10 Bold Predictions for the Astros Regular Season
By Alec Brown
Opening Day is Thursday and we can't wait for some Astros baseball. Spring Training is great in-and-of-itself, but the 162-game grind of the regular season is an entirely different animal. We'll see regulars that could be traded, breakout stars we hadn't even considered, and plenty of questions about lineup construction and bullpen management over the course of 162 games.
As Houston looks to repeat as both AL West and World Series champions, let's take a look at 10 bold predictions for the Astros in 2023.
#10 David Hensley emerges as best Astros utility player since 2017 Marwin Gonzalez
David Hensley will likely man second base while Jose Altuve rehabs, but upon Altuve's return, we will likely see Hensley all over the diamond. Similar to Marwin, he can play all four infield spots and can play an outfield corner.
Aledmys Diaz could do the same, but injuries often limited his ceiling in Houston. Mauricio Dubon is a slightly more versatile defender (and can play center field), but his offensive ineptitude makes him a liability. Hensley is adequate at each spot, and provides offense to a lineup that will need it wihtout Altuve and Michael Brantley.
Marwin hit .303 with a team-high 90 RBI in 2017. His .907 OPS was a career high, and he finished his time in Houston with a .736 OPS.
Hensley might not tap into the power Marwin brought, but he is an on-base machine, constantly working quality at-bats. In his limited time in the bigs, Hensley posted an obscene .441 OBP, a slight improvement on his .420 OBP on Sugar Land. If Hensley can get on 33-35% of the time for Houston in the bottom of the order, that's a massive win.
Look for Hensley to finish with an OPS of around .720-740 fueled by a high on-base-percentage and lots of doubles.