Houston Astros: Remember when our catchers were a problem?


Earlier in the season, Houston Astros fans were complaining about the Hank Conger trade and lack of production from Jason Castro. To make things worse, the supposed to be the catcher of the future Max Stassi has stalled a little at Triple-A. Astros nation was getting excited about prospect Jacob Nottingham, who was raking at Quad Cities and Lancaster but has since been traded. Things were looking down for the Houston Astros at the catcher position until one of the catchers started hitting.

Hank Conger

Conger had the worst start of his Astros career, which led many fans to question Jeff Luhnow’s acquisition of Conger this offseason for two of the Astros top prospects. He struggled offensively and defensively in the first two months of the season.

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March/April .133/ .350/ .333/ .683

May .167/ .242/ .300/ .542

To put his start to the season in another perspective, he had seven hits and two homers with four runs batted in. People were calling for his job, and he was the true backup catcher only playing one out of every five games. However, the next three months were a different story. Conger started getting more playing time because Castro was struggling; we will look at his stats in a second.

June: .310/ .383/ .548/ .931 slash line.

July: .258/ .368/ .516/ .885 slash line.

August: .750/ .750/ 2.250/ .3000

In the last 28 days, Conger is hitting .310/ 4 HR/ 9 RBI/ .793 OPS. He has already topped his career high in home runs with eight and .860 OPS in 2015.It appeared that Conger would get a larger bulk of the playing time, especially after his two home run game. Little known fact is that Conger is a previous number one pick, 25th overall by the Angels in 2006. But then Castro said, what you can do I can do better.

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Jason Castro

Castro like Conger did not have a great start to his 2015 campaign but heated up a little in May before cooling down a little in June. Also like Conger, Castro was drafted in the first round (10th overall) in the 2008 draft.

April/ March: .203/ .304/ .339/ .643 slash line.

May: .250/ .289/ .444/ .734 slash line.

June: .172/ .219/ .310/ .529 slash line.

July: .234/ .321/ .426/ .746 slash line.

August: .500/ .500/ 1.125/ 1.625 slash line.

Castro is now at ten homers and just last week hit a game-winning home run against the Angels. While it’s unrealistic that A.J. Hinch welcomes these two catchers to maintain this production for an extended time, their production at this time. He is trying to mix and max the starts for the two catchers. So far, the catchers have been a bright spot during the recent streak. Here’s to Castro and Conger hitting big time homers in the playoffs.