The dust has settled, the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities have come to a close and it’s time all participants pack up to go home.
Who would’ve thought a peculiar cold front would cause residents, spectators and players alike to start scrambling for a Windbreaker or other warm gear in the middle of July?
The American League continued with their dominance by beating the National League 5-3 and Mike Trout, coined as one of the greatest baseball players of this current era, was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award.
It honestly wasn’t even a competition.
But seeing all of the top heavy-hitters of the MLB congregated to compete raises an important question.
Will we ever see a representative from the Houston Astros participate in this storied event?
Many would say George Springer would likely be the first one in this crop of players to revel in the honor.
But what if it were Chris Carter, our burly, 250-pound designated hitter?
Carter has made some strides as of late to make plays for the Astros, with his hitting streak increasing to nine games with at least one.
He also ranks 13th in the Majors with 19 home runs.
His batting average is currently nothing to sneeze at — it’s currently at .205 — but it’s up from earlier in the season.
His on-base plus slugging was atrocious earlier this year but it has now increased to .746 which is slightly above average. He had been hanging around the high-fives, low-sixes as far as OPS.
The slight uptick in numbers is a result of him making plays to get himself on-base.
At the start of last weekend, he was on a tear by hitting six home runs in the past seven games.
Last season, he cranked out 29 homers finishing 16th in the rankings.
But his weakness continues to be his strikeouts, he was the MLB leader last year with 212 of them.
It’s the kind of inhibitor that keeps one out competitions like the Home Run Derby.
But let’s rewind to this season — he is ranked 11th currently with 99 strikeouts currently. His pace toward last year’s mark is right slightly below on track meaning that he is making strides to bring those numbers down some.
But nonetheless, it has been great to hear and see Carter go yard multiple times this season. I have always felt that it’s when you least expect it — when you think he’ll strikeout at the plate, he makes something out of nothing and cranks one out toward the Crawford Boxes.
We’ll never know if Carter will ever be eligible for the Home Run Derby but he is right at the brink and it would be nice to see a player from my home team represent the Bayou City proudly.
I certainly hope that it’s sooner than later…
Until then I’ll sit back and enjoy the ride as he continues to ascend.