Last week I put together a projection of the offensive output that FanGraphs has projected for each player expected to make the Opening Day roster in 2015. At the urging of our readers, I have also put together the strikeout projections for these same players. Let’s take a look.
If you add up each percentage and take the average, it comes out to 22.58 percent. The actual projection is likely to be slightly higher than this number, with bench players like Marwin Gonzalez helping to skew the average a little lower. It will all come down to the number of plate appearances each player gets.
The average 22.58 percent strikeout rate is actually below last year’s total of 23.8 percent. All of that added power, and a lower K rate? This must be too good to be true! At first that’s what I thought, too. Chris Carter‘s career rate is 33.6, and they are projecting a 31.6 rate for him in 2015, but it makes sense with him dropping to a 31.8 rate last season.
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Colby Rasmus‘ projection is basically the average of his career rate of 25.2, and last season’s rate of 33.0. If he is able to stay healthy, I’m betting that his number will come in closer to his career average. There is room to hope for lower rates for these two players than the projections are giving us, which could also keep the average of 22.58 closer to the real value, after plate appearances are factored in.
While this slight projected decrease may not seem like much, it would move the Houston Astros up from 29th in baseball to 27th, which is a trend fans would like to continue to see. While the strikeout problem is far from solved, the offensive potential and overall excitement that these high volume K guys provide will be well worth the price of admission to Minute Maid Park in 2015. There is a decent chance that the Astros will also hit the most home runs in the majors next year with last year’s number one, Baltimore (211) losing Nelson Cruz and missing out on Rasmus.
With these projections in mind, what do you think about the Astros offense now?