The future of first base for the Astros remains one of the more interesting position battles heading into the offseason.
A.J. Reed. Jon Singleton. Tyler White. Yulieski Gurriel. Luis Valbuena. Heck, even Marwin Gonzalez. All of these position players could possibly be the Astros starting first baseman next season. Of course, the offseason and Spring Training stand in the way before that can become a reality.
From an offseason point of view, it is likely that Reed, White, Gurriel, and Gonzalez will remain part of the organization. However, the same may not be said of Singleton and Valbuena for different reasons.
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For example, there isn’t a guarantee that the team may keep Singleton following another season toiling away in the minor leagues. And Valbuena is a free agent and his price tag could be too much for the Astros.
Let’s be honest, Reed is the most likely to get first crack at the starting first base job. He was, after all, one of the team’s top minor league players the past two seasons. But he would to hit better than .164/.270/.262. White could also be a legitimate option if Reed doesn’t step up. And the team management would almost assuredly rather have Gurriel and Gonzalez play other positions before first base.
But that is not to say that Houston’s first baseman is on the roster currently.
The offseason will officially begin following the World Series, and the winter time is when moves, good or bad, are made. And the Astros could be in line to make some changes on other areas of the team. That could impact the team’s depth chart.
In light of that possibility, it should not be surprising to see the front office pursue options on the free agent market. The likes of Edwin Encarnacion and Mitch Moreland automatically come to mind.
At least there isn’t a lack of options, both internal and external. And for the team to improve upon its standing in the AL West, it has to improve at a position that has been one of the weakest in baseball since trading Lance Berkman way back in 2010.
**Statistics provided by Baseball Reference**