Over the past few days, I have handed out grades to the catchers and infielders and it is now the outfield turn to get their mid season grades. Overall, this group has played pretty well this season and the grades won’t be nearly as harsh.
Carlos Lee- Carlos Lee started off very slow and was heading for a failing grade after about the first month of the season. The 100 million dollar man was hitting only .194 and had only two home runs after the month of April was in the books. He has heated up as we make our way to the summer as he has hit over .300 each of the past two months, .316 in May and .303 in June. He also has added five home runs and 29 RBI over those 60 days. He continues his hitting in July with at least one hit in four of the last five games. This increase in production can only help the Astros case in trying to trade Lee, if they choose to and Lee agrees to waive his no-trade clause. If they can’t trade him, I wouldn’t mind keeping him in the lineup if he continues to produce and hit over .300.
Michael Bourn- Bourn looks like he is continuing his habit of bad year, good year. In 2008 he hit .229, then saw his average shoot up to .285 in 2009 and drop back down to .265 last year. Well this year has been his best to date as he is hitting .292 and leads the majors in stolen bases with 35. He is also fourth in the majors with seven triples, but is well behind the pace set by Reyes who has 15. The guy has been a good lead-off hitter this season getting on base and stealing bases to get into scoring position. He also has been playing pretty good defense in center field, dealing with Tal’s Hill. Bourn is one of the players who could bring back some pretty good prospects if the Astros decide to make a move.
Hunter Pence- Where to start with Hunter Pence? He leads the Astros in numerous categories, has had three seperate hit streaks of over 10 games and has become the face of this franchise. He is hitting .327 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI and is tied for fourth in the majors with 24 doubles. He is the Astros’ lone All-Star and seems to be the one player teams covet the most at the trade deadline. However, Ed Wade has already come out and said he wants a king’s ransom for Pence and hopefully Pence stays with the team for a number of years.
Jason Michaels- Michaels has been working his way back into the rotation after a stint on the disabled list and had his best month of the season in June. He hit .283 and had two home runs, which was the first home run he hit since September of last year. Michaels is a good veteran bat to have on the bench but won’t be pushing for starting time anytime soon.
Jason Bourgeois- This young outfielder is having a great 2011. He is hitting .353 and is second on the team in stolen bases with 17, even though he doesn’t start and has been on the DL since June 29th. He has shown some great potential this season and could take over the leadoff spot and center field if Bourn is traded at the end of the month.