While he may not be as appreciated in his own clubhouse as he should be, Chas McCormick is beginning to get his deserved recognition on a national level.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic just named Chas McCormick as one of his breakout players of 2023. Bowden slotted McCormick eighth on a list in a move he "never saw coming."
McCormick has been the subject of quite a lot of dialogue recently in Houston. Rumors have emerged from within the organization solidifying reports that Dusty simply doesn't like the talented centerfielder.
Regardless of a "weight gain" or erratic playing time, McCormick has produced any time he has been on the field.
He was a solid big-leaguer in 2022. Chas was above average at the plate, hitting .245 with 14 home runs, a .738 OPS, and a 111 OPS+. He played good defense in center field and finished the year with a 2.0 fWAR.
Chas was great in the playoffs, hitting a memorable home run off of former Astro Gerrit Cole in the ALCS before making one of the best defensive plays in World Series history to save Game 5.
The stars aligned for McCormick to take a step forward in 2023, but I don't know if anybody saw him making this big of a leap. In 107 games, McCormick is hitting .281 with an .856 OPS and a 135 OPS+. In 12 less games than last season, McCormick has increased his home run total from 14 to 20, his stolen base total from four to 19, and his RBI total from 44 to 65.
Chas has continued mashing left handers, but has greatly improved when facing a right-hander, increasing his OPS against righties from a below-average .645 to a well above average .777.
His success this year has amounted to a 3.9 fWAR that nearly doubles his total from last season.
McCormick's breakout has been incredibly important for a team that has battled injury and regression from veterans all season.
Here's hoping with the playoffs looming his breakout starts to get some respect from the one tasked with writing the lineup card each day.