Quick rundown on Astros’ 2019 Steamer projections

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

While winter is slowly progressing, the offseason projections are something of interest for baseball fans.

For the Astros to win 103 games in 2018, it took quite a bit of talent, hard work, and some luck. Mostly talent, though. Houston had plenty of that stuff.

The 2019 season is another story as there isn’t a guarantee that the Astros will come close to 103 wins. Plenty of things have to break right for them; it is also too early to put a win total projection on the entire team. At the same time though, it doesn’t hurt to peek at the projections to see who is expected to perform well for the Astros. Here are a few notable projection lines from the FanGraphs’ Steamer projections page.

Carlos Correa

Following an injury-filled 2018 season with a .239/.323/.405 slash line with a 101 wRC+ and 1.6 fWAR, Carlos Correa is expected to rebound in 2019 if his health doesn’t falter again.

2019 Steamer Projection

.265/.352/.466, 25 HR, 91 RBI, 126 wRC+, 4.8 fWAR

All of the tools that made Correa into one of the best shortstops in the game are still there. But anytime a player starts to experience back ailments at only 24-years old there has to be room for mild concern. Hopefully, the rest afforded by the offseason will lead to a rejuvenated Correa in 2019. The game of baseball and the Astros are better with him performing up to his potential.

Josh James

While I wouldn’t call Josh James’ debut towards the end of the 2018 season into the postseason a breakout, I was very encouraged by his results. Although there is no telling who ends up in Houston’s starting rotation past Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Collin McHugh, James likely has a decent shot. Steamer projections expect that the young right-hander has a chance to start quite a few games for the Astros in 2019.

2019 Steamer Projection

23 starts, 128 IP, 10.21 K/9, 3.88 BB/9, 3.96 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 2.0 fWAR

If James pitches close to that projection, I don’t know how you can’t be anything but pleased.

Michael Brantley

One of the Astros newest players, Michael Brantley, is expected to fulfill an important role on next year’s club. Not only does he bring a proven hitter into primarily left field, but the former Indian also adds a left-handed bat into the middle of the batting order. However, Steamer projections currently don’t have the age-32 outfielder posting another 3.5 win season in 2019.

Next. Projecting the Astros’ outfield heading into the New Year. dark

2019 Steamer Projection

.282/.344/.445, 17 HR, 75 RBI, 119 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR

The key difference appears to lie within a projected regression in Brantley’s bat, glove, and baserunning abilities. I’m just speculating, but I’d doubt that the projections systems are ready to buy in on Brantley following one healthy season in the past three years. At the same time, Brantley could easily exceed these projections if he remains healthy, especially with his bat.