Is David Hensley the Altuve Answer for the Astros?

World Baseball Classic Quarterfinals: United States v Venezuela
World Baseball Classic Quarterfinals: United States v Venezuela / Gene Wang/GettyImages

Prior to the World Baseball Classic disaster for Jose Altuve, David Hensley’s playing time this season was going to come in the form of spot starts as a sub for infielders rest days.  Dusty Baker covets utility players on the roster, and the flexibility that comes as a result.  In addition, if Baker starts the year the same as last season, he is going to rest the star starters a lot the first month and a half of the season, giving the bench players a time to shine.  Now without Jose Altuve for at least 2 months, will the Astros give Hensley a full trial or will they find another solution to fill the void?  Let’s see if Hensley’s resume puts him in contention, which I think it does.

A 26th round pick out of San Diego State, Hensley at 6’ 6” would be the opposite in stature. He is a foot taller than the diminutive Altuve.  Last season Hensley only managed 29 at bats, and he hit one home run while driving in five.  Don’t look for any power out of Hensley however, as his career high for home runs in a season is 10 and the past two seasons he has struck out more than 100 times.  The upside for Hensley is that he hits for average, being just shy of .300 the past two years in the minors.

It would be difficult to project his impact this year but I assume he will be in the player in place for Altuve, at least most of the time. He will have a lot more at bats and will therefore have more opportunity for success. Hensley should project somewhere around .275 average with 8 home runs and 50 RBI.

Overall, any player will be a downgrade from the Hall of Famer that has ruled second base since 2011.  Dubon is not the answer, I will scream that from the rooftops, so that only leaves a free agent, trade, or a minor leaguer.  Corey Julks played four games at second and 49 games at third, making him the only realistic option on the AAA squad, as Hensley is already assumed to be on the big league roster.  Time will tell but as it stands now, Hensley is the only option.