Astros: Offensive Leaders in 5 Key Categories
Twenty games into the season, which Astros are leading the team in key offensive categories? Let’s dive in.
The Houston Astros are hovering around a .500 winning percentage. While the team works on refining its on-field chemistry without the presence of now-Twins slugger, Carlos Correa. While it remains way too early to cast doubt on the Astros’ ability to contend, offensive leaders have begun to emerge during the ’22 campaign. Let’s take a look at Astros batters leading in five key categories.
Wins Above Replacement Leader: Peña
Jeremy Peña has undoubtedly faced a tough assignment stepping into the shoes of Carlos Correa, a power-hitting shortstop with one of the strongest arms at his position to ever play Major League Baseball. Peña so far represents the only Astros batter in 2022 to be valued at a wins above replacement level of at least one. While Pena may not lead many key categories, he ranks first in run production, as well as first in total bases, where he is tied with Brantley.
The right-handed rookie also ties for third in hits, ranks fifth in doubles, as well as fourth in homers. Looking at the big picture, Peña’s productions spells good news for Houston, as the Astros lost out on a blockbuster deal; and after parting ways with Correa, the shortstop situation from an offensive production standpoint could be dramatically worse than it is.
Batting Average Leader: Brantley
Heading into action this weekend, Michael Brantley leads the Astros with a .290 batting average. The left-handed All-Star has also logged the most at-bats of any Astro so far this season showing consistency via holding a high average over a large sample size. Moreover, Brantley leads the team in hits with 20.
On-Base Percentage Leader: Bregman
Alex Bregman’s average may sit at .250, but the All-Star third baseman has contributed the highest on-base percentage of any starter on the team with a .364 OBP. Moreover, Bregman leads the Astros in walks with 12, nearly doubling his teammates, Alvarez and Maldonado, whose 7 walks hold second place on the roster.
Slugging Percentage Leader: Alvarez
While 2019 AL Rookie of the Year, Yordan Alvarez, continues to work out of an offensive slump, the power remains evident. Despite a .235 batting average, Alvarez leads the Astros in slugging percentage as well as homers. Yordan’s five home runs through 14 games put him on pace to launch 57 long balls through 162 games.
Of course, he has only played roughly 75 percent of the Astros’ 20 games so far this year, so reaching 50-plus homers in a season may not be in the cards for the 24-year-old’s 2022 campaign. Nevertheless, as the season progresses, Alvarez should find his groove and significantly increase his average.
Runs Batted In Leader: Tucker
Though still early in the season, Kyle Tucker holds a modest .191 batting average, but has shown promise. The former first round pick of the 2015 MLB draft leads the Astros with 13 RBIs. Of Tucker’s 13 hits, five have been for extra bases. Like Alvarez, Tucker continues working toward a more consistent batting average while displaying above average power at the plate.
For the most part, the Astros are still the Astros, but they need to work on their offensive consistency. They rank in the bottom five in the AL with only 68 runs scored on the year. Nevertheless, the season is young, and the Astros have plenty of time to discover—or rediscover—their identity.