Astros fans have not heard much from the highly touted Cuban prospect that was acquired on July 16th of last season. Splitting time with Marwin Gonzalez at first base, Yuli Gurriel has quietly been a very solid hitter in the Astros lineup this season.
In 57 games, Gurriel has a .274 batting average with a .735 OPS. Showing more comfort at the major league level, the 33-year-old’s batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage are all higher than his 36 game stint at the end of last season.
Also, Gurriel’s power is showing a lot more this season. With only ten extra base hits in 130 at bats in 2016, he has 19 extra base hits, including seven home runs, in 212 at bats. With the increased power, he has driven in more runs, with 29 RBIs and scoring himself 26 times.
However, Gurriel has one of the more drastic comparisons between his home/road numbers of any hitter on the Astros roster. In 27 road games, he has a .327 batting average, compared to a .219 average at home, with three home runs and 18 RBIs. His OPS is .182 points higher away from Minute Maid Park with his slugging percentage increasing by .115 points. Part of that is his increased extra-base power, hitting eight of his 12 doubles on the road.
Gurriel is a very good hitter for the Astros to have at the bottom of the lineup to provide depth offensively. Look for him to break out on this seven-game road trip next week.