The 2014 Houston Astros have taken a couple of steps in the right direction. Although they are likely not going to see the 30-game improvement that Jim Crane envisioned, they are en route to avoiding a 100-loss season. Part of their “success” has been a growing offense.
A discussion about the Houston Astros without Jose Altuve would not be complete. And it is nearly impossible to not begin with him. The first half that he enjoyed will be difficult for any Astro to match in the future. Perhaps even the rest of MLB as he was the 1st player since 1933 to record 130 hits and 40 stolen bases prior to the All Star break.
One of my chief complaints is the rate of strikeouts. In 2013 the Houston Astros led the entire major leagues in strikeouts which included the K King in Chris Carter. For the entirety of the 2013 campaign their K rate was a staggering 25.5%. Though this season is better they still rank 1st in K rate with 23.5% but 2nd in strikeouts with 835 (2 behind the Miami Marlins).
But it seems like with strikeouts come the dingers. The emergence of George Springer has given Carter some competition in home runs. The duo each have 19 home runs going into the All Star Break. Springer’s 19 set an Astros rookie record for home runs prior to the break. Lance Berkman, for the time being, owns the full season rookie record with 21. Overall this team ranks 4th in all of MLB with 103 home runs.
There are obviously many more areas of discussion when regarding the Astros’ offense. The staff writers here at Climbing Tal’s Hill will discuss their thoughts below: