The Houston Astros Could Use Another Player To Be a Spark Plug for The Offense
On Sunday’s Talking Stros, Brandon and I discussed what moves should the Houston Astros make to continue the May winning ways. The Astros have already started improving with the bats, but they still have some holes that can be filled from within. While most people are anxiously waiting for A.J. Reed and Colin Moran to join the team for valid reasons, I think someone else could make a positive impact right now.
I now there are many of the ladies out there who believe that Jake Marisnick makes them swoon, whatever that means. Sorry, Greis and others, Marisnick is not hitting his length of hair this year. Marisnick (.063 BA) and Erik Kratz (.048 BA) are both part time players are not getting regular at-bats, so it is hard to work through their struggles.
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It’s a bad break for Marisnick, that the Astros have George Springer, Carlos Gomez, and Colby Rasmus in the outfield. Hinch has found it hard to find a way to work Marisnick in the lineup because he is trying to get Gomez going as well. While Kratz is a lame duck waiting for when Evan Gattis returns, Marisnick needs to get regular at-bats to regain his confidence at the plate and get in a groove. While Marisnick is known more for his defense and speed, outside of April 2015 and the tail end of the 2014 season, he has been below par at the plate.
If Marisnick is to go down, I think it is time for Tony Kemp to get the call, to see what he can do. Since being drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft in the fifth round, Kemp has taken off running in the minors. He played for a while with fellow Vanderbilt Conrad Gregor, but he has accelerated through the Astros system a little quicker. Kemp is 5’6″, with many of the same skill sets as Astros’ star Jose Altuve does, without the power.
We talked about Kemp on Talking Stros this week.
While second base is his natural position, he has played center field in Triple-A and has played in the outfield before in college and high school. Thus far this year, he has a slash line of .303/ .415/ .414/ .829 in Triple-A Fresno. He only has one homer, so his OPS is pretty impressive. He has speed on the bases, despite only having four steals on the season. One year he scored 121 runs in a season between Lancaster and Corpus Christi. He can change a close game with his speed on the bases and ability to get on base.
Not that Kemp is not considered a top prospect, but I don’t think that the Super-Two deadline will have much influence on when the Astros bring him this year. If he turns into that type of player, that would be great, but they need him on the current team. By the way, if you want an autograph from Kemp, he likes Skittles Wild Berry Candy.
I think that Marisnick still has a valuable role on this team, but the lack of playing time is hurting him. Bringing up Kemp could give the Astros that spark batting ninth in the order to get on base for the guy playing like an MVP in Jose Altuve. The Astros have tried to put Marisnick as the ninth hitter in the lineup to add the speed, but his struggles have prevented that from being that player. Will Kemp play every day? Probably not, but he could be a game-changing pinch-runner.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***