuve 15 SBs
Walks Springer 64 Walks Bregman 85 Walks
WAR Altuve 8.3 Bregman 7.0
K% (best) Gurriel 11% Gurriel 11%
Walk % Correa 11.1% Bregman 13.3%
Extra Base Hit % Gonzalez 11.1% Bregman 12.5%

 

Pitching (2018 stats are thru Sept. 11)

Category 2017 Leader 2017 Stat 2018 Current Leader 2018 Current Stat
Win Charlie Morton / Dallas Keuchel 14 Wins Justin Verlander 15 Wins
ERA (starters) Keuchel 2.90 ERA Verlander 2.72 ERA
WHIP (starters) Keuchel 1.119 WHIP Verlander 0.944 WHIP
Innings Pitched Mike Fiers 153.1 IP Verlander 195 IP
Ks Morton 163 Ks Verlander 258 Ks
GO / AO* Keuchel 3.35 Keuchel 1.79
WAR Keuchel 3.9 WAR Verlander 5.0
ERA (reliever) Ken Giles 2.30 ERA Collin McHugh 1.92 ERA
WHIP (reliever) Chris Devenski 0.942 WHIP McHugh 0.883 WHIP
Saves Giles 34 Saves Hector Rondon 14 Saves
Inherited Runners Scored Devenski 22% Tony Sipp 12 % (4 of 33 inherited runners)
Holds Devenski 25 Holds Devenski 17 Holds
K % Giles 33.6% Brad Peacock 36.4%
Walk % (best) Joe Musgrove 6.1 Verlander 4.6%s

* Ground outs allowed divided by balls hit in the air allowed

Looking at the numbers the following jump out:

  • Offensively there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Alex Bregman, who dominates the stats like Jose Altuve did in 2018.
  • Starting pitching-wise there is a new mayor of H-town and his name is Justin Verlander (though his deputy mayor is Gerrit Cole and his mayor-pro tem is Charlie Morton) as he has taken the mantle from Dallas Keuchel.
  • Tony Sipp has been terrific in one of the most important stats for a reliever – preventing inherited runners from scoring.
  • Even with struggles and missed time, Chris Devenski still leads in the Holds category. Can anyone really explain what Holds are?
  • There are a few categories that might change between now and the end of the season….
    • Wins – Morton and Cole are within sight on JV
    • Saves – If Osuna keeps piling them up he could catch Rondon
    • K’s – Cole is breathing down JVs neck
    • Hits – Altuve is a hot week behind Bregman
    • OBP – That same hot week might let Altuve catch Bregman here too.

Anyway, what do you think of this exercise?

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85 comments on “Astros 2018 stat leaders: What a difference a year makes

    • A hold (abbreviated HLD, H or HD) is awarded to a relief pitcher who meets the following three conditions:

      1. Enters the game in a save situation; that is, when all of the following three conditions apply:
      (a) He appears in relief (i.e., is not the starting pitcher) when his team is leading; and
      (b) He is not the winning pitcher; and
      (c) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
      (i) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and maintains that lead for at least one inning
      (ii) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck
      (iii) He pitches for at least three effective innings.
      2. Records at least one out;
      3. Leaves the game before it has ended without his team having relinquished the lead at any point and does not record a save.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bregman is putting together one of the best seasons in franchise history. Never forget all the doubts I had about him – he has proved me wrong. I hope he stays healthy and in Houston for a long time. But consider this – back in 1986 Glenn Davis hit 31 HR and drove in 101 RBI with an OPS of .837. Bregman is about half his size and about to blow past those numbers. He’s also done it the two best players on the team missing a lot of time in the lineup and others struggling for large portions of the season. He truly deserves a tip of the cap.

    Also, on the pitching front, it’s hard to look at that list and not see Deputy Cole leading any categories. He’s taken the lead in K’s after yesterdays start (260 to 258). Some may be wondering where these rank all time in Astros single season history:
    1. Richard – 313
    2. Scott – 306
    3. Richard – 303
    4. Ryan – 270
    5. Cole – 260
    6. Verlander – 258

    With 16 regular season games remaining it would take some monster efforts to challenge the top three, but there is a pretty solid chance they both get past Nolan Ryan on that list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the historical perspective Devin. This is like one of those 52-45 football games in the Big 12 – whoever has the ball last may win the K title. They have both been so good, a tie might be the most satisfying thing to occur.

      Like

  2. Dan I don’t comment as much as others, but like many I’m amazed at the work you do on this blog, great exercise. I’m the chair on 2 boards, if you need some extra work , let me know. Bregman is the Altuve of last year with a bit of extra power and swag.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Kevin. I’m a usually hard working engineering manager / cat herder who gets paid pretty well for what I do (after 39 years of it). But I’m always open to jobs that pay me even better for doing less if you have any of those….

      I like your description of Bregman. The surprising thing is I thought if Altuve was displaced as the best Astro it was going to be Correa. Bregman has flown past them both due mostly to a tremendous season on his part and partly to a down season for Altuve and a way down season for Correa.

      Like

  3. -With this pitching staff and the year Bregman is having, anything less than a WS appearance for the Astros is a disappointment for me.
    -All stats aside, I think Springer and Altuve getting hot in September and October is the key to success for this team.
    -Fresno stormed back from a game 1 loss to take game 2 of their championship series. The series moves to Memphis for the deciding games over the weekend.
    -Just wondering about having a bullpen of Rondon, Smith, Osuna, Harris, Pressley, Morton, McCullers, McHugh, Peacock and Sipp in the playoffs. It leaves you JV, Cole and Dallas as starters and nine position players and 3 bench players.
    -As long as Oakland puts the pressure on, the Astros don’t have the luxury of extended rest for their stars.
    -Picking Dansby Swanson over Alex Bregman. How’s that whole scenario playing out now?
    – That 2015 draft produced Bregman, Tucker, Trent Thornton, Garrett Stubbs and Drew Ferguson. There is a great chance all five of those make it to the majors, and a good chance it could be with the Astros.

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    • As usual – lots of interesting points OP – I would not want to be the one picking the playoff bullpen…..well I would not mind making the kind of $$ that AJ Hinch makes…..(I’m really sounding greedy today)…..

      I have a question for you. If the Astros had drafted Kris Bryant (3B) instead of Mark Appel first overall in the 2013 draft would they:
      1) Have drafted Alex Bregman?
      2) Be shocked that Bregman might end up even better than Bryant, who has been tremendous (ROY and MVP) but has battling injury problems this season.

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      • Dan: Good question regarding drafting Bryant. If we had we might not have had the chance to draft Bregman since our draft ranking might have been lower. Or did we get the number 2 pick because we whiffed on Aiken? This FO seems to draft the best available athlete regardless of position so they may have picked Bregman regardless and made him an outfielder. Their assessment of position players seems spot on so their judgment regarding Bregman has been validated. There is room for improvement on high draft pick pitchers. I’m hoping Whitley and Bukauskis buck the trend or maybe we’ll do better drafting pitchers in the 34th round like James.

        Liked by 1 person

      • How I think history would have played out if the Astros took Kris Bryant in 2013:
        1. Cubs take Jon Gray and are still looking for a WS title
        2. Astros win WS in 2016
        3. Astros probably still take Aiken in 2014, but may have considered Rodon to accelerate timeline with Correa/Bryant both knocking on the door
        4. Astros still take Bregman at #2 in 2015, but use the #5 pick on an arm…probably Carson Fulmer

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love these Butterfly Effect questions – y’all each have reasonable scenarios for how this whole drafting “thing” might have turned out.
        Man, imagine Bryant in this lineup at 3B and Bregman shoring up LF. Of course I would be afraid Bregman would pull a Pete Reiser (called one of the greatest players nobody heard of because he ran into too many walls head first)….
        https://thestacks.deadspin.com/the-slow-destruction-of-pete-reiser-the-greatest-playe-1691040888

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Thought this exchange on a chatcast on mlbtrade rumors was amusing….

    Fan: “Mike Francesa of WFAN just said the Yankees are the worse 90 win team of all time. Agree?”

    Jeffrey Todd (writer on mlbtraderumors): “Do people actually listen to what he says?”

    This was the guy who said before the season that the Yanks were the team to beat in baseball…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laureano has 2 outfield assists for the A’s tonight. That’s 7 in his short stint since reaching the majors. I wish we knew more about why his 2017 season in the Astro organization was so bad that he was deemed expendable. It looks more and more like we missed on him. It happens. Combining his defense, speed and offense, he’s probably been a bigger boost for them than White has been to us.

    Like

  6. Arizona is reeling so I’m hoping our consistency in playing like crap on a homestand opener after a day off goes away. This homestand is a chance to really make a statement but too many times this season the statement turns into a sputter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If he’s not hurt you have to let him hit his way out of it. But that could include moving him down to 7 in the lineup and giving him a day off here and there to clear his head.
      If he is hurt, but rest won’t help it – I’m not sure what you do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “If you can’t hit a fastball you won’t stick around long. You make your living off of the fastball or you retire. No hitter retires because they can’t hit off speed; they retire because they can’t catch up with the heater.” Reggie Jackson – Interview with Larry Bowa 2005

    “There is an ageless saying in baseball that says, “There are good curveball hitters, but no one hits a good curveball.” This means that if a pitcher like Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax throws his best curveball, nobody can hit it. Nobody- not Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle or Pete Rose can touch it. What hitters do hit are curveball blunders-balls that do not break sharply and eventually hang over the plate, in other words a pitcher’s “mistake.” Jim Pransky, Author- Sports Fiction and ML biographies, Professional Baseball Scout-Colorado Rockies

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A huge part of the Astros “apparent” lack of offense this season is this:
    Last season the 2nd place team in the AL West had an 80-82 record. This season the 2nd place team has an 89-58 record.
    Last season the 3rd place team had a 78-84 record and this season’s 3rd place team has an 80-66 record.
    Last season the 4th place team in the AL West had a 78-84 record and this year the 4th place team is 73-74.
    Last season the 5th place team in our division finished with a winning percentage of .463 and this year’s Rangers team is at .425. But I will point out that last year’s fifth place team, Oakland, swept the Astros in an inexplicable 4-game series late in the year, foreshadowing their return to importance this season, and jacking up their winning % to .463.
    The Astros main competition this season is the reason the Astros have the same record, but have found it harder to hit because they stomped bad teams last year and this year those teams have pitched better against us.
    Some of our hitting problems are because of the fact that every single team we face is doing anything they can think of on every batter to keep us from hitting. The other thing is that they know Carlos Correa can’t hit and they are not walking him because of that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The AL in general is much better than last year. I also think we had a tougher schedule this year than last and not all due to better AL West competition. But I still don’t think that’s the sole reason for weaker hitting. It is inexplainable how so much of the team could fall off at the same time. Maybe we are tipping out swings 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m going off the reservation for this post. Last season several of us called for a JV trade before he became a sexy, trendy pick and was eventually traded for. This season I suggested C. Hamels, back when DK was struggling and some (including myself) wanted to run him out of town. The pros/cons were varied, mostly against, but I thought he had ability/playoff pedigree to help us, ala JV, who also struggled early last season. For the Cubs Hamels is 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA thus far. Not that we had to have him, we didn’t, but boy those numbers look good for our postseason push. OP what am I missing number wise here on Hamels? I know an inter league deal was very unlikely here but sometimes I sure wished we had pulled that trigger.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Let’s take a quick look….
      – The Cubs have a team option for $20 million that they can choose for 2019 to keep him
      – He had a vested option that he was never likely to hit (and has not hit) that included pitching 400+ IP in 2017 and 2018 combined that would have made that $24 million
      – If the Cubs don’t choose the team option they owe him $6 million any ways so I think they would likely take the option on him and if they decided they didn’t want him – trade him for something later
      – He was pitching poorly for the Rangers before the trade and like JV after the trade
      – Knowing the Cub faithful, if he continues to help them into the playoffs this season with a strong showing – management will pick up his option and will not trade him
      – If he turns back into a pumpkin down the stretch – yes they might trade him or even not pick up the option
      I’m not saying the Astros should not kick the tires on him – but I’m thinking he will probably not be available for the Astros to poach

      Like

    • And Old School I like the conversation starter – I think he could be a good addition at a time we may need him for 2019 – just not sure if the Cubs will let him go.

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    • You are missing the fact he disliked pitching in the AL and the fact he disliked pitching for the Rangers. Basically, he was going through the motions Now, he’s pitching in the NL, which sucks as a hitters league. So, he is more successful. He’ll soon find a reason to not like where he is.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Didn’t he make it clear Houston was of no interest to him? I’m not sure what might change his opinion unless no one else wanted to pay up. I also think he had lost interest in Arlington and mailed it in. That’s not my kind of guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you Dan and OP for the input, would have never dug up that info. Hate to hear he sounds like a sour puss, or mailing it in when things are not to his likening, esp when clubs doling out that kind of bread. Was just a thought in retrospect on my part

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such is baseball:

    The Indians can clinch their division tonight if they pick up a win. They are sitting at 82-64, good for the 6th best record in the AL. The would be 3rd best in both the AL West and AL East and out of WC contention.

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    • Yes it is, but also a heck of an advantage for the Indians.

      Boy, that’s exactly not how we wanted to start the game tonight. Marwin is a lot of things, but he does not track balls down in the alley well.

      Like

  13. Why did AJ slot White in the 6 hole instead of 4 or 5 where he has a chance to drive runs in? I’m baffled. Is it requisite to sandwich a hot hitter between a hopeful or maybe so hitter?

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    • Let me say, as I try to cool down, that you don’t deserve to win when you get outhit 15-5. Nor when your starter walks four, etc. But there is no excuse to have the right fielder sitting in the 3rd row of the Crawford Boxes with the game on the line. Give me all the stats you want, but when the game is on the line, the smart play is to NOT lose. That makes as much sense as walking a guy in the 8th, and then doing two balks, because the stats say he won’t score. Common sense says you NEVER give up two extra bases on a ball that the first baseman needs to run down because you have your outfielders holding hands in left. First triple I have ever seen that did not make it to the warning track. I am sick and tired of all these excuses about “well we got outs that would have been hits” – in a 10-0 blow out, who cares. No that did not lose the game, but it is so stupid to try to explain – I just lost my mind.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Me too. That stupid shift… I know Hinch is a world series winner and he has the team on top now, in the division but, sometimes, it seems he cannot get out of his own way…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Here’s my problem with the shift against Jay; he’s played to hit the ball the other way but gets pitched inside. It’s the same kind of head scratching choice of shifting against a pull hitter and then pitching him away. Sometimes we just make it too easy for the hitters.

    To back up Becky’s observation about not playing well after an off day at home we have a record of 2 wins against 9 losses in those situations. In homestand openers after an off day we are 2-6 while being outscored 32-18. On games played after an off day in the middle of a homestand we are 0-3 while being outscored 20-3! Two of the homestand opening losses were 1-0 defeats by the mighty Rangers and Royals. My somewhat educated assessment is that we simply let down at home offensively (confirmed by our relatively dismal record at home and sub-par offense), have consistently poorer ABs especially by Altuve, Correa, Reddick and Gonzales and continue to make the same lame efforts with no response from management. I love Hinch except for his belief that this will all auto correct without remedial measures. Correa looks fine in the field but has confessed to bad habits while hitting. Well, make an effort to stop the bad habits and bat 7th or lower until they’re fixed. I continue to believe that the manager and players take the home fans for granted and don’t understand how badly they let the fans down.

    My wife and I went to 20 games last year. This year we’ve only gone to three and I’m not sure we will go to another. We enjoy the Friday night fireworks but I refuse to go to any homestand opener after an off day because the result is so predictable. I can stomach the losses but I will not pay inflated prices to watch lame/lackadaisical efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I like Reddick’s enthusiasm, hustle, and determination but he is becoming another black hole in the offense. And we’re on the hook for 13MM for another two years. I think Marisnick is just as good in the field and a lot cheaper. I think the infield is set for next year, and maybe the next but we have issues in the outfield. Is Springer going to be worth one of those mega-contracts? Do we have bonifide replacements in the minors? I like Kemp and Marwin but what will Marwin cost us? We really don’t have an everyday left fielder. I also can’t see us holding on to (2 pitch – Devenski) or Will Harris. They don’t cost much but their effectiveness has really fallen off this year.
    One final note. I like Blummer and TK but they are always touting certain aspects of the team (players) and then those guys fall flat on their faces. I guess that’s what their paid to do. I despise those HEB commercials (Nobody does it better) because whoever they’re talking about usually chokes. Kind of like us after a day off or a home game.
    Maybe we can rally and win the next two.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What I can’t stand about the 2018 Astros is how they make fans look so stupid when they go to the defense of the team.
    If you say something nice about them or defend them, they will immediately make you regret saying it by stinking up the joint.
    Then, when you can’t take it anymore and blow up about how lousy they are playing, they make you look ridiculous by winning a game they never should have won.
    2017 Cubs fans must be my brothers and sisters. They have to know exactly what this feels like.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Tough group to figure. I’m convinced at this point the redesign of the centerfield fan experience has impacted the hitting backdrop. I think that helps explain why the record is so bad when coming off a road trip. I can’t be convinced that these guys are not trying as hard at home as they do on the road. They are playing tight. They are not nearly as much fun playing the game in their home park. I’m not going to try and rationalize the analytics of shifting. I don’t have all the information. But when a guy makes a big play after taking up an extreme position in a shift, we take it for granted. How often do we talk about that great shift last night?

    I’m reading some real anger here. Do we get mad at our kids when they try but fail? I hope not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry Dave but there is no comparison between professional baseball where the average player salary is $4MM per year and our kids who get nothing but fun, enjoyment, along with other attributes from playing sports. Baseball, like other professional sports is a business and I don’t know about you but when you don’t perform in the business world or when your boss doesn’t like you, you get fired and if you’re lucky you get a 2 weeks severance.

      It’s not so much anger that you may be sensing here but frustration as to why we struggle at home or after a day off. Sometimes I think Hinch is too laid back and relies way too much on analytics. If that is the case let’s hire Mr. Roboto as our next manager. Occasionally players, coaches, managers, etc need to have their buts kicked to get them in gear. How about a cross between George Patton and Mr. Roberts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not anger as much as disappointment. Fans pay a ton of money to go watch them lose.
        I went when they were losing. When the joint was nearly empty. But parking was 5-10 dollars. Now your lucky to park for 50. Then you either shell over 30 bucks for a drink and a hot dog or go home dehydrated and starving.
        All anyone expects is for the manager and the team to put the best they have out there.

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    • Dave: I never got mad at my kids merely for failing but I would get after them if they failed to try. Part of putting out a successful effort is thinking right. The mind has to control the body and the emotions. I’m not sure I buy into the background being a problem since the opponents don’t seem to have much trouble outscoring us after we’ve had a day off.

      The two players who have the best approaches at the plate are Bregman and White and both of them hit BETTER at home. Here’s their home/away numbers; Bregman-BA 313/277, OPS 1012/891, TB 159/145 – – White – 313/294, OPS 1087/906. TB 57/46. It’s pretty apparent that the two best thinkers on the team are the best and most consistent performers.

      Thanks to all of you who have inquired about my health. My hip is almost good as new, my heart seems to be working right and I’ve begun the radiation treatment for the prostate cancer. Seven treatments down, thirty seven to go!

      Liked by 3 people

  18. WOOO hook OP!! Out of 79 attempt steals Miles Straw was successful 70 times!!
    I think Mookie Betts has the best baseball name in a looong time Miles Straw comes in a close 2nd.!! There’s a plus to him coming up, is he can hit!
    These are his stats from Fresno:
    304 plate appearance
    257/ 349/317
    He has plus-plus speed!!
    *drbill14* You have the BEST news ever today! All of us have called your name to the Lord, and we won’t stop until you tell us to❤!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The fact that they walked Gurriel on 4 pitches, on what was essentially an intentional walk to get to CC, tells you just what other teams think of CC’s ability at the plate right now. There is no fear of pitching to him right now.

    Naturally, he left the bases loaded with no runs once again.

    Like

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