Astros: 3 reasons why Myles Straw will stay in center field
The Houston Astros haven’t found their true replacement for George Springer, and to many fans, Myles Straw isn’t a fine solution at the moment. Straw is not Springer, because they are two different types of players, but hey, they both have two home runs this season in quite different sample sizes.
With another win over the Baltimore Orioles (3-1), all of the Astros’ RBI (three) were driven in by Straw and Chas McCormick. While McCormick is also on an upward trend, he has been very swing-happy in the box and has fluctuated through the lineup with Kyle Tucker still out.
Although Chas McCormick is crushing the ball, it is still Myles Straw’s job.
The future of center field could easily be replaced in free agency or from players in the minor leagues next offseason, but for now, we have Straw and McCormick competing for playing time. It is Straw’s job to lose, but after a recent streak of getting on base, his slander should be cut back.
Getting On Base
With the Astros’ currently on a nine-game winning streak, Straw has been getting on base at a .379 clip over his last 15 games. This two week stretch has come down slightly, but Straw has the highest contact rate of any other player on the team for a reason. Pitchers aren’t looking to walk the right-hander, especially with his speed behind him.
Straw is walking 25 times to his 53 strikeouts, while he has also stolen three bags in the last two weeks. This is definitely something everyone wants to see more of, while Straw isn’t getting the leads and jumps that many expect. As said before, Straw and McCormick are both in the same percentile of sprint speed, according to Baseball Savant.
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Finding Some Slug
This seems to be a big turn around and something noteworthy for a guy who came into the year with one career home run in two seasons. A home run is a home run, and even though Straw is barely getting them over, the right-hander has two home runs this week and a .469 slugging percentage over his last 15 games, which is a nice streak worth investigating more.
There is more to the play than fielding percentage, and with Straw holding a 1.000 fielding percentage, it is helpful that he isn’t making errors. Outs above average is a helpful tool to see how a player is performing at their designated position.
For Straw, the right-hander currently has a positive three outs above average, which is respectable for this point in the season. While fielding has also been pointed out as a struggle for Straw, he is currently in the 74th percentile in outfield jump. Yes, McCormick’s is higher, but he also has less attempts and innings played compared to his friend, Straw.
You have heard regression to the mean, but Straw is progressing to the mean. His latest feats are in the shadows of McCormick’s resurgence but just give the situation time.
The Astros are back on the field to close out the series on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. with Jose Urquidy on the bump against right-hander Thomas Eshelman.