Friday, October 16, 2015

Your 2015 Astros

I haven't been paying much attention to the Astros. What do you expect when they lost more than 100 games a year from 2011-2013?  The Phillies were not much better but I can get them on I can't get the Astros because they are my home team. The Astros improved some last year, going 72-90 but nobody expected them to go 86-76 this year and make it to Game 5 of the ALDS.  When they started making some noise early in the season I started watching their games on the next day. I figured I better get to know these guys in case they are for real.

The Astros were a strange team this year. They struck out a lot (1,392 times) and they hit a lot of home runs (230). They had 11 guys with double figures in home runs and 2 more with 9. They had 691 RBI. Their pitching struck out 1,280 guys and had a team ERA of 3.57. A typical Astro run was either a home run, or a walk, stolen base and a single.  They were fun to watch. And they played pretty good defense.


Topps #113 Jason Castro
The Astros had 2 catchers, Castro and Hank Conger. The Astros got Conger this year in a trade with the Angles. You only saw Conger in the playoffs doing a robot dance in the dugout when one of his teammates hit a HR. Castro and Conger both hit 11 home runs during the season, and Conger had a slightly better BA, but Conger couldn't throw me out in an attempted steal of 2nd base.

Topps Gypsy Queen #247 Chris Carter
In 2014, Carter hit 37 home runs with a .227 BA. This year he only hit 24 HR and his BA was a dismal .199. He had gotten hot in the last 2-3 weeks of the season which is why he started at first in the playoffs. He hit .294 in the playoffs but with only 1 HR. And he had a lot of trouble with throwing the ball to 2nd base.

Stadium Club #205 Jose Altuve
Altuve has been the Astros stalwart at 2nd base since 2011. He led the league in AB, hits, and steals. His .313 BA was down from last year's .341 but he hit 15 home runs compared to his previous season high of 7. And he was an All-Star. He unfortunately did not perform well in the ALDS, going 3 for 22.

Topps Heritage #563 Carlos Correa
Rookie shortstop Carlos Correa was a real bright spot this year. He was the Astros 1st round draft pick in 2012. After only 22 games at Triple A, he made his major league debut on June 8. He hit .278 with 22 home runs and quickly became the everyday shortstop with his excellent defense. He hit .350 with 2 homers in the ALCS. He has a legitimate shot at AL ROY.

Topps #621 Luis Valbuena

 The Astros got Valbuena from the Cubs in exchange for Dexter Fowler. He made 3rd base his position by having a strong arm. He only hit .224 but had 25 homers. 

Topps Team Sets #HA-5 Evan Gattis
Gattis was mainly the DH, but also played a pretty good 1st base. He hit .247 and led the Astros with 27 home runs. He also hit 11 triples. He was pretty disappointing in the ALCS going 4 for 19 with 1 RBI and 5 strikeouts. 


Topps Heritage #694 Preston Tucker
The Astros had a rotating cast of characters in the outfield. Tucker mainly played LF but had games at center and RF. He hit .243 for the season with 13 HR. He was a non-factor in the playoffs going 0-2 in pitch hit opportunities.

Topps Team Sets #HA-7 Colby Rasmus
Rasmus also played in every outfield position. The Astros signed him as a free agent this year. He hit .238 with 25 homers during the season. He was a real force in the ALCS hitting .429 with 3 home runs.

Bowman #482 Carlos Gomez
The Astros acquired Gomez from the Brewers in July. He was not quite the spark the Astros expected but he played hurt most of the time he was here. He made a lot of spectacular plays in center.

Topps Allen & Ginter Mini A and G Back #52 Jake Marisnick
Marisnick had been the center fielder before Gomez but still got a lot of playing time. He hit .236 with 9 home runs. He was 3 for 7 in the ALDS.

Topps Robbed #12 George Springer
Springer was a legitimate ROY candidate in 2014 and was expected to be even better in 2015. Springer plays an aggressive right field and got hurt early in the season, ending up only playing 102 games. Still he raised his batting average to .276 (from .231 in 2014). He only hit .211 in the ALCS.


Stadium Club #28 Dallas Keuchel
Keuchel had an exceptional season. He finished 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA. He is the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award. He was a fabulous 15-0 at home. One big problem for the Astros this year was their dismal road record. Keuchel was 5-8 on the road. He was 2-0 in the playoffs, one of these being the Wildcard game in New York against the Yankees.

Topps #508 Collin McHugh
In addition to a 20-game winner, the Astros had Collin McHugh at 19-7 with a ERA of 3.89. He was 1-1 against the Royals in the ALDS.

Topps Heritage #605 Lance McCullers
Rookie Lance McCullers was 6-7 with an acceptable ERA of 3.22. He struck out 129 while only walking 43. He held the Royals to 2 runs in 6.1 innings in Game 4, the one that the relief staff game up 7 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to lose 9-6.

Topps Team Sets #HA-13 Luke Gregerson
The Astros signed free agent Gregerson to a 3-year contract last December. Although he's only had 19 saves in 6-year career, the Astros made him their closer. He responded with 31 saves and a 7-3 record. He got a save in all 3 wins the Astros had in the ALCS. 

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