The Astros are ten games into this year’s Spring Training, and even though it’s cold in here Houston, the bats are heating up in down in Florida.
It’s still a little over three weeks until the Astros play their first regular season game against the Rays in Tampa Bay. But it’s good to hear the crack of the bats in Spring Training games, and we’re one-third of the way into the Grapefruit League’s season. The veterans are slowly ramping up their playing time and the prospects are getting their chance to strut their stuff.
Although ten games is a small sample for any in-depth analysis, it’s good to see the offense is alive and well early on in the process. The prospects are getting the lion’s share of the playing time, but as the Spring Training season progresses, the veterans are slowly working in more innings. Especially a few of the key players that are being brought along cautiously, due to injuries from last season and offseason surgeries.
It’s been a long-standing belief that this early into Spring Training the pitchers are ahead of the game until the batters get enough at-bats in to get their timing down. Whether that’s actually the case can be debatable, but if these first ten games give any indication, the offense must be ahead of schedule.
As of today, 15 of Houston’s batters are hitting above .300 and eight of those are players that are assured to be on the 25 man roster or are expected to be. Yuli Gurriel is the fastest out of the gate, leading the pack with a .545 average with five games and eleven ABs under his belt. Tony Kemp and Josh Reddick have also been hot this Spring batting .400 in five games of play.
Carlos Correa is encouraged by his results to date, hitting .308 in thirteen at-bats. He hasn’t felt any of the pain in his back that plagued him last season. This has been evident with the increase in the exit velocity of the ball off his bat.
Kyle Tucker and Tyler White are hitting .333 and .308 respectively in their battle to get increased playing time this season. Prospects Yordan Alvarez, Myles Straw, Ronnie Dawson, and Abraham Toro have also been showcasing their offensive skills, giving management reason to keep a watchful eye on them.
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are being phased in slowly and have very few at-bats to gauge anything on. Although, as I’m writing this article, both just got their first hits of the Spring, going 2 for 3 today in the game against the Mets. One of those hits by Bregman a home run, along with a signature lead-off homer by Springer.
As I stated before, it’s only ten games into Spring Training, but encouraging none-the-less. If this is any indication of what we’re in for from Astros this season, it’s going to be a fun one to watch.