I’ve had to wait far too long to finally say this, but happy (Astros) Opening Day!
In an effort to provide you guys with more interesting and prevalent material, I’ve decided not to cover every player on the 40-man roster and to only cover the ones who will have an impact worthy of noting on this year’s team.
So, without further ado.
As you may have already seen from previous posts, Chris Carter will be hitting in the six hole tonight behind Jesus Guzman. This one is definitely a head-scratcher for me. Guzman didn’t show us much of anything this spring while Carter continued to show off his Paul-Bunyan-esque power. I don’t see Guzman hitting above Carter in the lineup for very long.
We all know Chris tends to strike out sometimes. Okay, more than just sometimes. More like 34.7% of the time over his career.
Everyone looks at the ugly strikeout numbers and condemns him of being a free-swinging power overload at the plate. What people tend to overlook is the fact that last year he led the team in home runs, RBIs, and surprisingly, on-base percentage. His .223 batting average did leave a little more to be desired, so I’m hoping to see an improvement upon that this season.
Expect Chris Carter to DH. A lot. The Astros can not afford another outfield experiment, plus he hardly possesses the skills necessary to play first. However, he will be a huge game-changer with the bat in his hands. A slash line of .240/.335/.460 would be a decent improvement over last season and I expect him to produce numbers similar to or better than that. 30 home runs is almost a given for Carter and another 80 RBI season should be expected as well. Maybe with Grossman hitting second moving everyone else down, we could see Carter get close to 100+ RBIs.
That last part is probably a bit far-fetched, but I’m not convinced that what you see is what you get with Chris. There is still time for him to develop at the age of 26.
As far is 2014 is concerned, Carter is the impact bat of this lineup with the exception of Springer at some point. The strikeouts are definitely coming, but so are the crawford box souvenirs.David Manning
-USA TODAY Sports