The Astros Four Potential Leadoff Hitters Without Jose Altuve
By Alec Brown
For my money, Jeremy Peña is who I would anticipate Baker penciling into the top of the lineup. Like Altuve, he is an aggressive hitter that can easily turn a mistake around into the seats. He also brings elite speed to the top of the order.
Dusty Baker slotted Peña in the leadoff spot eight times last year, and while the results were not great (.129/.206/.226 with one home run, three walks and eight strikeouts in 31 at-bats), the small-sample size took place before the September swing adjustment that catapulted the rookie to ALCS and World Series MVP.
Peña has batted leadoff in spring training since returning from the World Baseball Classic. In seven spring training games, he is hitting .286 with two home runs (both in his first game back) with a .985 OPS.