Astros News

Astros AM Breakdown: Appreciating Evan Gattis

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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Yuli Gurriel #10 and Josh Reddick #22 after he hit a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on June 13, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Yuli Gurriel #10 and Josh Reddick #22 after he hit a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on June 13, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The Astros best hitter in the last few games? Easily Evan Gattis.

Ever since the Astros acquired Evan Gattis from the Braves before the 2015 season, there was always a question of his position. Catcher or designated hitter. Designated hitter or catcher. And the brief experiment in left field. But this season, the 2018 season, Gattis has been almost exclusively a designated hitter.

Ironically, Gattis has been a better hitter when plays as a catcher — 133 wRC+ — rather than a designated hitter — 96 wRC+ — for his career per FanGraphs. Thus far in 2018, Gattis has only recorded one plate appearance as a catcher. On the other hand, he has recorded 195 plate appearances as a designated hitter this season entering Wednesday.

Gattis on the season entering Wednesday’s game in Oakland hit .239/.300/.467 with a 111 wRC+. Not great numbers, but not terrible. But Gattis has seriously been one of the team’s best hitters since early May.

Numbers from 3/29 to 5/6:

95 PA, 16 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 8.4% BB rate, 30.5% K rate, .186/.263/.279, 54 wRC+

Numbers from 5/7 to 6/12:

108 PA, 28 H, 4 2B, 10 HR, 5.6% BB rate, 14.8% K rate, .286/.333/.633, 161 wRC+

Numbers from 6/13:

2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI

By the numbers, Gattis has been really, really good at swinging the bat since May 7th. And this week has been phenomenal for “El Oso Blanco.”

Numbers over the previous seven games:

.333/.367/.704, 5 HR, 16 RBIs, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 SO

In two of his most recent games, Gattis has had three home runs and 10 RBIs. Major League Baseball should go ahead and name Gattis as the AL Player of the Week. He also carved out a place in Astros’ history as he became the first hitter of the team to collect five RBIs in back-to-back games.

Then there is this tidbit about Gattis and the absence of batting gloves.

Thanks to Gattis and the entire Astros’ offense, the team won its seventh consecutive game.

And thanks to his two home run performance on Wednesday, Gattis now has eight home runs for his career in Oakland. He has hit more home runs in only two other cities: Houston with 42 and Atlanta with 20. No surprise with those totals.

And Randy Cesar of the Hooks now has a 35-game hit streak.

Oh, real quick, take a look at what happened to Dodgers’ outfielder Matt Kemp did to Rangers’ catcher Robinson Chirinos.

A hard tackle at home plate! In other news, Kemp is now the new starting inside linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. Yes, I realize that this play did not involve Houston, but I’ve always appreciated the oddities of baseball even when it didn’t include my team.

Houston Astros News and Notes From Around FanSided

Astros: Welcome to the musical chairs edition of Astros closers [Climbing Tal’s Hill – Eric Huysman]

Astros Trade Hypothetical: Three relievers to target in a trade this summer [Climbing Tal’s Hill – Cody Poage]

Houston Astros: Brad Hand should be priority number one [House of Houston – T.A. Mock]

More Houston Astros and General Baseball News From Around the Internet

Astros finalize deal with 1st-round pick Beer [MLB.com – Brian McTaggart and Christian Boutwell]

Astros announce signing of 11 draft picks [Houston Chronicle – Chandler Rome]

Nats ride Soto’s historic 2-HR game to split in NY [MLB.com – Jamal Collier]

Next: Astros: Could we see Forrest Whitley in 2018 as a reliever?

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Astros AM Breakdown.

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