Batting seventh in the dream 2024 Astros lineup, Yainer Diaz at C
The #7 and #8 spots in this dream Astros lineup are the weakest to be sure. The good news is that Martin Maldonado isn't going to be getting the lion's share of the playing time at catcher anymore. Amongst internal options, that meant that promising young catcher Yainer Diaz gets the nod.
There was some consideration for going for an external option at catcher could make some sense as Diaz isn't a sure fire stud just yet. However, a brief look at the free agent and trade markets this offseason was pretty depressing in terms of catching options. Mitch Garver is a free agent who can absolutely hit and can play catcher, but isn't a guy you want catching every day. The rest of the available options are older guys and backup catchers who aren't an upgrade here.
This shouldn't be cause for alarm as Diaz posted an .846 OPS in his first full season with Houston with 23 home runs and reasonable, if unexciting, defensive numbers at catcher. It would be great if he could get his 2.9% walk rate up and his performance in the postseason in very limited playing time wasn't good, but he is still a very good number seven hitter here.