Projecting the Astros RBI Leaders for 2023

Astros Tucker Homerun
Astros Tucker Homerun / Bob Levey/GettyImages

The Astros lineup this season will look demonstrably different from last with the departure of Yuli Gurriel, the addition of Jose Abreu, and the recovery from injury for both Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve. Three huge pieces in the Astros lineup are not currently playing for the team, with Gurriel leaving for the Miami Marlins, Brantley recovering from shoulder surgery and Altuve healing from his World Baseball Classic injury last month.

The Houston Astros will look to the heart of their lineup again to produce runs, and last season Kyle Tucker led that charge with 107 RBI, followed by Yordan Alvarez at 97 and Alex Bregman at 93. Abreu had 75 RBI last season with the White Sox and Pena had 63 in his rookie year, so both could improve on those totals this season and be in the mix for top RBI on the team.

One factor will decide the team RBI leader this season and that is Dusty Baker. Yordan Alvarez will easily win the team lead for RBI this season if Baker lets him. Yordan played in 15 fewer games than both Tucker and Bregman last season and had he matched his production in the 135 games he did play, he would have ended up with 118 RBI on the season which would have landed him as the fourth highest total in the MLB.

My prediction however will be the same as last year for Alvarez, Baker will not play him as much as other players and he will hover around second or third highest producer on the team because of that fact. This seems hard to believe after Alvarez's hot start to 2023, with one home run and four RBI after the first two games, but that is not really a statement against Yordan but more of a statement against Baker.

The clear winner for 2023 will again be Kyle Tucker. Tucker has everything to prove to Astros brass, who did not sign him to a long term deal and instead he went through and lost arbitration, leaving him with five-million reasons to lead the team in RBI again this year, and even increase his total from last season. Tucker with a chip on his shoulder and filling the month long hole in his swing from last year should end around 115 RBI this year and Alex Bregman will be in a close second with over 100. Those two will have to make up for missing time from other Astros starters and will be the big winners in the end with regards to RBI. Abreu will have plenty of opportunity but will remain in fifth place, behind Pena who will have another solid year and improve upon his rookie year.