Mar 8, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Houston Astros right fielderJake Marisnick
(6) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at a spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Ok, now this one will be fun. I’ll go last this time to give everyone else their say.
Andrew: Correa. There’s no reason at the moment to expect him to get the call up for a few months, but I’m envisioning a situation where we get hit with a couple of injuries and his arrival is brought forward. Of course, even if he isn’t called up until later in the season, he may still have time to impress enough to win this accolade.
Issa: Jake Marisnick. I love the tweets from the likes of Jon Heyman saying that he’s hearing from scouts that if Marisnick gets his average up to only .260 he’ll be a star. Can’t wait to watch him in center field this season.
Andy P: Evan Gattis. Sure Evan has already been a national story with the Braves, but he hasn’t put that full season together. Getting Gattis away from catching, and being able to platoon him at lf/dh will greatly benefit offensive production. I look for Gattis to thrive batting behind Springer and leading the team in home runs.
Brandon: I believe Correa is one of the top 3 baseball players the Astros have and he should be given an opportunity to show that at the major league level in the second half of the season. However, I do not believe that this organization will promote him (unless he is able to sign a Singleton type deal later in the year). Therefore, my breakout player for this season will Luis Valbuena. I think he will prove that he is a solid major league starting third baseman and give us the kind of dependability, leadership and clutch hitting that reminds people of Bill Spiers.
Ryan: Jake Marisnick. He’s going to prove to be a stable in the outfield for years to come. His glove and speed are a plus, and he’s going to pick up where he left off his rookie year. Could be a great nine-hole hitter leading back to Altuve at the top of the order.
Thomas: Jake Marisnick. Everyone loves his defense. If he puts his bat to good use and uses his speed on the basepaths, he’ll be a very dangerous weapon.
Brian: The breakout player is going to be Wojo. If he can stay healthy, he could be a stabilizing force in the middle of that rotation.
Eric: Jake Marisnick is going to show Astros fans why they to send Jon Singleton down, so Marisnick can patrol center field. He will serve as a second lead-off type hitter, where he and Jose Altuve will team up on many double steals. He will top off with 12 home runs, but will also have 12 triples. George Springer will drive him in many times throughout the year.
Kennon: Can Jeff Luhnow capture lightning in a bottle? His waiver claim of McHugh last offseason paid solid dividends in 2014. While Collin impresses again in 2015, Luhnow’s claim on Will Harris is a stroke of genius. Harris has been up-and-down so far in the majors leagues. Equipped with a solid cut-fastball that nearly mirrors some of the best in the game and a curveball that drops of the table, Harris should be a lethal threat out of the bullpen.
If it were up to me, I’d also say Marisnick, but in the interest of being different, I’m going with Josh Fields. He has the stuff to be the closer, but injuries and some inconsistent play cost him the job last year. His fastball tops out in the mid 90s, while his changeup sits at around 78 mph, according to FanGraphs. Mixing those two should lead to a very successful season for the 29-year old. If Gregerson struggles in the closer’s role this season, as he has in the past, look for a healthy Fields to get a shot as the season progresses.
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