Astros: Myles Straw should be utilized more in 2020 strategy

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Astros utility player Myles Straw is a multi-skilled player that should be integrated into the gameplan more in 2020 and groomed for the future.

Myles Straw must have felt like a yo-yo last season as the Astros brought him up and down between the Majors and the Minors four different times. I think it’s time to make Straw a more permanent fixture on the active roster and incorporate his many talents into Houston’s strategy for the 2020 season and beyond.

It’s difficult for a player like Straw to squeeze his way into the roster of a team like the Astros that are loaded with so much talent. The MLB has made a rule change that starts this year allowing teams to now carry 26 players on the active roster. That extra spot may have opened the door for Straw to finally stake his claim to a well-deserved place as a regular player on this team.

I feel Myles Straw has already displayed the talent to stay up in the big leagues. But I also think if given the opportunity and increased playing time, he has all the potential to become a valuable full-time player and a star in this league.

Last season in Straw’s four stints with the Astros he slashed .269/.378/.343 with an OPS of .747. In those 56 games, he scored 27 runs and stole eight bases in nine attempts. In his final trip up to Houston in the September callups, he hit .409/.480./545 and a 1.025 OPS in those last 25 games.

In between those trips with the Astros, he had 66 appearances in AAA ball hitting .321/.391/.394 with 46 Rs, 33 RBIs, 11 2Bs, and 19 SBs. Straw has been performing steadily at a high level throughout his time in the Minors with a batting average of .290 or above since 2016.

His speed is one of his best assets and he has really just started to take advantage of it on the bases within the last few years. He never considered being a base stealer until a few years ago and he improved his skill at swiping bases each season, culminating in 70 stolen bases in 2018. Last season rated Straw as the seventh-fastest player in the Major Leagues covering 30.1 feet per second.

That speed is, of course, is a huge plus on the base paths and he seems to get better and better at manufacturing runs using his swiftness. But on the bases isn’t the only place it comes in handy. He was routinely making dazzling plays as he patrolled the outfield. And the outfield isn’t the only position he has experience. He has recently been getting in some quality playing time in at shortstop and second base.

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The Astros will be facing a sticky situation at the end of this season with George Springer, Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, and Yuli Gurriel all become free agents in 2021. I can’t realistically see the front office being able to keep every one of those players, so now is the time to plan for the future. Give Straw the increased amount of playing time now to hone his skills and prepare him for what lies ahead.