#1: Be more creative
Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (bottom right) is tackled by teammates as they celebrate his walk off single against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Tigers 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Find a way to get on-base more?
By: Eric Huysman
The Houston Astros were not the worst in on-base average in 2015, they are in the middle of the pack. When I say middle, I really mean the middle as the Astros were 8th of 15 AL teams and 16th of 30 MLB teams regarding on-base percentage. The MLB average on-base percentage is .317; the Astros were below the average with an on-base percentage of .315. It could be worse; the Astros could have a .300 on-base percentage that the Padres have.
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The Houston Astros finished last season 22nd in MLB with 1,363 hits, 230 of them were home runs. They say that solo home runs are sometimes rally killers because you want to get more runners on base. Maybe the Astros walk a lot with the power they pack, but they were only 12th with 486 walks. This is a free swinging team that needs the OBP hitter in the middle of the lineup.
I am not saying the Astros should have as good an OPS as the Blue Jays did in 2015, but if they can someway get up into the mid .320’s, they will have more people on base when those home runs are hit. The arrival of A.J. Reed mid-June should help.
The Astros should continue to be aggressive at the plate to hit the home runs, but a line drive double will do just as much damage with enough runners on-base. As much as Chris Carter was villanized, he was not the main culprit regarding OPS. You can look at Evan Gattis .285, Carlos Gomez .288, Jason Castro .283, and Jake Marisnick .281. Until these guys step up, this will continue to be an issue.
Which of the New Year’s resolutions do you think the Astros are most likely going to be able to follow through and which one will be dropped? Vote below. Happy New Year’s, let’s hope that 2016 brings Club Astros to your house soon.
**Stats from Baseball-Reference**
**Team stats and attendance from ESPN**