Houston Astros Evan Gattis Is A Triples Machine

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Jul 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) celebrates with right fielder Colby Rasmus (28) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

By 2010, Gattis decided to give baseball another chance. His stepbrother played at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, in Odessa, Texas, and Gattis knew the coach from his high school days. The big man hit .403 with 11 home runs that season, and the Atlanta Braves drafted him in the 23rd round that summer.

Gattis spent 2010-2012 working his way through the minor leagues and playing winter ball in the Venezuelan League. His performance earned him a chance in spring training in 2013 as a non-roster invitee, but he was not expected to make the Braves. When Atlanta catcher Brian McCann went down with an injury, Gattis found himself on the Braves’ Opening Day roster.

The White Bear’s first big league hit came in his second at-bat, a home run off Phillies ace Roy Halliday. Gattis hit and played well enough to be named Rookie of the Month in April as a catcher, and then when McCann returned, the Braves moved the Bear to left field. He earned the Rookie of the Month honor again in May and appeared to be on the right track. An injury and a slump cost him playing time, but didn’t dampen his enthusiasm, even when the Braves sent him to Triple-A Gwinnett in late August. He returned in September and played well, ensuring his spot on the Braves 2014 Opening Day roster.

He began the 2014 season as the regular catcher, with the departure to free agency of Brian McCann, and although Gattis spent nearly a month on the disabled list, he played 108 games, batting .263 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI. The Braves traded Jason Heyward during the off season, expecting to move Justin Upton to right field, Christian Bethancourt behind the plate, and Gattis to left field.

Two months later Gattis was traded to Houston, along with pitcher James Hoyt, for Mike Foltynewicz, Andrew Thurman, and Rio Ruiz. Although he caught 135 games over his first two MLB seasons, in Houston it appeared his catching days were over.

He has spent most of 2015 as DH and batting fourth or fifth for the Astros, and although he is hitting only .246 as of July 24, he is tied with Chris Carter for second on the team in home runs (16), is second on the Astros in hits (85), and fourth in runs scored. His 57 RBI puts him at the top of the team list. Lately, he has been making good contact, and his slugging percentage of .451 is among Astros leaders. Then there are the triples. As odd as it sounds, he has been, in the words of Rotoworld.com, a triples machine.

There is no denying that Gattis is contributing in a big way to the success of the new and exciting Astros. He is a vital part of the winning attitude at Minute Maid Park.

“Honestly, what would you rather be doing right now than this?” Gattis said in an Associated Press story from 2013. “But, really, there is nothing … better … to do.”

Any way you look at it, Evan Gattis is doing what he always wanted to do – play Major League Baseball. It’s a bonus for him, his team, and Houston fans that he is suddenly a ‘triples machine’.

“I really kind of fell in love with (Houston),” Gattis told the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith in July 2015, as the Astro ‘speedster’ signed autographs at a Baytown (Houston) Whataburger Restaurant.

Houston fans have surely fallen in love with their white bear – the triples machine.

Here is a special message thanking Astros fans for welcoming Gattis to Houston from James Zeankowski (@tvwizard85) with  @FantasyPros_MLB from his website, ‘The White Bear Chronicles’.

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