While it hasn’t gotten to many fans yet, Myles Straw has been playing better the past two weeks.
The Houston Astros found a gem in the career of George Springer, and while he departed for Canada, many fans have been displeased with his replacement and the front office. Myles Straw isn’t the same type of player as Springer, and for that, he has received a lot of backlash while he adapts to the everyday role.
The front office didn’t have enough buying power to go all in on someone like Jackie Bradley Jr., especially after they signed Jake Odorizzi. The job has belonged to Straw ever since Springer left, and while the Astros do have other options brewing in the minor leagues, he is playing a lot better.
These past two weeks have been hectic against contending out of division opponents, but Straw has found a way to boost his numbers closer to average. Currently, the right-hander is slashing .241/.311/.289 with no home runs but has 17 RBI.
At the plate
Over the past 15 games, Straw has been quietly boosting his offensive production. Through 56 at bats, the right-hander is hitting .304/.350/.357 with a below-average OPS. This shouldn’t be a worry because that’s not his M.O. There will be short bursts of slug behind Straw’s bat, but he isn’t Springer.
The reason many fans can’t stand Straw is not only because of his slow progression to an everyday starter, but because he is one less superstar in the lineup. Making the jump from Springer to Straw is understandably frustrating, but there is a lot of baseball left.
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In the eyes of advanced metrics, Straw is not swinging at bad pitches with a low chase and strikeout rate. His issues with contact outs come from barreling the ball at one of the lowest rates in the game. If he continues his duty of getting on base and attempting to steal basses, everything should be fine.
In the field
The right-hander has been outed as a bad reader of balls hit his way, but while in the 68th percentile in outfield jump, he stands slightly above average. Straw hasn’t committed an error this year and is in the 81st percentile of outs above average.
His 1.000 fielding percentage doesn’t live up to many fan’s eye tests, but in the end, he is making outs. Out of 141 total chances, Straw has 138 put outs.
The question stands, how long will Straw continue his everyday role in centerfield? Jose Siri has been playing well in Triple-A, but the thought of his talent transferring still comes with question marks. At the moment, Straw is still the starter, and for fans to understand his role, they need to remove the thought of a superstar coming before him.