It’s Fantasy Baseball season as managers and leagues get ready to draft for the upcoming 2014 MLB season. Here at HoH, we’re going to take a look at how ESPN, Yahoo Sports, and CBS Sports rank your Houston Astros for this year’s fantasy games. Today, we take a look at ESPN’s rankings.
ESPN put six different Astros in their top 300. Here are their projections with thoughts to follow.
83. Jose Altuve – 72 runs, 5 HR, 44 RBI, 32 SB, .283 AVG (8th 2B)
168. Jason Castro – 70 runs, 19 HR, 64 RBI, 2 SB, .275 AVG (12th C)
204. Jonathan Villar – 57 runs, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 28 SB, .234 AVG (16th SS)
247. Dexter Fowler – 75 runs, 13 HR, 46 RBI, 19 SB, .257 AVG (61st OF)
262. Jesse Crain - 56 IP, 3 W, 8 SV, 2.15 ERA, 1.09 WHIP (38th RP)
264. Chris Carter – 69 runs, 28 HR, 85 RBI, 2 SB, .228 AVG (65th OF)
George Springer – 40 Runs, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 12 SB, .203 AVG
Jonathan Singleton – 24 runs, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB, .203 AVG
I think both Altuve and Castro’s projections are pretty fair. I can be biased and argue for to make them a bit higher, but for the most part I think you’re going to get solid production from both players if you choose to take them later in the draft and focus on other positions earlier.
The biggest shock to me is in regards to Fowler. While most of his numbers look fair, ESPN seems to believe Fowler will have his worst batting average in his career at just .257. Fowler is a career .270 hitter, and hit .300 in 2012. ESPN may think that Fowler can’t keep up his average now with his move away from Coors Field. Fowler was a career .298 hitter at home compared to a .241 hitter on the road. Moreover, Fowler has hit just .189 in 37 at-bats at Minute Maid Park. I’d like to think Fowler can hit in the .270 range, which would likely vault him closer to the 180-220 range.
The two big Astros prospects also get little respect with ESPN. Springer is a career .299 hitter in the Minor Leagues, so I’d expect him to hit at least in the .240 range this season. It seems like ESPN believe Singleton will come up around August time, so his numbers look fairly projectable though his average is also pretty low. I also expect Singleton to hit higher than ESPN’s projections, and hit at least .230 during his time with the Astros.