The latest news around the Astros and baseball on February 11th, including a some fun with ZiPS comps on a Monday morning and another Spring Training reminder.
Tyler White‘s interesting 2019 comp
If you don’t pay attention to Dan Szymborski’s annual ZiPS projections at FanGraphs, well, shame on you. While I won’t go into much detail here about this year’s ZiPS’ numbers, there are a couple of interesting comps on the Astros.
- Alex Bregman: Ron Santo
- Carlos Correa: Scott Rolen
- Kyle Tucker: Shawn Green
- Yordan Alvarez: Nick Markakis
- Justin Verlander: Kevin Brown
- Gerrit Cole: Orel Hershiser
- Lance McCullers Jr.: Jason Schmidt (insert sad face)
But my favorite of all the Astros’ comps this year was Tyler White’s: the “Merely Good” Frank Thomas. Hey, I’ll gladly take that level of production from the DH spot in the lineup.
UPDATE: As noted here by Szymborski, the Frank Thomas mentioned as White’s comp is not THAT Frank Thomas. Rather, it was the other, lesser known Thomas, who played in the majors from 1951-66. Hey, he still had quality production in his career, so I’ll stay take the comp.
Michael Brantley‘s left-handed bat is much welcomed in Houston
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com recently broke down the importance of adding Michael Brantley’s left-handed bat to the Astros’ lineup here, which you should read. Honestly, I expect big things from this Houston lineup if everyone manages to stay relatively healthy all season long.
Spring Training is only days away
Pitchers and catchers for the Astros report to West Palm Beach on Wednesday, February 13th, which is less than 48 hours from now. This year’s Spring Training will carry high expectations for a club prime to make another postseason run in 2019, especially in light of the important offseason next winter.
It still feels strange that the top two position players on the open market, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, still don’t have a major league home with Spring Training only days away. However, there may be some movement on both fronts now as Harper is linked to the Giants and the Yankees haven’t fully faded away from the Machado sweepstakes.