(HEAD TRAINER: Nathan Lucero; FIVE YEAR RANK: 5; 2010 RANK: 19)
For explanation of these ratings, click here
1B Brett Wallace|
We get it. Brett Wallace has a physique that won't sell jeans, unless it's Sir Mix-A-Lot that's buying. Weight and BMI are terrible indicators of health. At first base, Wallace should be able to stay healthy. As for the jeans, a good selvedge is worth the price.
CF Michael Bourn
A high OBP speedster who's in his late 20's and has no history of serious leg injuries? I'll take two please.
SS Clint Barmes
3B Chris Johnson
RF Hunter Pence
2B Bill Hall |
Moving back to second base full-time should be an interesting thing to watch, but if Hall can stick there, his power becomes a big asset. The Astros have enough options at second that Hall shouldn't be overexposed there. We'll assume Brad Mills talked to Terry Francona about Hall this off-season.
SP Nelson Figueroa
Figueroa is a nice arm to have around. In a previous era, he'd be a swingman. Today, he's a tweener. He's likely to be overextended past 120 innings, but the Astros would be smart to push that and have Figueroa's replaceable arm buy some time for this rotation. Figueroa's not a good risk in any sense, in any format.
C Jason Castro |
Castro was drafted to be an offensive catcher. A .205 average without much power isn't going to make people forget the halcyon days of Brad Ausmus. He'll also need to be platooned careful, whether he hits or not. Young catchers are always risky and The System seems to have something against Castro, rating him as one of the highest risks in the league despite a clean injury history.
LF Carlos Lee
Lee's smart, so maybe the Astros should put Brett Wallace's locker next to Lee's. They share a lot in common, including a body type and an ability to mash good pitching. While he is risky, he's also put up 600-plus plate appearances in five of the past six years. The problem is that he probably shouldn't be doing quite so much at this age, but for what the Astros are paying him, it's tough to not ride El Caballo hard.
SP Brett Myers
Myers came into 2010 with a risk rating off the charts. He'd come back from hip surgery only to hurt his shoulder. Brought to Houston by Ed Wade, the "Philly shuttle" jokes were almost too easy. Myers had the last laugh by staying healthy, putting up quality innings, and having his first solid season since '07. Myers' history and age doesn't give a big hope of a repeat performance, but he mocked the red last year.
SP Wandy Rodriguez
Rodriguez held the 190-plus mark for the second year, a big plus, but he did clearly wear down at the end of the season. That's a minus. Late bloomer or not, he's still 32 this season, the point where a lot of wiry pitchers that lack big velocity tend to start a decline.
SP Bud Norris
Norris was inconsistent last season, but did get his innings up over 150. The shoulder issues raise a lot of red flags on a power pitcher, especially if you buy into those internet gurus that hate his mechanics.
SP J.A. Happ
Happ hit every level last year, but ended up with fewer than 90 major-league innings. Even at the fourth slot, he'll be asked to come up over 160 in a full season, which could be a stretch for a guy that has worn down in both his major league campaigns and who has only cleared that mark once in his whole pro career.
CL Brandon Lyon
Lyon's first impression last season was a shoulder cyst that had him shut down through much of camp. Who else had this kind of cyst in the last few seasons? Erik Bedard. Lyon finished the season strong and with Matt Lindstrom gone, there's really no one else to challenge him or pick up the saves if he goes down again.