Houston Astros: Grading the 25-Man Roster
By Eric Huysman
Grading The Outfield
This could be a strength of this team in 2016 as the starting three outfielders could be among the top three in baseball. Four of the outfielders, not including Tucker, are former center fielders playing left and right field, their defensive abilities should help the pitchers save runs. Springer is due for a breakout season as he enters his prime following two injury-shortened seasons. Springer has grown into a better overall hitter with his progress in 2015 and not the all-or-nothing guy he was in 2014. He is the heart of the team, and the Astros will win as long as he is a big part of the lineup.
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Gomez was acquired last year which helped strengthen the batting order if he can return to his All-Star form of 2014. If he can shake his struggles from 2015, he should be a key factor in the field and lineup as the Astros push to the playoffs. He is also entering his contract year, so expect him to perform better to try to seek a higher contract next season. Rasmus is the guy who could surprise the most if he reverts back to the playoff version versus the player who was benched for a time for Tucker. Rasmus will hit cleanup as long as he performs, but he is in a walk season as well as the first person to accept the qualifying offer.
The elite defensive wiz and the offensive powerhouse Tucker will also spend some roaming the outfield with occasional cameos by Gonzalez when needed. Overall they outfield is better defensively than offensively, but the difference is minuscule with the talent they possess. Look for many highlight reels as well as plenty of Springer Dingers.
Fan Quote: “More of my grade is about the defense than what they offer at the plate. Springer really needs to stay healthy.” @SteveinLC
Next: Grading the Astros Rotation