Astros 2016 Audit Series: Three Hitting Statistics
By Cody Poage
The Houston Astros offense has yet to reach its full potential. But the 2016 provided a snapshot into the future of what it could be.
Jose Altuve. George Springer. Carlos Correa. Yulieski Gurriel. Alex Bregman.
Anytime you have a lineup that features those five names, your lineup should be in good shape. And the odds are in 2017 that it will be.
Unfortunately for the 2016 Astros, there was no Gurriel or Bregman from day one. And while Luis Valbuena was a solid contributor when healthy, the lineup just had too many holes.
First base. Center field. Left field.
All three positions were rotating doors all season long for the Astros.
However, the lack of production center field probably carries the most sting.
64 wRC+ is what all of the Astros center fielders contributed to last season at the plate. That was BY FAR the worst in all of baseball. So much for Carlos Gomez and Jake Marisnick being the answer.
.338 batting average
The importance of batting average is quite overstated.
But at the same time it is still a useful, and fun, statistic.
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Look at Altuve for example. All the guy does is hit. I mean, there wasn’t anyone better than him in the American League in this category. That still holds some value.
The question is whether Altuve can keep this up for 2017 and make it three AL batting titles in four years?
Once again, the strikeouts were a thorn in the Astros side. In fact, the 2016 team had a higher strikeout percentage than last season (22.9% K%).
Outside of Altuve and perhaps Gurriel, the offense for the most part is still strikeout friendly. And that was without Chris Carter in an Astros uniform or an injured Colby Rasmus.
Next: Astros' Jose Altuve To Make His Debut on Cartoon Show
Strikeouts from an offense is overrated as well. Successful teams can strikeout a lot. But you better have production when you don’t. That wasn’t the case for the Astros at times in 2016.
**Statistics provided by Fangraphs**