#2 Cristian Javier
If the Astros are to seriously contend for a World Series in 2024, no player needs to regain form more than Cristian Javier. Javier was untouchable in 2022, recording a 2.54 ERA and 11.7 SO/9 before an even more dominant postseason. Javier started two combined no-hitters.
His efforts resulted in a contract extension that, needless to say, Javier didn't live up to.
In 31 starts, Javier posted a 4.56 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and only 8.8 SO/9. He battled some serious mechanical flaws that resulted in his previously unhittable fastball getting touched up quite a bit. With an off-season of rest and now a full season under his belt as a starter, expect Javier to bounce back.
It's easy to forget he'd never spent a full season as a starter, and with injuries to Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy, Javier was forced into a much bigger workload than he'd ever taken on.
Javier showed signs of regaining form in his final four regular season starts, posting a 3.05 ERA before making two great starts to begin the playoffs. His start in Game 7 was a nightmare to forget about, but it did appear Javier turned a corner down the stretch.
Look for a much better 2024 from the 2022 breakout star.