6 players who have brought the Astros back from the dead the last few weeks

Here are some of the players that may have saved the Astros' season in May.
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

While they still have a long ways to go to get back to respectability in 2024, the Houston Astros are on a little bit of a roll right now. They have won back-to-back series and have looked significantly more competitive ever since the Mexico City series against the Rockies (who now can't lose somehow).

Houston is still six games below .500 going into Friday evening, but winning five straight games and seven of their last 10 is better than, well, what fans had been seeing.

Getting to this point has been a team effort with clutch performances here and there, but a few Astros have stood out since the start of the month of May as being instrumental in this mini-turnaround.

6 players who have brought the Astros back from the dead the last few weeks

Kyle Tucker

The Astros have had a weird lack of power in 2024 especially with Yordan Alvarez looking mediocre thus far this season and Alex Bregman struggling with consistency at the plate. However, the Astros have been fortunate that Kyle Tucker has stepped into that void and helped slug the Astros back to respectability.

Since May 1, Tucker is slashing .234/.400/.681 in 14 games, and while the batting average is not great, he has also clubbed six homers. That .400 OBP does a lot to overcome some crummy BABIP luck, too. His 201 wRC+ in the month of May is tops on the Astros, and without his contributions, Houston would be in big trouble right now.

Bryan Abreu

If looking strictly at fWAR, one would think a starter would lead the Astros' pitching staff this month. Given how his season started, basically no one would have guessed that Bryan Abreu would be the reliever most likely to be in the running. However, Abreu has been an entirely different pitcher in May and it couldn't have come at a better time.

So far, Abreu has made five appearances May and sports a 1.69 ERA, 0.87 FIP, and 15.19 K/9 strikeout rate. Is that a small sample size? Absolutely. But he has given the Houston bullpen a critical boost when others around him have faltered. With the Astros still trying to figure out how to stitch together a functional rotation, Abreu's performance has been a big plus.

Jake Meyers

Well, we have to eat a bit of crow here. Many, including us, were very skeptical that Jake Meyers would be able to hit enough to justify playing him every day. Him being a superb defender in the outfield was a given, but his bat had been so inconsistent that there were lots of whispers he could lose his starting job at some point.

That won't be happening anytime soon, because Meyers has been raking with a 163 wRC+ this month. He has four extra-base hits in May and is walking over 10% of the time he steps to the plate. Sure, some of his performance has been due to some good fortune with a .407 BABIP, but sometimes you just have to ride the heater while you can.

Tayler Scott

The Astros' bullpen has been a very messy situation. Josh Hader has had many duds this year (although he has been good in May as well) and Ryan Pressly has looked very ordinary. Any hope that Forrest Whitley would step in and save the day was torpedoed by yet another injury for him. Thankfully, Tayler Scott has improbably turned into one of Houston's more reliable bullpen arms.

In addition to making the most appearances out of the Astros' bullpen in May, Scott has made the most of those opportunities as he has a 2.35 ERA while missing bats and getting a ton of weak grounders when he is in the game. It would be nice if he could cut down on the walks a bit, but that fastball/changeup combo of his has been absolutely tremendous.

Joey Loperfido

Whenever a hot-shot prospect gets called up, it is fair to expect some growing pains. Still, Astros fans were very open to giving Joey Loperfido the opportunity he got given how much Jose Abreu had struggled. With the way he showed out in spring training and in the minor leagues, he had to at least be better than what Houston had been getting.

Loperfido has more than cleared that low bar over the last three weeks or so. Since May 1, he has posted a .345/.406/.483 and he connected for his first home run of the season on Thursday. Given how he is hitting the ball right now, Astros fans could be in store for a special rookie season out of Loperfido this year, and the team absolutely needs exactly that to happen.

Jeremy Peña

Much was made of the adjustments from Jeremy Peña coming into the 2024 season. Peña was coming off a subpar year at the plate last year, so it was fair to be a tad skeptical that a swing change was going to turn him back into an offensive force.

Well, he might not be Barry Bonds this season, but he has sure been a lot better than he was in 2023, especially this month. His .327/.367/.436 May slash line has enabled the bottom of the Astros' lineup to create tons of scoring chances, and his 11 runs scored is tied with Tucker for the most on the team. He may not be flashy, and his refusal to draw walks is infuriating at times, but the dude has showed up to play when Houston really, really needed him to.

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