Astros news: Martin Maldonado rising to the top from the bottom

Houston Astros, Martin Maldonado (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros, Martin Maldonado (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Martin “the Machete” Maldonado is not the Houston Astros’ biggest offensive tool, but apparently he is. Because the numbers say so.

Seeing Yordan Alvarez come back to the Houston Astros lineup felt like sweet, sweet justice. This Astros attack unleashed itself on the Seattle Mariners, with Alvarez and Yuli Gurriel taking center stage. But it was Martin Maldonado who continued to build on what has become such a specifically incredible offensive run.

Maldonado picked up another two RBIs, giving him the second-most RBIs in that massive first inning and adding to his season tally of 14, tied for best on the team with Alex Bregman. Though give Alvarez another three games, he’ll be right there too.

Yet again, Maldonado didn’t exactly get into the spotlight because of all that was happening around him, but he deserves more than the spotlight with the specifically sensational year he is having.

Martin Maldonado leading the Astros in the most crucial categories

Check it out—Martin Maldonado is batting a measly .111 with the bases empty. That’s three hits in 33 plate appearances, adding in 11 strikeouts and just six walks.

Not the greatest return.

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But turn that around and put people on base? A much different story. With runners on base, Maldonado is hitting an incredible .375 with 13 RBIs and just six strikeouts in 22 plate appearances.

Not impressed yet?

With runners in scoring position, Maldonado’s batting average goes up so high it tickles .500. His OPS goes from .495 with no one on to 1.380.

Overall, Maldonado leads the Astros in pretty much every statistic when it comes to having runners on base, particularly in scoring position. Unsurprisingly, that also translates to ranking amongst the best in all the majors with runners on base.

What made the Astros so strong last year in particular was how stellar their 7-8-9 hitters were. There was no let-up in this offense. Martin Maldonado has been seeing to it that this lineup maintains that fearsomeness, even at the bottom. And now that he’s going to be joined by Correa or Gurriel, establishing dominance in the bottom three of the order just got a whole lot more realistic.

Maldonado is the only Astros player batting over .400 with runners in scoring position—in fact, he’s one hundred points above the next closest, Michael Brantley. His 11 RBIs lead the team. It’s been a remarkable start to the year for the Machete, even if his overall numbers don’t fully reflect it yet.

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It remains to be seen if this is sustainable, but might as well enjoy it while we can.