Houston Astros: Three Bright Spots Who Won’t Make the Team (Hitters)
Which Three Houston Astros Hitters Are Having Great Spring Training, But Not Likely Make the Opening Day Roster?
On Thursday, March 31, the Houston Astros will play the first exhibition at Minute Maid Park. Most of the roster will be locked by then, but the Astros will have a few players who didn’t make the Opening Day roster with them, especially pitchers. There have been some players who have performed well this offseason, but this post will focus on three hitters who have had a great spring who won’t make the 25-man roster.
The Astros overall have been really impressive offensively, picking up where they left off last season when they were dubbed ‘Crush City.’ However, they are not near the top of the stats list this spring. Some of this can be put on the shoulders of some of the Astros hitters who have struggled, notably Jon Singleton and Jake Marisnick, who have played a fair amount of times.
Let’s take a look at the team stats this spring.
Batting Average (Rank): .249 (29/30).
On-Base Percentage (Rank): .338 (17/30).
Runs Scored (Rank): 137 (17/30).
Home Runs (Rank): 35 (7/30).
Runs Batted In (Rank): 131 (17/30).
Walks (Rank): 115 (1/30).
Strikeouts (Rank): 220 (5/30).
The walks are a good stat to point out, most of it could be traced back to George Springer and Tyler White‘s patience at the plate. On a side note, the Kansas City Royals have the most strikeouts with 236 of them. Who are the three hitters who have stood out this spring, but won’t make the opening day roster?
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Everyone knows who Reed is at this point, and he is no longer unknown by Astros fans. What people don’t get is the fact that he was a second round pick, the Astros will want to gain an extra year of team control so they will wait until the super two deadline in June. If they bring him up any sooner, it would be after two weeks similar to what the Cubs did last season with Kris Bryant. Reed may not have the same pedigree as Bryant does, but what he represents is the best option at first base since the Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman days.
This spring, he started off slow but has picked it up as of late. He has played in 21 games, he has a slash line of .311/ .333/ .600/ .933. He has hit three homers while driving in nine runs while striking out 13 times in 45 at bats. He has the third most strikeouts on the team following Jon Singleton (17) and Matt Duffy (16). While he may not be the immediate starter at first base, despite the fact that Jeff Luhnow said he could make the team, the Astros have White and Duffy to maintain until he is ready.
Another long shot to make the 25-man roster to start the season is former first round pick, Colin Moran. He was acquired as part of the Jarred Cosart trade during the 2014 season with the Florida Marlins. There were no questions about whether he could hit, it was could he hit with enough power to be an everyday third sacker? The Astros were rumored to be looking at Moran as the 1st overall pick in the 2013 draft but went with Mark Appel instead.
Watching him play the one game I did last year in Corpus Christi, and I can say that he hits the ball hard with solid contact and profiles as more of doubles who could hit more homers as he develops. This spring he has a slash line of .353/ .436/ .588/ 1.024. He has hit two homers while driving in five runs. The impressive stat for Moran is that he has only struck out four times in 34 at bats. Luis Valbuena and Duffy look to play third base in 2016, but Moran has shown that he can be next up for the Astros.
I apologize, I remember making fun of the Worth signing on an episode of Talking Stros following his signing based on his career stats. My cohost told me that he was not anything more than depth at the minor league level. What Worth can offer you is the ability to play second and shortstop, so he could be valuable should something happen with one of the current players who are projected to make the opening day roster. Like the other two players, he is not on the 40-man roster, and someone would have to be removed to add him. The Astros already have to add two players to the 40-man with White and Wandy Rodriguez.
This spring, Worth has shown a little what he is worth as a player with a slash line of .333/ .415/ .639/ 1.054 with two home runs and seven RBI’s. That is impressive considering his career regular season stats. If anything, the 30-year-old utility infielder has opened the eyes of the Astros brass going into the 2016 season.
Worth is not the future of the Astros like Moran or Reed, but he could have an impact on the success of the 2016 Astros. Good luck to all these players with their 2016 seasons.
**All Stats from MLB.com**