2 Astros players whose hot streaks will continue, 2 who will fade

Here are the Houston players who can continue their hot starts and who will fizzle soon.
Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros
Toronto Blue Jays v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

With Houston Astros fans -- or any sports fans, for that matter -- one of the weirdest and funniest phenomena is when a guy has one bad game or a few rough nights and fans instantly turn on them. Sure, it would be awesome if everyone played great every single game, but that just isn't going to happen over 162 games. Baseball is the one sport where everything should even out over a long season, but that doesn't stop fans from chanting to trade a guy for going 1-11 in a series.

That's the risk with looking at any small sample. Weird outlier things will happen that can make a total scrub look like Babe Ruth or a generational talent look like they need to be sent back down to the minors. However, we have gotten just enough games in now that we can at least make good guesses on where guys are situated at the moment.

For the Astros, there has been a good bit of inconsistency that makes this a little exercise a bit tricky. However, we gave it our best shot anyways. Here are two Astros players who are off to hot starts that could stick, and two who will probably fall off before too long.

Jose Altuve's early season performance looks pretty real for Astros

It is honestly hard to make this prediction. Sure, Jose Altuve is 33 years old and is coming off an injury-plagued 2023 season and already got his contract extension. It wouldn't have been unreasonable at all to guess that Altuve might get off to a slow start before returning to his usual self. Instead, Altuve has come out of the gates swinging and leaving fans wondering how long he can keep this up.

Right now, the metrics really seem to like what he is doing, as he is making hard contact much more often. Altuve elevating his launch angle should allow him to tap into his power more as his legs slow down. More importantly, Altuve actually has a track record of being among the best hitters in the league, so it is a bit easier to believe that his surge will stick versus when a random guy does it out of nowhere. How long Altuve can play and stay productive is currently an open question, but the start of his extension is off to a great start.

Astros fans may want to temper their expectations with Jeremy Peña

There was a lot of excitement down at camp when Jeremy Peña revealed a new batting stance after a challenging 2023 season at the plate. He had a good spring as well, so when you see a guy come out of the gates with a 1.124 OPS, it would be easy to just declare victory and say that he must be a different player after changing his stance.

However, a closer look suggests his start has been aided significantly by some good luck on balls in play. Before this season, Peña's previous career high BABIP was .323, and he is going on a .400 clip so far this season. That mark just isn't going to stay that high. That said, a very welcome sight is that he is also hitting a lot more line drives so far this season, and that could be mean good things are coming from Peña for longer than expected.

Yainer Diaz is poised to have a breakout season in 2024 for Houston

After the ghost of Martin Maldonado weighed the lineup down for most of the 2023 season, it is refreshing to see an Astros catcher that can play the position well while also remaining a threat at the plate. In Yainer Diaz, it appears as though Houston has struck gold, as he is currently slashing .462/.517/.731 this season.

Now, there is no world in which Diaz will keep up THAT pace because that would be the best season in baseball history. However, his underlying metrics (exit velocity, xwOBA, etc.) all look great and portend well for the future, so what we are seeing is a combination of a strong batted ball profile and a little good fortune. The one caveat here is that Diaz IS hitting a lot more ground balls than usual, so his hot start could experience some temporary hiccups before too long.

Ronel Blanco's no-hitter was a great story, but it won't last

One of the best moments from the early portion of the 2024 season was when Ronel Blanco came out of nowhere and threw a no-hitter in his first start of the year. All of a sudden, everyone forgot all their complaints about the state of Houston's rotation and were fully on the Blanco bandwagon.

No one thinks that Blanco is going to throw a no-hitter every time he goes out there, and his previous performance suggests he could peak as a No. 3 starter. Unfortunately for him, he is really going to have to pitch his brains out in his next start, too, to stick around in the rotation once Justin Verlander returns from the IL. If he can, then maybe the Astros will let him stay around. However, the odds are that he will regress a good bit, but remain a solid bullpen contributor and spot starter.

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