Astros News

Houston Astros: Who should get the 26th roster spot?

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: A view of the Houston Astros logo in centerfield during batting practice prior to Game One of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: A view of the Houston Astros logo in centerfield during batting practice prior to Game One of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 23: Nick Tanielu #87 of the Houston Astros in action against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 23: Nick Tanielu #87 of the Houston Astros in action against the Washington Nationals during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 23, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Nick Tanielu

Tanielu has the longest minor league career to be recognized here as having a chance for the 26th roster spot. He has six minor league seasons under his belt, five of them being full seasons. He missed the majority of the 2017 season recovering from ACL surgery.

Outside of the 2017 season, Tanielu has posted very serviceable numbers at the plate in every stop of the minors. He has a relatively low strikeout rate and is a good contact hitter who has shown flashes of good pop with a career minor league .444 slugging percentage.

Tanielu matches the trend with the rest of the players profiled in this article, as he can play all over the field. Primarily a third baseman, he has seen significant innings at second and first base as well. His minor league career range factor numbers don’t grade him out to win a Gold Glove anytime soon, but make him comparable to Starlin Castro at second base and Chris Johnson at third.

With 317 career innings at first base in the minors, his best position seems to be with a “3” written beside his name in the position slot. Tanielu is not on the 40-man roster but is a non-roster invitee to spring training this year.

At the writing of this article, Tanielu has not seen any time on the field this spring, and he’s the only name on this list who hasn’t had an at-bat. The longer it takes for Dusty Baker to pencil Tanielu’s name into a spot, the likelihood of him making the 26th spot diminishes.

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