Looking ahead at 2021 stats

On a cold grey day here in the Land of Sugar, let’s look at what some “experts” are projecting for the Astros’ offense to produce in 2021.

In the chart below there are two sets of projected statistics (FG-S) Fan Graphs – Steamer and (BR) Baseball-Reference. A couple comments before you look at them for each of the ten players RIGHT NOW likely to get the most at bats. The Steamer stats include WAR, while the Baseball Reference does not. Also, Baseball-Reference does not project stats for a player like Chas McCormick, who has never played in the Majors.

Name Doubles HRs Runs RBIs BA OBP OPS WAR
Alex Bregman                
(FG-S) 37 31 100 100 .278 .393 .919 6.0
(BR) 30 25 78 76 .277 .393 .921  
Carlos Correa                
(FG-S) 29 27 80 86 .263 .345 .815 4.0
(BR) 23 21 66 76 .256 .336 .781  
Yordan Alvarez                
(FG-S) 25 37 85 98 .277 .369 .936 3.4
(BR) 14 15 37 45 .284 .380 .938  
Jose Altuve                
(FG-S) 32 23 93 82 .280 .347 .802 3.3
(BR) 24 20 79 62 .275 .343 .799  
Kyle Tucker                
(FG-S) 27 30 84 91 .256 .326 .817 2.8
(BR) 25 19 76 77 .252 .324 .778  
Martin Maldonado                
(FG-S) 15 12 42 43 .210 .283 .642 1.1
(BR) 19 14 52 49 .217 .300 .672  
Yuli Gurriel                
(FG-S) 33 23 75 85 .274 .321 .782 1.0
(BR) 31 20 72 80 .266 .315 .762  
Myles Straw                
(FG-S) 18 4 55 42 .254 .331 .670 1.0
(BR) 13 7 48 33 .243 .323 .696  
Aledmys Diaz                
(FG-S) 10 7 23 25 .253 .308 .738 0.4
(BR) 15 12 40 40 .253 .317 .764  
Chas McCormick                
(FG-S) 12 8 39 36 .239 .314 .681 0.3
(BR) N/A              
                   
Individual Players’ Projections

Some thoughts after looking these numbers over…..

  • In general, the FG-S and BR align pretty well on projected slashes (BA/OBP/OPS)
  • In general, the FG-S shows a bit better numbers for doubles, HRs, Runs and RBIs than BR does
  • The stats do not show any player(s) going nuts here. The highest BAs shown are Altuve with .280 and Alvarez with .284.
  • Bregman is the only player shown getting to 100 runs scored or 100 RBIs. It is hard to not think that whoever leads off (Altuve?) would get to 100 runs scored.
  • Unless they don’t think Yordan will play a whole year, the BR numbers for Alvarez seem almost laughable. If he is playing most of the time, the hitter we saw in 2019 should be surpassing 37 runs and 45 RBIs by June.
  • Gurriel was pretty rotten in a surreal 2020 season. But will he only put up a 1.0 WAR in 2021? Before you answer that remember he put up 2.7, 2.3 and 3.9 WAR between 2017 and 2019.
  • Carlos Correa shows decent numbers in both projections, but in his season leading up to free agency, you sure would think he might do something a bit more special.
  • Kyle Tucker shows in both projections a regression in slash numbers – .256 BA/ .326 OBP/ .817 OPS and .252 BA/ .324 OBP/ .778 OPS. It just feels like the young man will continue to hit his stride and improve with his first full season of action.
  • Of course, the numbers for Straw and McCormick are very dependent on what direction the team goes to fill the three open OF spots with free agents George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick.

Of course, all of this will be proved or disproved in between the foul lines. For most of us, Spring Training and the 2021 season cannot come soon enough.

What are your thoughts about these projections and how accurate or inaccurate you think these numbers may be?

50 comments on “Looking ahead at 2021 stats

  1. I certainly expect Altuve to hit WELL OVER .280. I feel .330 is not out of reach. Alvarez should hit a little over .300 himself. I feel, as you do, that Tucker will hit higher than the forecasters think.

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  2. BR is projecting a higher OPS for both Bregman & Alvarez compared to their FG-S projections, despite less doubles and home runs. Is BR projecting less ABs due to another shortened season?

    For Alvarez, it seems like BR is taking an average of his 2019 & 2020 numbers, including the low number of games he played.

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  3. Not knocking Fangraphs nor Baseball Reference, however if they were very accurate on their projections, some MLB team would be paying them millions for their “guesses.” The Orioles would have paid good money to know that Glenn Davis was almost done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To answer your question, I think we are going to have to do a lot better than Straw and McCormick. The other 8 guys look pretty good.
      If Alvarez plays 150 games we are going to be really good.
      A left handed hitting catcher would add on another 1.0 WAR and share Machete’s duties.

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  4. Plenty of crap shooting going on. I just hope BR does not have inside scoop on Yordan’s knees. How can they assume he’s going to be on the shelf for half the season? Altuve has a whole lot left in the tank. I don’t buy his numbers. Tucker will have a better year too. I can’t argue with Straw or McCormick though. That said, I still think Click will get something done in the outfield.

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  5. One of the reasons why the emphasis is shifting toward getting relievers is because the Astros think they are going to score a lot and they want to protect the lead better than they did last year and they want better relievers for when they do go into extra innings. Getting good relievers takes the pressure off the young pitchers. and lets them season in AAA and AA so that when they are needed in 2022 they will be ready. And they will be needed in 2022.

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  6. Yuli Gurriel is capable of so much more than 1.0 War. I hope he can put everything together and deliver more. Altuve doesn’t have to be an MVP, but how about being an All-Star and delivering 4-5 WAR.
    Not sure if you can ask for more than their projections from Carlos and Alex. But, if they deliver those projections, this could be an awesome hitting team.

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  7. BR goes by games played the previous season; does not take injuries or Covid into consideration. Basically it’s roughly what the production would be based on same number of appearances per game played

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Jose Siri’s team won game 1 of the Dominican Winter League Championship Series, 5-1. Siri was leading off and playing CF. He was 1 for 5 with a run scored and no Ks or BBs. He had one ball hit to him all night in CF.
    The only error of the game was committed by one Jonathan Villar.

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    • OP – I see that the $54 MM is for 3 years with a 4th year option. $18 MM a year is quite a stretch in this market. And he is about to turn 32. I wonder if he will be quite the high end arm at 35.

      And I chuckled when I saw the Villar error. Becky would say “I told you so”

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  9. Dan the 4th year is locked in. In the 4th year he either stays for $15 million or he gets cut and they pay him $15 million over the next 10 years. It is a guarantee that they will pay him $54 million whether he pitches for 3 or for 4 years.
    A very innovative contract. They wouldn’t pay him the AAV he asked for, so they gave him a retirement plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the clarification OP – I have never heard of that before, but it is a way to defer some of the money and like you said very innovative. Kind of like paying Jonathan Singleton to smoke doobies (allegedly) rather than play baseball….
      It is bizarre to think that Singleton, who seems like ancient history is only 29, a year younger than Aledmys Diaz and Jack Mayfield and has not played in the Astros system since 2017.

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      • Carter had that amazing power, but the pitcher had to throw the ball in the exact right place at the exact right speed for him to connect with it. It didn’t matter where or how the ball was thrown, Chris swung in the same place at the same speed…

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      • Dang, Singleton and Carter. Two former Astros first basemen whose careers both went up in smoke. One because he swung the same straight line every at bat. The other couldn’t ever walk a straight line.

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    • Quite honestly, I’d feel better about giving George Springer $54 million to pitch for four years than I’d feel about Hendricks remaining at closer for the next three.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Boy are we all in rare form today. We need a little humor and sarcasm in these tumultuous times. Thanks guys.
    Oh, and good to hear from Billy C.! You’ve bee missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. For what it is worth – in a chat on MLBTraderumors – Steve Adams pointed to the Astros as the most likely landing spot for Andrew Benintendi in a trade. He was terrible in a short stint in 2020, so-so in 2019 and quite good in 2017 and 2018. He is only 26. He only costs $6.6 MM this year and has one more year of arbitration.
    Of course it comes down to what they want vs. what we would be willing to give. It feels like the Astros are not that likely to give up prospects for an OF.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The latest MLB Trade Rumors post. This means NOT the Astros probably,

      “JANUARY 12, 4:26pm: The Red Sox have discussed Benintendi with more teams than the ones mentioned below, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports. One of those clubs “has discussed trading big-league pitching depth for Benintendi,” Speier writes.

      Like

    • My friend who covers BOS said this was the rumor on their end:

      “Benintendi and Vazquez for Whitley is something I saw. I’m not sure I’d want that. If we’re dealing those two guys I’d want something like Luis Garcia, Hunter Brown, De La Cruz. Benintendi is probably immediately better in Minute Maid. Fenway right field crushes his power a little.”

      I responded:

      “Astros love Whitley and Brown too much, but would give De la Cruz, Garcia and Abreu. That probably wouldn’t be enough for them.”

      SP Abreu, SP Garcia, OF De la Cruz and ?
      Benintendi ($6m) Catcher Vazquez ($6m)

      Hey, I’m glad we’re talking trade instead of FA’s. In fact, I’d think we need to make a little room with those other hangers-on, like Castellanos or one blocked like Nova or Toro.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. MLBTradeRumors picks Freudis Nova was chosen as the Astros top international prospect.
    Considering he’s the number 2 prospect behind Whitley this was not an in depth pick…

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    • I have Solis #6, ahead of #8 Nova.
      Nobody nationally speaks about Nova’s very suspect exit velocities, which would negate his 5-tool billing. He’s not going to remain a SS in our program either.

      The issue with Nova is he’s not going to be ready to call up for 2 full seasons (at least!) That’s just way too long to linger on this 40-man roster, where every spot like Pruitt or James’ is only held because they will be back soon. Otherwise, they’d be traded too.

      Nova needs to be traded to a team that will only have to hold him back one year, and start him 2022. Here again, the problem is every team has been drafting best athletes which are almost all shortstops.

      Not that Astros are short on Int’l talent either; Abreu, Torres, Lorenzo, Nivaldo, Lopez, Macaure, De la Cruz round out the rest of top 30.

      Like

  13. No to trading Whitley or Brown. No
    Benintendi has appeal, but two years of him is not worth 6 years of a starting pitcher. Come up with something valuable to Boston that is not your #1
    prospect.
    Freudis Nova has 2 more days as the Astros Top International Prospect.
    Freudis Nova, at age 20 and already having to be added to the 40-man and having shown almost none of his promise, is a freaking disaster. He is like the Picasso that they swear is in the basement.
    The Astros are getting Bradley, Castro, Hendricks, Hand and they are in on every name brand free agent under the sun, and they have Stanek for $1 million. Show me the signature on the dotted line. Until I see it, every incredible MLB insider is full of crap.
    Why would Boston give a $3 million raise to a guy who played almost no games and was awful the entire time? Why? And then they want to trade him because they need the money? Give them Straw even up for Benintendi if they need the money so badly.

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  14. How does a guy like Benintendi start slowing down at the age of 24? Maybe he needs a new trainer.

    Click, please, make a trade, make a controversial trade. Give us something to argue about.

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      • I have made it an entire year without watching a football game or a basketball game. Considering we have been stuck inside so much, I never would have believed it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Let me put it this way – I can take a trade that has some controversy to it – I can’t take (as in the Texans case) a series of trades that are blindly stupid as to how much value is given up vs. how much value is brought back. I know my capabilities and that I am a good engineer and probably a below average sports GM, but I could have done a better job than the Texans did over the last couple seasons and that shows you how bad a job they did.

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      • I can never totally condemn Bob McNair as he was able to somehow put together a bid that got us a new team over Los Angeles which seemed like an impossibility at the time. On the other hand the family seems like they can never get us to a championship before Easterby showed up, and may totally implode now that they’ve put faith and power in Easterby.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Jose Siri’s Gigantes team lead 2-0 in the DOWL Championship Series. Siri was 1 for 4 last night His hit was a triple and he was also HBP and had a steal of 3B. He was hitting leadoff and playing CF. Ronald Guzman of the Rangers was again the RBI star of the game and Jon Villar had 2 errors at SS for the losing team.
    I continue to update this series because this is actual baseball to talk about and one of the players is the newest Astros potential outfielding prospect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s wonderful news. Putila pointed to “Pro Scouting” as the department that presented Siri.

      Sorry for those who want bigger names to replace the semi-iconic Springer and uncle Mike. It’s already big enough shoes to fill for guys like Straw.

      Many are going to be jolted when Bryan De la Cruz gets his shot. Like fellow Dominican, I see a little of Teoscar in him. Here’s a guy who has toiled. 2014 DSL; ’15 GCL; ’16 Greeneville & TC. This man has survived/surpassed *lots of big money* in his time here;

      Alexandro Garcia, Wilyer Abreu, Marty Costes, Alex McKenna, Corey Julks, Ross Adolph, Cal Stevenson, Chandler Taylor, Stephen Wrenn, Drew Ferguson, JJ Matijevic, Seth Beer and imo Ronnie Dawson. But not Chas McCormick.

      As you know, Astros signed Bryan to a MiLB contract to protect him in R5. Didn’t offer the same to Ronnie, and they let Ferguson find greener pastures again. I consider BDLC ahead of, or close to Siri too.

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      • GoStros – What do they like most about him and this question is coming from mostly ignorance. His stats are OK, but nothing special. Not a lot of power or stolen bases. BA is OK, OPS is blah. Is he a defensive whiz or is he just recently (since we only have winter league stats since the 2019 season) growing into more of an offensive threat? Or is he a defensive whiz?

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      • If you meant Siri, Dan? All I know is he’s a bit of a minor league legend, and starting to put it together. I haven’t looked at all at his stats. Just on the word that he’s “stellar” defensively, that’s not a word used often. As I’ve mentioned, Jake Meyers I consider the best CF glove on the team, but then again I don’t know a faster athlete than Jordan Brewer. Of them all, Barber is supposed to be the “future CF in HOU.” So where does Pedro Leon fit in?

        On BDLC, he hit some towering homers of late, couldn’t pass up rostering him as a real surprise. When a BOS scout who saw him 2-3 yrs ago wants De la Cruz, they know he’s coming on.

        I would be perfectly content with Diaz 60 starts; McCormick 60 and whoever steps up for the last 40 in Left Field. Siri and Cruz still in that picture. Now Dawson, that’s a guy who would have to win me over.

        Every day that goes by I would think is further away from Brantley. I wonder if it will ever be made public, but I can imagine there was a $4-5m difference per each year of 2, that Astros didn’t want to block again. 2/22 where Brantley wanted 2/30 something like that? Most fans and podcasts said Do It, Pay him! Anyone who folllows prospects and realizes too that teams are really getting airtight budgets, aren’t spending much money. Hard to imagine the enormous credit facilities Crane has in place, and trying to replace up to 2/3 of your previous ticket, beer and jersey sale$ in the upcoming market? I’m seeing a freeze that he did not anticipate, when once Crane told newly hired Click not to fret over paying Reddick, AND being able to make a deadline move. Click said that surprised him.

        The finances have changed at this point, despite the normalcy ahead rhetoric.

        If Brantley countered with 1-yr 13.5m, that would give me pause, I’d come back with $12. If they say $12.750, I pull trigger but stipulate he helps the kids out player/coach type of rest, DH every now & again. We might have to trade him at deadline, so would someone pay him 6 million for their playoff run? Probably.

        So why not just play the prospects if it’s not an All-In season?
        In my thinking, if we trade Correa, we could be All-In in 2022. Any ideas here?

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      • Forget about the financial uncertainty for a minute – if you’re Click you probably also are uncertain about Altuve, Bregman, Alvarez, Gurriel, Greinke, and McCullers for differing reasons. The impending Correa free agency also probably keeps you up at night (unless you and Crane have already mapped out a course there). Probably the smart move is to hope you can get a couple of the young hitters to surprise you and play passably at the MLB level. There is a strong chance the other teams in the division will stink, so if you can just make it into July with a winning record you can then make whatever move(s) would put you into the post season where anything can happen.

        I was going to comment that there was no reason to acquire Benintendi when there are so many free agents available…but looking at the list is pretty depressing. They all have warts. I’d rather try a year of Domingo Santana than give up on Whitley in that trade though…but this is purely as an outsider who hasn’t seen his workouts.

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      • GoStros1, do you know why De La Cruz was shut down in the DOWL after only 8 games this winter. He was hitting .438(7 for 16) and then he was gone!

        Like

  16. Athletics
    Astros
    Angels
    Mariners
    Rangers
    I checked in at all their SB Nation websites this morning and it is like an underwater funeral for these five teams. There aren’t even cardboard cutouts
    of these five divisional rivals fandoms.
    It is absolutely amazing how unsatisfied the fans of these five teams are.

    Like

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