While two weeks into the regular season, how has the Astros’ centerfield platoon fared?
Out of all the things that have gone wrong in the Houston Astros‘ first twelve games, one concern in the spring hasn’t translated to a problem on the field. With the caveat, the sample size is tiny, and there’s a lot of season left, as Jose Siri and Chas McCormick have performed well in the absence of Jake Meyers.
Back in the offseason, I was not shy about sharing my feelings on the position while the Astros wait for Meyers to heal. To date both Siri and McCormick have performed well, both offensively and defensively. Yes, I jinxed McCormick, but that game was over whether or not he caught that ball.
The real story here to me is the play of Siri, who I thought was an accident waiting to happen in the outfield.
In 27 plate appearances, Siri is slashing .250/.333/.417 with an OPS+ of 125. He’s played well in the outfield, his flair for the dramatic notwithstanding. His outfield jump, while above average is not as good as McCormick’s, but there is no denying his speed when running balls down.
Sixty-three percent of Siri’s plate appearances have come against right-handed pitchers and though he’s batting .250 against both righties and lefties, his home run came against a left-hander and his OBP (.400) and slugging (.625) are much better against southpaws.
Simply put, Siri has outperformed my expectations, and while I’m still leery about his long-term prospects, I will say he’s been a solid option.
Seventy-seven percent of McCormick’s 30 plate appearances have come against righties, and he’s performed well against them, slashing .318/.348/.409. Surprisingly, in limited plate appearances (seven) against lefties, McCormicks done even better slashing .429/.429/.429.
While McCormick’s raw numbers appear better, some of the peripherals are concerning. A barrel % in the first percentile, xSLG in the 38th percentile and an xwOBA in the 32nd percentile all suggest some luck early for the righty.
We also haven’t seen the power that McCormick displayed early last season, but more of “gap” or “doubles” power. This is something I’ll keep an eye on as the season progresses. It’s way too early for any grand conclusions on either player, but they have both done the job through the first 12 games.
Between the two of them, they’re batting over .300 and playing a solid center field. I still prefer McCormick, but that’s a personal preference. To me, he is more valuable, because he’s more versatile as he’s already started games in center and left this season, while Siri has been exclusively a centerfielder in 2022.
My 12-game takeaway is the sample size is tiny and 12 games from now I may feel differently, but once Meyers is healthy, this team will have three centerfield options and at least one of them may not be in the organization by August.