Jason Bourgeois hit .294 in 238 at-bats with the Astros last season. It was an up and down season for the native Houstonian that included two lengthy stints on the disabled list. An oblique injury and a strained quad cost Bourgeois considerable time during the first half of the season. At the All-Star break Bourgeois had an attractive .353/.371/.422 slash line. But his second half numbers were considerably lower. Bourgeois hit only .250/.287/.309 after the break.
Bourgeois had a dismal August, hitting only .157, but finished strong with a .341 average in September. Bourgeois split time with Brian Bogusevic in rightfield after Hunter Pence was traded to Philadelphia. The speedster was also used as a pinch-runner and late inning defensive replacement. His 31 stolen bases ranked ninth in the National League. His tenacious style of play earned Bourgeois the Astros Heart and Hustle Award in 2011.
A second round draft pick by the Rangers in 2000 out of Forest Brook High School, Bourgeois toiled nine seasons in the minors before a September call-up by the White Sox in 2008. After a cup of coffee with the Brewers in 2009 the Astros claimed Bourgeois off waivers. Bourgeois turns 30 in January and it will be interesting to see what role he plays for the Astros in 2012. Houston has signed three minor league free agents that will challenge Bourgeois for playing time in the outfield. Bourgeois played seven innings at second base last season and could see more action there in Spring Training. Becoming efficient at the position could save Bourgeois’ spot on the Opening Day roster.