Astros Countdown: Top Five Deserving All Stars
By Colin Gay
The Houston Astros are a very good baseball team.
The Astros were the first team to reach 50 wins this season, winning 50 of their first 74 games in 2017. The nearest team to them in the American League West standings is the Seattle Mariners, which are 12.5 games back. In the middle of the best start in franchise history, the Astros have many players that deserve a spot on the coveted AL All Star roster come July 11th. Here are the five players that Astros fans should send to Miami.
After Brian McCann was traded to the Astros in late November 2016, it was unclear of what value he would have as a 33-year-old catcher going into his 13th season. What the Astros got was an All Star-caliber player behind the plate.
McCann has a .274 batting average, his highest since 2009, with a .845 OPS, his highest since 2008. He has hit 17 extra base hits, including 10 home runs, and has driven in 37 RBIs and has scored himself 26 times.
The offensive success is in part due to McCann’s patience at the plate. He has always been a patient hitter, never striking out more than 100 times in a season, but he has taken it to a new level this season. With an on base percentage of .360, his highest since 2010, McCann has walked 22 times compared to striking out only 29 times this season.
McCann’s impact is not only effected the Astros’ offensive production, but defensively as well. As a veteran presence behind the plate, he has led the Astros pitching staff to a combined 3.69 ERA, the third best in baseball, with a 1.19 WHIP. The Astros pitching staff has been very hard to hit against, with an opposing batting average of just .230 and a slugging percentage of .392.
As of June 20th, McCann is in second place behind Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez in AL All Star voting with New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez slowly catching up in third place. Even if McCann does not receive a starting spot, he seems destined to earn his eighth trip to the All Star game this season.