#4 Yainer Diaz
Just like Chas McCormick, we love Yainer Diaz. It remains totally inexcusable that Diaz wasn't catching more in 2023. Houston could have used both his bat and his defense.
That said, expecting Yainer to replicate his 2023 season in his first full-year may be asking a bit much. Diaz hit .282 with 23 home runs and an .846 OPS in only 355 at-bats. He's got fantastic bat-to-ball skills and has a ton of power in his swing.
Diaz is undoubtedly the Astros catcher of the future. That said, it's likely he has to go through some growing pains in 2024.
Yainer is quite possibly the least discipline hitter in the MLB. He will likely always be a free-swinger, and that doesn't necessarily have to change, but he finished in the 1st percentile in chase rate and walk rate, and his whiff rate was 37th percentile.
His playoff struggles highlighted the book being out on Diaz. Yainer went 1-14 with five strikeouts in the postseason. Teams repeatedly threw him sliders that started on the plate before diving out of the zone. Yainer never laid off.
If you throw him a fastball, you're likely going to be getting it back out of the left field seats, but if you start a breaking ball on the outside edge, he's probably going to chase.
He's a young hitter still learning the game, and more plate discipline will come as time goes on. But as Diaz looks to grow as a hitter while carrying the weight of leading a staff, don't be surprised if his strikeouts rise and his average and OPS take a dip in 2024.