From the return of Dallas Keuchel to the signing of Carlos Beltran, the Astros have shown much progress in building a championship caliber team.
After review of their time in Spring Training, I’ve got my eyes on three players who will “wow” Astros Nation in 2017.
As my co-writer, Cody Poage revealed in his article “Astros may have a Bargain in Charlie Morton,” this not-so-flashy signing may prove to be the biggest regarding value and performance. Although Morton has never finished a season with a winning percentage above .500, he has a chance to work with the coaching staff that developed success out of his teammate Collin McHugh.
As both are similar in pitching styles, the staff has an opportunity to further enhance Morton’s skills. I look forward to watching Morton throughout these first 60 days and seeing how his increased velocity spring training performance propels him.
Morton’s spring training stats are:
1.04 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.
The outfielder has also been a rather quiet addition to the Astros organization. He is a proven player and has boasted a .260 average in the American League West (5 seasons with the Athletics), and an overall .255 batting average. Reddick brings both a great glove and an above average bat to the Astros. He can play any outfield position, adding depth to the roster. Most importantly, Reddick is a left-handed hitter, which creates match-up issues for pitching staffs.
I watched Derek Fisher play for the Hooks last season. He is a great talent with a lot of upside heading into the 2017 season. Although most of you are wondering, “Why did he pick him?”, I argue that his “wow” factor will come at both levels this season. He has speed, power and the ability to play all over the outfield. He will be on the top of the list to make an MLB Debut this season. The Astros can use the added speed on the bases, and his display of hitting during Spring Training boosts his value.
As great as some players are on this roster, it is important to recognize the other guys, the unsung heroes. These players go out and play their game, which opens the doors for their teammates to capitalize. All in all, I see Morton, Reddick, and Fisher as the three “wow” players of 2017.
***Stats and Info gathered from Baseball Reference and MLB.com***