Anyone with a modicum of perception knows that the Astros rode superlative starting and relief pitching with above-average, but not a great offense to the World Championship.
It may come as a surprise just how good the Astros’ offense was. This is partly because offense has been falling across baseball to the point that MLB has instituted the no-shift rule for the 2023 season. Here are some numbers for the 2022 Astros offense….
- 737 runs (third in the AL)
- 214 HRs (second)
- .248 BA (fifth)
- .319 OBP (fourth)
- .743 OPS (third)
That is more than decent, but Astro fans have had their perspective changed by a season like:
- 2017 – 896 runs (first), 238 HRs (second), .282 BA (first), .346 OBP (first), .824 OPS (first)
But back to reality….
One way I like to look at things with the Astros is in comparison to other teams or to other players that play the same position. Relative to this – I like to look at the following website, where you can click on it and slice and dice the stats.
Using that resource, here is what the Astros’ hitting stats look like by position. It accumulates the stats for everyone on the team who played a particular position. And it looks like this….
|C||.187 (14th in AL)||.246 (T14th in AL)||.565 (14th in AL)||17 (8th in AL)||61 (10th in AL)|
|1B||.235 (10th)||.285 (12th)||.656 (12th)||14 (13th)||62 (13th)|
|2B||.272 (7th)||.355 (2nd)||.834 (1st)||30 (1st)||62 (8th)|
|SS||.251 (6th)||.288 (10th)||.702 (7th)||24 (T 3rd)||72 (6th)|
|3B||.264 (2nd)||.365 (1st)||.820 (3rd)||24 (6th)||102 (2nd)|
|LF||.277 (3rd)||.363 (1st)||.853 (1st)||32 (1st)||98 (1st)|
|CF||.210 (13th)||.270 (14th)||.598 (12th)||11 (13th)||48 (13th)|
|RF||.261 (1st)||.333 (4th)||.813 (3rd)||32 (2nd)||116 (1st)|
|DH||.264 (T 2nd)||.352 (1st)||.828 (2nd)||29 (3rd)||86 (4th)|
- As awful as the catcher slash stats are – it is amazing that they accounted for 61 RBIs – only one less than the 1st basemen and 2nd basemen
- Look at those numbers for the 1B (mostly Yuli Gurriel) and realize there can be a great improvement next year. Jose Abreu’s stats would rank as the following vs. the other AL first basemen – .304 (1st) .378 (1st) .824 (2nd) 15 HR (11th) 75 RBIs (9th). This is like adding Michael Brantley to the Astros lineup with the potential that Abreu may channel the power he had showed before 2022 and kick up those HR and RBI numbers with all the help around him.
- Speaking of Michael Brantley, you would expect that if he can stay healthy, it might help the CF stats above. Really? Well, instead of playing Chas McCormick a bunch in LF, trading off with Yordan Alvarez, Chas can spend more time in centerfield and improve the bad numbers there. Looking at Chas’ overall numbers against the centerfielders for all teams – he would rank… .245 BA (11th), .332 OBP (2nd), .738 OPS (5th). And if you factored his ABs from his 359 ABs to a standard season of 550 ABs. he would have had 22 HRs (5th) and 69 RBIs (7th).
Note – don’t look too closely at how Chas hit in CF in 2022 (.217 BA/.285 OBP/ .640 OPS) vs. LF (.235 BA/ .352 OBP/ .730 OPS) vs. RF (.378 BA/ .462 OBP/ 1.173)…..Holy smokes, Kyle Tucker don’t look over your shoulder.
- I was pinging on Tucker and Alex Bregman over their low batting averages in 2022. But, haha – Tucker’s BA is better than any team’s RFs put up, and Bregman is second compared against other 3Bs.
- You would think that the Astros’ DH numbers would be better than shown, considering Yordan Alvarez won the DH award in 2022. Well, of course, the reason these numbers are down is that Yordan only played 77 games at DH, which meant his teammates filled in the other 85 games (and dragged the numbers down).
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?