For the first time ever, a Jose Altuve post gets pushed back. With the Astros trade for Evan Gattis, I thought it would be a good time to give Astros fans and fantasy players a look at the newest Astro. We will look at how his move to Houston could change his fantasy baseball 2015 stock. They call him “El Oso Blanco,” which means the White Bear from his time playing baseball in South America. What will the bear bring to fantasy owners?
Position Eligibility in 2015 First of all, probably only in 2015, Gattis will be eligible for 4 positions, which is a good thing for a fantasy owner. He will be eligible at catcher, outfielder, designated hitter, and first baseman in 2015. The good news there is that in Atlanta, he was catching on a regular basis after the Braves lost Brian McCann to the Yankees. He will have catcher eligibility this year, but probably won’t catch enough to keep it for 2016. Tristian Cockcroft of ESPN says that Evan Gattis has moved up to being a top 5 catcher (111th overall player) now for 2015. Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, Yadier Molina, and Devin Mesoraco are the only catchers ranked higher according to ESPN.
Gattis will be a regular in the young Astros lineup, batting fifth probably. He will mostly play left field and see some time as the designated hitter. Catchers normally get two rest days a week to protect their bodies, but Gattis can play daily by filling in at the DH position. Most owners will love to get outfielder playing time in the catcher slot of their team. With the trade to the Astros, his fantasy value rises because of his catcher eligibility.
The Minute Made Park Factor Source: FanGraphs
Not only will Gattis have more at-bats with the Astros in 2015, but he will be in a more hitter friendly ballpark than Turner Field. Some of his warning track fly outs will become cheap home runs in the (Bear Den), Crawford Boxes. His normal home runs will become legendary blasts that people will say, “Remember when….”
The Astros have the Crawford Boxes in left field, which they should consider changing the name to “The Bear Den” because Evan Gattis will hit a lot of balls that direction, while also manning the position. 87% of his home runs last year were hit to left field and would probably bounce off the wall under the train. Gattis had an 18% home run to fly ball ratio in 2014, while hitting fly balls in 45% of his at-bats. Some of those fly balls will end up going out at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros Lineup Evan Gattis will fit in nicely with the young players known as Generation K by this writer. In 2014 he struck out 24.2% of the time. So yes, he does strikeout more than a few times, but he has something that most Astros don’t have, which is a high OPS. He will be hitting after George Springer and Chris Carter in the lineup, so he will get some balls to hit.
“When Gattis puts the ball in the air, it’s going to travel a good distance. That could mean plenty of cheap homers when your home park is just 315 feet deep down the left-field line.”-Michael Beller
For the past 2 years, Gattis has shown potential the ability to hit 30+ home runs, if given enough games to do so. According the
, “Even Gattis’ fly balls that don’t sail over the fences typically have a good deal of flight. His average fly ball distance last season was 300.63 feet, which ranked 11th in the league. That was an increase from 293.11 feet in 2013, which was still much farther than league average. When Gattis puts the ball in the air, it’s going to travel a good distance. That could mean plenty of cheap homers when your home park is just 315 feet deep down the left-field line.”
Looking at the projections, Roto Professor is the only one who changed the projections to represent the trade to the Astros. The numbers in the Roto Professor shows what the change to Minute Maid Park can do. So to summarize the projections above, I found the average of all the stats. So here are my composite projections based on the average of the projections I had available.
My guess from other projections: 56 R / 24 HR/ 70 RBI/ 0.235 AVG
2015 Fantasy Rankings for Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis did not play in the outfield in 2014, so he is not ranked in the outfield yet. He only qualifies for catcher and designated hitter for the 2015 season until he gains the eligibility. With Gattis, Chris Carter, and George Springer, there will be many strikeouts and home runs to witness.
Evan Gattis will help the Astros and your fantasy baseball team. With half of his games at Minute Maid Park, 30+ home runs are not out of the question. The only thing that you have to worry about is besides Jose Altuve, who will be on base when he hits a home run? George Springer and Chris Carter need to learn how to not strikeout as much, and get on base more. Once they do, this will have a positive impact of Gattis’s RBI numbers. Expect a breakout season in 2015, something Astros fans are desperate for after giving up 3 top prospects for him.
My gut projections: 60 R /31 HR/ 85 RBI/ 0.250 AVG
What’s next in the series?
January 2nd, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 1: Astros Top 10 prospects
January 16th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 3: Evan Gattis
January 23rd, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 4: Jose Altuve
January 30th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 5: Chris Carter
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
February 6th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 6: Luke Gregerson
February 13th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 7 : Dallas Keuchel
February 20th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 8: Jed Lowrie and other infielders
February 27th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 9: Astros outfielders
March 6th, 2015 – Astros in your Fantasy Part 10: Astros Rotation