Astros’ rising stars Josh James and Tyler White are looking to make big impacts as everyday starters in 2019. Which one will have their breakout season?
The Astros have some rising stars. To top it off they are going into the 2019 season with a healthy team, a rejuvenated sense of urgency and a hunger to get back to the World Series. There wasn’t a huge FA signing that broke the internet, make no mistake that they are still one of the top 4 teams going into this season. When your team appears to have all of their ducks in a row it seems appropriate to look for those who will rise to the top in 2019.
The first player that comes to mind is Josh James, the 25-year-old flame thrower who came into 2018 clocking pitches up to 102 mph on his first visit to the bump. Getting to see his Major League debut was more than awesome, it was electrifying. His motor runs hot and fast and I can imagine the time Brent Strom has had with him from then until now have only made him a better pitcher.
If he is awarded a spot in the starting five, he could easily win 13 games this season. Last year in limited opportunities he struck out 29 batters in 23 innings earning him an 11.3 SO/9 number. With 13 starts he could rack up between 150-200 K’s. His era was a respective 2.35, and being surrounded by Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Collin McHugh, and Wade Miley could only help him in his quest to become a regular fixture in the starting rotation.
HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 09: Tyler White #13 of the Houston Astros hits a home run in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on August 9, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)WhoThe other rising star to keep an eye on is Tyler White. He hit 12 HRs with 210 plate appearances hitting .276. That’s a HR for every 17.5 AB. If White were to get 600 plate appearances, he could collect 30-40 HRs. Now before you get upset at this bold prediction, look at what he has done at every level of baseball.
Tyler White improved his mechanics at the plate last season and with Yuli Gurriel locking down 1B “Great White” is a natural fit. If needed both Yuli and Tyler can interchange at the 1B and DH position, giving the Astros one of the better options in the AL at the DH position.
When it comes to the position of DH the Astros have not had a clear cut starter. The position has been strong at times as many players have occupied this position the last two seasons. Carlos Beltran, Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez, and even George Springer and Jose Altuve have served time at DH. There are more names and at times A. J. Hinch will put a player in there if the matchup on the mound dictates it. This is why a solid DH in a more full-time role would do the Astros lineup some good. You would have more pop throughout the lineup, and the DH could get into a groove.