The Astros’ weaknesses and how to fix them
The Astros’ catchers cannot hit.
Let me ask you a question — can you think of a World Series champion team that did not have a catcher that can hit? The Astros have pretty much run a two-catcher system throughout their golden years, and at least one of those guys can usually hold their own at the plate.
In 2017, this was Brian McCann, in 2019 it was Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado to a smaller degree and in 2021 it was Jason Castro. This year, the Astros seem to not have this available to our disposal.
The two main guys behind the plate for the Astros in 2022 are Martin Maldonado, who is averaging a .113, and Jason Castro, who is managing a measly .083. Now do not get me wrong, both of these guys mean a lot to the team defensively, but I just do not believe that the club can win a World Series with both catching options basically being an automatic out.
So, how does the team fix it? Maldonado is one of the greatest defensive catchers in the League and is a true leader that will be needed come the postseason. Castro has been with the Astros through the ups and downs of the franchise, but he just does not add enough value to stay on the roster in his current capacity.
Many fans point to prospect Korey Lee as the solution, but the backstop is only managing a .221 batting average in Triple-A. This is not bad, but I am not sure it would be much better than a veteran in Castro could manage.
So the real solution here would be to make a trade with a team that is not expected to compete come October. It would most likely take place towards the deadline, and the main catchers I see in contention here are Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs and Jacob Stallings of the Miami Marlins.
I do not expect either of these teams to compete in the postseason, and I believe the Astros could acquire one of these guys in a package that includes one of the center-field tandem members, as well as a few other prospects. I like Stallings specifically, as his contract is not too pricey.