Ranking the 2019 Astros 1-25


Staring at the great starts of so many Astros this season, ranking them would seem to be a daunting task. Well, we love to be daunted here, so this is an attempt to rank the 2019 Houston Astros through the first month and a half of the season.

  1. George Springer. He has been the best player in the AL and in the top five in all of baseball through the first 6 weeks or so of the season, which makes his sore back (shades of Carlos Correa) problematic. Leading the league in runs scored (41), HRs (17), RBIs (42), XBHs (27) and SLG (.654) and close to the top in others, he has been the core of a hot offense for the Astros.
  2. Michael Brantley. See this – https://chipalatta.com/2019/05/17/looking-at-player-x-the-best-positional-free-agent-signed-for-2019/
  3. Justin Verlander. Among starters in the AL, he is 2nd in wins (7), ERA (2.38), and IP (64.1), first in WHIP (0.793) and hits allowed per 9 IP (4.9) – he has been worth every penny and then some that the organization has paid him to date.
  4. Alex Bregman. After his annual slow start to the season, he has been on a power splurge in May with 9 HRs in the first 3 weeks. He is in the top 10 in HRs (14), RBIs (34) and OPS (.956) in the AL and is just warming up.
  5. Carlos Correa. Correa is completely back from his back injury both in the field where he has been terrific and at the bat. He is first in HRs (11), and second in RBIs (31) and OPS (.926) among AL SSs this season.
  6. Ryan Pressly. What is there to say about the man who holds the major league record of 40 straight appearances (and counting) without giving up a run? This season, he has pitched 19 times for 21 total innings and has that 0.00 ERA and 0.429 WHIP. Walks? Zero. HBPs? Zero. He did allow two inherited runners to score back in April, but otherwise, he has been lockdown brilliant this season.
  7. Roberto Osuna. Basically, the only difference between Osuna and Pressly is that Osuna gave up a run back on April 5, but has not let any inherited runners score on the season.   He is on a run of 24 straight save conversions, 12 of them in 2019. He has a 0.42 ERA, a 0.422 WHIP in 21 appearances and 21.1 IP and has only given up 7 hits and 2 walks on the season. Pressly and Osuna give the Astros a tough-as-nails back end to the bullpen.
  8. Wade Miley. With the Astros losing Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. from last year’s rotation, they needed the signing of Miley to work out for them and it has. He has been rock solid with a 4-2 record, 3.51 ERA and 1.172 WHIP. He’s given up 4 runs only once in 10 starts and gives the team a chance every time out. Plus he is a joy to watch as he pitches like he’s late for a party.
  9. Gerrit Cole. It is insane to think that a pitcher as good as Cole is the 9th best player on this team. His 4-4 record, 3.56 ERA and 1.038 WHIP are good, but not near what he did in 2018. To be fair, if you drop one outing (4.2 IP / 8 ER) from his record, he suddenly has an excellent 2.55 ERA and .906 WHIP. And he does lead all starters in the majors with 13.8 K/ 9 IP. He will likely move up this list a lot during the rest of the season.
  10. Robinson Chirinos. With Brian McCann, Martin Maldonado and even Evan Gattis gone, the catching position was a dark hole that Chirinos has grabbed for his own. He has a solid .252 BA / .381 OBP / .885 OPS and has handled his new staff well.
  11. Josh Reddick. Josh would be higher if he had been knocking in more runs. He has been solid to spectacular in the field and his .331 / .384 / .850 slash is part of a big comeback year for him.
  12. Jake Marisnick. This high? Well, he will sink a bit along the way (his .398 BABIP is unsustainable). But he has been clutch both at the bat and the field and if he can keep that .292 BA from falling below – say .250, he will continue to get quite a bit of playing time.
  13. Will Harris. He’s been pitching in the shadows of Osuna and Pressly, but pitching very well after a so-so 2018. Harris has a 1.08 ERA and even more important he has not allowed any of the 6 runners he has inherited to score. He is an important bridge to the last two innings.
  14. Jose Altuve. 14th best? Really, Dan P? Well he certainly has had a rough start to the season compared to most of his seasons. Outside of a nutty 5 games where he launched 6 HRs, he has been one of the weaker offensive players on the team. Hopefully, this means he will come off the IL and trend back to his norm.
  15. Brad Peacock. He’s had two bad starts and six that were good or very good. He has been a little less consistent than the starters ahead of him, but a 5-2 record with a 3.59 ERA is solid from a guy who was pulled out of the bullpen to start this season.
  16. Hector Rondon. He has not pitched in as many high leverage spots as the guys ahead of him in the bullpen, but Rondon has responded well with a 2.30 ERA and allowing only 2 of the 7 runners he inherited to score.
  17. Collin McHugh. This sounds like a broken record, but most of McHugh’s starts were good. He had two horrendous starts out of his last four that got him dropped from the rotation. He has been a good soldier and gone to the bullpen and did well in a couple tries so far.
  18. Yuli Gurriel. In 2018, Yuli’s overall numbers were meh for a corner infielder, but because he was insane with RISP (.403 BA/1.052 OPS) and insaner with 2 outs RISP (.417 BA/ 1.179 OPS) all was forgiven. This season he has been ineffective most of the time and worse with RISP (.205/.622) and 2 outs RISP (.211/.654). Maybe this is the eventual spot for Yordan Alvarez.
  19. Aledmys Diaz. After a horrendous start, he has gotten better as he has had more consistent ABs and is currently hitting .266 BA / .826 OPS. His 21 RBIs in only 79 ABs is pretty impressive.
  20. Josh James. There is a good chance James was not ready for the season after being injured in training camp and he stumbled along in April, ballooning to a 7.90 ERA. Since then he has had 6 scoreless appearances – 10 innings, 13 Ks, 3 hits and got the win in Boston after a solid 3 inning outing there. His ERA has been on the decline and sits at 4.56 now.
  21. Chris Devenski. After a poor 2018, Devo has been relegated to lower leverage spots in 2019. He has been highly inconsistent with a couple good outings followed by a stinker. Previously, pretty tough against lefties, they are raking him for .324 BA / .900 OPS in 2019.
  22. Tony Kemp. After a tough April (except for a walk-off HR against Cleveland) Tony has been slowly picking up the stats in May. Will he be the odd man out when Jose Altuve returns?
  23. Tyler White. Probably the biggest disappointment for the season as the solid turn he took at DH in 2018 has turned into a wimpy turn where he hit his first homer in his 29th game and had no RBIs in his first 17 games.
  24.  Framber Valdez. Framber has some talent and some movement on his pitches, but walking 9 in 18 innings means it is hard for the team to trust him in the higher leverage spots.
  25. Max Stassi. He is throwing out 29% of runners and seems to call decent games and all, but his bat is just stinking it up. His .160 BA/ .222 OBP/ .442 OPS is only one step above a pitcher. Yes, he is the backup catcher, but he needs to step it up a bit or the team will be making the next mid-season Martin Maldonado pickup.

So…

  • How would you rank the 25?
  • Who do you think will make the biggest climb by the end of the season?
  • Who will have the biggest drop-off by the end of the season?
  • Who won’t be on the list by the end of the season?
  • Who will be added? (Note Corbin Martin was not included after only two starts)

67 comments on “Ranking the 2019 Astros 1-25

  1. Put # 17 on the injured list. Brady Rodgers will be up to take his place. I like Brady personally, but he hasn’t shown much ability to get ML outs – so he’ll probably be my #24 [everyone from Gurriel through Framber move up one]

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  2. From a MLB traderumors chat where people ask the proprietors questions

    Leeor
    3:36
    When is Yordan Alveraz being called up

    Steve Adams
    3:38
    They have zero urgency to promote him since they’re running away with the division despite getting little to nothing from Tony Kemp and Tyler White. I’d say he’ll come up when an injury gives him a path to regular ABs. Realistically, they could improve the team by going with Alvarez over White or Kemp at any point here, but there’s no need to give Alvarez Super Two status at this point.

    All of that is a roundabout way of saying — broad range: late June to early August. I think they’ll want to get him some MLB experience (and a fair bit of it) before the postseason anyway.

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    • If you had a scale that had “Patience” at 0, and on the other end was “Knee Jerk Over Reaction” at 10, the Front Office is probably in the negative numbers.

      Unless your name is Giles.

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  3. And then this laugher

    The guy
    3:56
    Yordan Alveraz available by trade ? MLB pieces and prospects?

    Steve Adams
    3:57
    Pretty clear path to regular work at 1B/DH for him in Houston. I don’t think they’ll consider moving him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s hard to believe that the Carlos Correa we’ve seen this season could be the fifth best player on any team, but he is.
    It’s also hard to believe that the best team in baseball could have such a weak bottom five, now even weaker with the subtraction of McHugh and the addition of Rodgers.
    I think Kemp and Devenski should swap places. Kemp has had some good moments. Devenski hasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree. However, according to Blummer and TK, he was throwing sliders/curves in his last appearance. If so, he might fool some guys going forward. White and Stassi have negative WAR right now, and so does McHugh and Devenski.

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  5. At the plate, some guys will correct down and some will correct up. And we’ll likely see at least Alvarez at some point won’t we? Bregman is going on a real tear soon. And Altuve will grow his average.

    No way our 7th, 8th and 9th inning guys can remain perfect. Expect a few blown saves at some point. It’s life. I still think our middle relief is somewhat questionable, but I sure like the way our big righty has looked out of the pen lately. We need McHugh back soon too.

    I think Cole has not yet given us his best innings. And I think Martin will be a positive contribution. Luhnow will get another significant starter late too. At least I think so..

    I think we win 100 to 110 games. And unless we get hit hard by injuries, Luhnow is going to have an excellent roster prepared for the post season.

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  6. DAM-IT!!! Justin took a no hitter into the 7th, but gave up a homerun. What I wouldn’t give to have been there to see THAT! Yep Dan……WORTH EVERY PENNY CRANE IS GIVING HIM…AND THEN SOME!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My fault Becky. I was telling the darling wife about how a local radio station had spent the afternoon talking about how Justin could pitch a no-hitter tonight and as I was telling her that, the homerun was hit. The Mrs. would not let me live that down.

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  7. Good win – JV so excellent – one hit – the HR by Abreu and gives the bullpen other than Rondon a rest.
    Gurriel with a homer and a single and some of his better bats lately. Brantley with a beautiful piece of hitting going the other way for a big double.
    These guys are fun and good.

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    • Maybe Altuve will take some advice from Brantley when he returns. Home runs are neat but a .326 average with lots of hits and situational hitting is just super. Last night they referred to him at least twice as a “professional hitter” and he’s just that. Altuve knows what needs to be done and I expect him to right the ship.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Question for all the great number cruncher’s on this blog. Is there any way the team can get deals done the would keep CC, Springer, and Cole her for the next 5 years? Side bar Toro has been killing it since Beer was inserted behind him.

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    • I don’t see a way to keep all three. Signing Cole would eliminate one of the others. Possibly both.
      But, replacing the #2 starter with what the Astros have in the minors would be easier than replacing an All-Star SS or CF.
      To me, the key would be to let Cole walk with a QO, since I don’t think he is signable.
      Then I would try my best to get Springer to sign an extension. With Altuve, Springer and Bregman tied up. You might then try to sign Correa long term, which might put you over the cap for Verlander’s last year.
      By then, if our guys from the minors can have replaced Gurriel, Reddick, Brantley and Catcher, whose contracts have expired, those league minimums might make the core 4’s salaries fit.
      By then, the rotation and bullpen must be made up of mostly Astros prospects who have made the jump to the majors. That’s the only way to afford the Big 4 long term.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. – Don’t be surprised if Diaz continues to hit well. His career BABIP is .285 and this season it’s only .254. His luck is bound to change.
    – The Astros #1 starter is 8-1 with a 2.24 ERA.
    – The Astros #2 starter is 4-4 with a 3.56 ERA.
    – The Astros #3 starter is 4-2 with a 3.51 ERA.
    – The Astros #4 starter is 5-2 with a 3.59 ERA.
    – The Astros #5 starter is a 1-0 rookie with a 3.86 ERA.
    Isn’t that what a great rotation is supposed to look like?
    -Bregman is hitting .257 in May. One of these days he’s going to catch fire.
    – Astros starting pitchers have only 3 losses in May, and 2 of those belong to Collin McQ. The other belongs to Peacock.
    – Astros relievers have one loss in May and that belongs to Framber.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m totally with you on Diaz. He’s one of the guys I was thinking of last night in the “correct up” category. On the flip side, how long can Reddick keep this up? He’s in my “correct down” side. But even if he holds his own and keeps playing solid defense, he’s on his way to an important season with the Astros.

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      • Well he has hit the ball. And at 19, to go to AA, he must be doing something right. Unless they just don’t want to disturb any other prospect at a different location. Or maybe he’s being showcased? Who knows? Luhnow knows but he won’t tell us!

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    • Santana has been in extended spring training since the season started. Could it be that his bat has showed so well that they assigned him to CC until short season teams begin? He hit .348 in short season Appy league last summer for the Mets after turning 19 in July. He is our #19 prospect.

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    • The Astros are doing some prospect moving. 19 year old pitching prospect Jayson Schroeder has come into the game for Quad Cities, after their starter gave up 10 hits and six runs. The first batter Schroeder faced got on base as the result of an error and he ended up giving up 3 runs.
      Schroeder came out for his second inning of work and struck out the side. I’m pretty sure we will see more guys from extended spring training get melded onto teams in the next couple of weeks.

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  10. I’m not sure if anyone is watching this game, but James threw a whole lot of good pitches in the 6th. He was painting the corners and did not get one call. He had a very small strike zone to work with.

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      • Yes, how well do I remember it. Maddux was getting strike calls when the ball was 6 inches off the plate. But, yes the umpiring has been somewhat stinky this year. Do you think it’s deliberate or just bad umpiring?

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      • I don’t think it is deliberate. It may hurt one team worse than another, but I think it is just crappy umpiring. As mentioned above, Blummer had to laugh when it went to 3-0 count on James and ALL the pitches were on a portion of the pitch track zone. Later on Blummer mentioned that no one was going to get a strike call on the inside part of the plate.

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      • I, too, think it is just terrible judgement by the umpires. What is really bad, in my opinion, is that this is across the major leagues, not just against one or two teams.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Can’t watch it….but that escalated quck. I just hope Josh can shake it off. Can’t win em all. The A’S won and the arlington little league did too. What on earth happened to the M’s???

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Got to give these Sox guys a certain level of credit. They’ve got a batch of good hitters and have shown it tonight.

    I’m not worried about James, but it still does not look like Devenski has much.

    And although I can’t add up all the outs, we’ve hit ground balls right at guys for multiple outs in 5 or 7 innings. Weird game. Maybe we’ll score 7 in the 9th.

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  13. Corpus Christi’s game against the Sod Poodles was worse than the Astros game. The Hooks lost 7-6 on the wings of future history teacher, Brett Adcock’s, brilliant 5 inning start. Eight hits and seven runs.
    The Hooks hit six solo home runs and lost 7-6.
    Even weirder than that was the fact that a pitcher named Jonathan Bermudez came on in relief of Adcock and threw 3 perfect innings. Bermudez had a 9.64 ERA in 4 appearances with Low A Quad Cities, which earned him a promotion to AA. He’s a 23rd round 2018 draft pick out of Puerto Rico and MILB doesn’t even have a picture of him, nor do they mention he pitched for Southeastern Louisiana.
    Adcock has a perfect 0-5 record with Corpus Christi with an ERA of 8.18.

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  14. The first place Yankees beat the O’s 7-5 yesterday, behind 63 year old David Cone’s complete game. After putting their 40th player on IL the Yankees brought up 14 players from extended spring training and they pounded Baltimore pitching.
    Cone replaced 64 year old CC Sabathia on the Bronx Bomber’s roster Wednesday, after CC couldn’t remember which dugout he was supposed to go to and kept calling for Joe Torre to catch for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jose Luis Bravo is listed as the starting pitcher for Quad Cities today. Bravo has already pitched for Round Rock, Corpus Christi, Fayetteville and Quad Cities this year and Bravo will actually walk back to a bus in between innings rather than a dugout. The River Bandits will wear road unis in his honor, even though they actually don’t have home unis, because they don’t have a home. Bravo is considered the true mascot for Quad Cities because he pitches for all four Houston affiliates. Bravo can’t wait for the Short Season minors to begin because he’s never been to New York and wants to play for Tri Cities, where he hopes to be noticed by the Yankees and get to play in the majors against the Orioles later this year.

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      • No, Dan, It’s just that baseball is such a stupid game. Forrest Whitley cant get anybody out at all. And yet somebody like Cy Sneed, who sucks so much of the time, gets the start against a really good San Antonio team and throws eight one-hit, shutout innings against them. And it’s impossible to figure it out because the next time he pitches, he’ll get knocked around by a last place team.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you notice closely we are having some late Winter storms blowing winds Southeast. Check a map and part of Oklahoma is “down wind” from Colorado. That is the home of legal weed. SSSSOOOoooooo. Like wow, Dude, there is a chance that 1OP is just feeling really good these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. It used to be that when a pitcher threw a 101 mph fastball on the outside corner at the knees it was called a miracle. Now it’s called a ball.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I was looking at the top prospect performances for all the teams which included Yordan Alvarez’s 19th homer in 41 games and there was a prospect for one of the other teams named San Huff .
    To an oldster like me that took me back to one of the toughest LBs ever – Sam Huff.
    I guess I’m really old when I remember 85 yr olds playing

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I wanna see some dirty uniforms tonight. These guys need to up their game
    because they will face *3* lefty’S when the redsox come in tonight.
    I almost forgot…..our guys are on regular Fox Saturday.

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  19. I think it’s obvious who the heart and soul of this team is. It’s George Springer. They really look lifeless out there tonight. Opportunities missed.

    Like

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