The Astros Slugged a Ton of Home Runs Last Season, but how do they Project for 2016 in Long Balls and Other Stats according to ZiPS?
The Astros offensively are pretty even when it comes to zWAR. All of the Astros positions are at around 3 wins except designated hitter (Evan Gattis with 1), first base (Jonathan Singleton with 1), second base (José Altuve with 4.2) and shortstop (Carlos Correa with 4.9).
To start with the most sure thing in the Astros lineup next season, Correa is projected for a 20 home run, 20 stolen base season with 25 and 23 respectively. He is also projected to lead the club in isolated power average, which calculates how often a particular player hits for extra bases, and slugging percentage with .219 and .492 respectively. With Correa going into only his age 21 season, this young star is the face of this offense and has the projections to keep it that way.
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These projections show position battles and potential platoon situations in left field and third base. Left field, currently held by Colby Rasmus and Jake Marisnick, have a combined 3.0 zWAR with Marisnick as the better defensive choice.
Luis Valbuena and Marwin Gonzalez fill up the hole at third base. With the utility ability that Marwin has, Valbuena will most likely occupy that third base spot with a projected 18 home runs and .238 batting average.
The two positions with the lowest zWAR happen to be at the positions with the least defensive value. At first base, Singleton is projected to hit 22 home runs, bring in 68 RBIs and hit a measly .216. However, Singleton is not the only option at first base, as we will see later on.
According to these projections, this offense should be a solid force in the AL West in 2016.
Next: Astros Pitching Projections