Astros: Three Players Trending Up – Spring Training
The first week of spring training has come and gone for the Astros.
Spring training statistics rarely mean much in the grand scheme of things. While it is cool in theory to see your favorite Astros post shiny batting averages or OPS totals, the numbers don’t always translate into the regular season.
That said, spring training statistics could be indicative of future performance. It is not an outlandish theory. It is very well possible to figuratively strike oil. Or, maybe not? The purpose of this post is to provide you, the reader, a snapshot of who is performing well or not.
The Astros’ presumptive backup catcher has gotten off to an excellent start in spring training. While he won’t likely carry a big stick into the regular season, it is encouraging to see the age-26 catcher perform well regardless of the setting.
Again, there is not much stock to take in these numbers. Stassi only has eight total at-bats in spring training. However, the two home runs are already approaching the same amount he had hit in the majors since his debut back in 2013. In case you are curious, Stassi has three career major league home runs.
The Astros’ management seems adamant this year on carrying three catchers to start the season. Brian McCann is apparently the starter while Evan Gattis can fill in upon emergency. Stassi is most likely going to make the team, barring injury, as the primary backup to McCann.
In light of the Yuli Gurriel injury and suspension, the Astros find themselves needing a first baseman for likely the first five or so weeks of the 2018 season. Luckily for the team, there a few intriguing options to choose from in the minor leagues.
For example, J.D. Davis, the age-24 infielder.
Davis is competing against Tyler White and A.J. Reed for a spot on the Opening Day roster. And while White and Reed have more prior experience at first base, Davis has also played various amounts at the position. And his showing with the bat in spring training cannot be discounted.
Not only does the batting metrics catch your eye, but Davis’ versatility around the diamond also needs to be taken into account. In case you do not know, Davis can cover multiple positions like the two corner infield positions. He can also fill in on occasion as a reliever in games well out of hand. There has even been chatter about Davis receiving a chance to play in left field.
While Armenteros isn’t in the same class as Forrest Whitley on the top prospects list, the age-23 pitcher cannot be forgotten. For example, he posted a 2.04 ERA in 123.2 innings between the Corpus Christi Hooks and Fresno Grizzlies in 2017. Manager A.J. Hinch has spoken highly of Armenteros in camp, and a recent quote from MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart’s article only reinforces the notion.
"“I think he’ll pitch in the big leagues this year.” — Hinch, on right-hander Rogelio Armenteros, the Astros’ No. 12 prospect according to MLB Pipeline"
Thus far in 2018, Armenteros has made two appearances – one start – in the Grapefruit League. His first outing went off without a hitch as he pitched two scoreless innings while allowing zero runs and walk. Armenteros also struck out three batters. The second appearance was in relief, and he allowed a run on three hits in three innings. However, Armenteros did strike out five batters.
Next: What to make of Collin McHugh’s Situation
If he can keep up this showing in spring training, the Astros will likely count upon his services sooner or later in 2018.
**Statistics and information provided by MLB.com**