Sep 10, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Hank Conger (24) watches the game from the dugout during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Angels defeated the Rangers 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The three best values on Reuter’s list are Jose Altuve (big surprise here), Jason Castro and Hank Conger. Castro and Conger being added to the list is a bit surprising, but with their contracts being relatively low for the services they provide, it’s certainly understandable.
Let’s start with the AL batting champ, Altuve. Having a player that is in nearly every game, hit .341 a season ago, and is the face of the Houston Astros franchise for just $1.25M is a steal. Oh, he also stole 56 bases in 2014. His contract will be a tad higher in 2015, at $2.688M, but with a projected WAR of 3.6, his projected value is $19.8M, for a net value of +$17.112M. Last season Altuve had a combined WAR of 6.5 according to Baseball Reference, which would be right about double what his 2015 projection is.
After a down season in 2014, Reuter has Jason Castro at a projected WAR of 2.7, which is just slightly higher than his 2.5 (BR) from a year ago. Even with just a slight increase, Castro is considered to be one of the best values on the Astros because he is only making $4M in 2015, which produces a net value of +$10.85. If Castro has a season closer to his 2013 campaign, he’ll challenge Altuve for the biggest bargain of the bunch.
Finally, Hank Conger comes in with a projected WAR of 1.2, which is slightly lower than the 1.4 that he put up in 2014. That works out to a projected value of $6.6M, with his actual 2015 salary being $1.075M. Carry the one, and you get a net value of +$5.525M. Conger’s defense was responsible for more than half of his WAR last season, but playing in Minute Maid Park could help awaken his bat just enough to help his offensive WAR climb a bit.
Next: 3 Worst Values