Crush City 2015
Aug 26, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (10) shakes hands with designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) as he rounds the bases after his eighth inning home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Coming into the 2015 season, the Astros were expected to strikeout a lot (they have), but also hit plenty of home runs (they have.) The team added the bats of Jed Lowrie, Colby Rasmus, Luis Valbuena and Evan Gattis in the offseason. All of those guys had reached the double-digit home run plateau before in their careers and were expected to add even more power to the Astros’ lineup.
The 2015 club got off to a scorching start despite the early struggles of Carter and Gattis. It may be a surprise that Valbuena has a share of the team lead in home runs – with the Chicago Cubs in 2014, the free-swinging lefty set a career high with 16 home runs in 547 at-bats.
Houston Astros 2015 Home Run Leaders (135 games)
- Luis Valbuena – 22
- Evan Gattis – 22
- Chris Carter – 18
- Colby Rasmus – 17
- Carlos Correa – 16
- George Springer – 13
- Preston Tucker – 12
- Jason Castro – 11
- Jose Altuve – 11
- Hank Conger – 10
- Marwin Gonzalez – 9
- Jake Marisnick – 7
Besides Valbuena, Correa’s early home run totals may be the other biggest surprise. In 275 at-bats, the 20-year-old has clubbed 16 home runs. Correa is hitting a home run roughly every 17 at-bats with Houston after averaging one roughly every 24 at-bats between Corpus Christi and Fresno to start the season.
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Additionally, Marisnick, Conger, Gonzalez, and Altuve are all enjoying their highest career home-run totals; Evan Gattis’ 22 home runs ties a career high.
With one more home run from Gonzalez, the 2015 Astros will be the first team since the 2004 Detroit Tigers with 11 players hitting at least ten home runs. Although Jake Marisnick is the next closest player to reach double digits, his .222 average and two home runs since the All-Star break is not very convincing.
The most likely player to catapult the Astros into the record books is Jed Lowrie with his six home runs. Lowrie is only hitting .219 since rejoining the Astros after missing significant time with a thumb injury but has eight hits and a home run over his last four games.
If Lowrie can get his swing back into its April form, then the Astros will have one more notch to add to their already successful 2015 campaign.