The Houston Astros pitching youngsters are nailing it, but the bats? Quiet. On the bright side though, Abraham Toro might not be far from something.
Losing Justin Verlander has no hurt the Houston Astros rotation like it might have. Youngsters have stepped up in a big way to mitigate the damage. If only the young bats could say the same thing. Between Kyle Tucker, Abraham Toro, Myles Straw, and the sporadic appearances of Taylor Jones, there hasn’t been a lot to be excited about.
I’ve written extensively about Kyle Tucker, but Abraham Toro deserves some special recognition as well. Mostly because when you boil down his numbers to just what he has control over—hitting the ball hard, plate discipline, etc.—we see that he isn’t far from clicking.
As it stands Toro is making some excellent contact on the ball. While that means diddly right if he’s not getting on base, it’s hard to ignore that it’s a great place to start.
Abraham Toro is hitting the ball hard, it’s just not landing… yet.
Among all Astros hitters, only Alex Bregman is hitting the ball hard more often than Toro’s 45.5%. And his 9.1% soft-hit percentage is second only to Myles Straw and just ahead of Carlos Correa‘s 9.8%.
Better still, Toro’s line drive percentage is higher than at any other point in his career, even going back to his time in the minors. It’s also the highest percentage of any other Astros batter.
Where things get truly unfair is when it comes to batting average on balls in play. I’ve talked a lot about the poor luck Altuve and Springer have had with BABIP, but Toro has the worst luck of all, as his BABIP is the lowest on the team at .143. Considering how hard he’s hitting the ball, that’s a number that can only start skewing up.
The numbers go on—when it comes to average exit velocity, Toro is sixth on the team, wedged between Correa and Springer. Then add in the barrel percentage, how often he squares a ball up, and he’s seventh, nestled between Yuli Gurriel and Jose Altuve.
Toro is making contact with the best of the Astros, the rest of the numbers just aren’t following suit just yet. But baseball is a just sport and these things will start to level out as long as he keeps squaring up the ball as well as he’s been doing.
Even as I type, he just lined out to deep left-centerfield. Don’t worry, Abraham, that ball will start to fall.