Well, we are past the All-Star break and the Houston Astros are 42-61 on the season and 3-7 in their last 10 games. Since there isn’t a whole lot of news going on right now, I figured I would make a roster for the 2016 season. All the players traded for or acquired via free agency are my opinions and not backed up by any rumors. Lets take a look.
Catcher: Max Stassi – Though Stassi has struggled some this season he is still young for his league and is a great defender. I think he will eventually get the bat going and make the roster as the Astros catcher. In the off season prior, Jason Castro will be traded for decent prospects to give more depth to the farm system (which will take a hit a little later).
First Base: Jon Singleton – While Singleton has struggled in the early going, the potential is there. Currently he is striking out too much but he struggled initially in AAA last season before turning it around this year. The strikeouts won’t ever go away but I can see him hitting 30+ HR for the Astros.
Second Base: Jose Altuve – There isn’t a whole lot I can say that we don’t already know. Altuve is a hitting machine, has improved his defense and is stealing bases like it’s nobodies business. Also not bad that he signed a very friendly extension just last season to keep him an Astros through 2017.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa – The Astros #1 prospect makes the roster out of spring training in 2016. He will start in AA next season, promote to AAA after the all star break and be the starting SS in 2016. At this time he will still only be 21 years old and can bolster the middle of the Astros lineup for years to come.
Third Base: Matt Dominguez – Matty D is having somewhat a down year compared to 2013. What we do know about him though is he will play good defense and hit 20+ HR and 70+ RBI. These type of third basemen aren’t easy to come across.
Left Field: Carlos Gonzalez – The first blockbuster trade by Luhnow to acquire a star. The Rockies are struggling right now and could be sellers. The Astros build a trade for CarGo around Santana, DDJ and McCullers. He is also under contract until 2017.
Center Field: George Springer – Springer becomes the everyday CF playing great defense. He shows why he is a star hitting 40+ HR and stealing 20+ bases. The strikeouts will be there but anyone who watches the Astros can tell that Springer is a star in the making.
Right Field: Jason Heyward – In this scenario, the Astros traded for an outfielder and signed an outfielder. Having CarGo, Springer and Heyward would make a great outfield. Heyward is a great defender and can pretty much do it all with the bat. He will cost a lot of money but could be worth it to bolster the lineup.
Designated Hitter: Preston Tucker – By 2016 Tucker will already have a taste of MLB pitching and could be ready to be DH full time. Joining the system in 2012, all he has done is hit. I think it is safe to say he could be a 25 HR, 90 RBI type hitter in the MLB.
With these players my lineup would look like this:
1. Altuve, 2B
2. Heyward, RF
3. Springer, CF
4. Gonzalez, LF
5. Correa, SS
6. Tucker, DH
7. Singleton, 1B
8. Dominguez, 3B
9. Stassi, C
1. Max Scherzer, RHP – Signing big free agents isn’t always a key to success but combining the prospects coming up with a free agent or two is a good way to build a quality team. Scherzer is going to be very expensive but he is a true ace and a guy who can carry a pitching staff. He can be signed prior to the 2015 season.
2. Mat Latos, RHP – Jim Crane will be spending some money but it could make the Astros a top contender. After signing Scherzer prior to 2015, Craner signs Latos to a deal prior to 2016. During the 2016 season, Latos would only be 28-years-old. In nearly 900 MLB innings, he has a 3.34 ERA.
3. Dallas Keuchel, LHP – Dallas has shown this season to be a quality starting pitcher. Dallas had been able to limit his walks and keep up a nice strikeout rate. He looks to be an innings eater for years to come for the Astros.
4. Jarred Cosart, RHP – I think the best way to describe Cosart is a pitcher who just battles. He does a very good job of getting out of jams. He has lowered his walks and increased his strikeouts this season. In 2016, Cosart could be a 3.50 ERA guy.
5. Mark Appel, RHP - Appel has had a rough start to his professional career but he still has the making of a good starter. Now that he is out of Lancaster and in Corpus, he hopefully will get it going. After spending all of 2015 in the minors, Appel is ready to make the big league rotation out of spring training 2016.
SU: Tyler Clippard
RP: Thomas Shirley
RP: David Martinez
RP: Josh Fields
RP: David Rollins
RP: Jake Buchanan
Obviously, this is the roster that I put together myself; but, in my opinion, this is a very good roster. It would take a lot of money from Jim Crane but if we wants to win, it would be something he may have to do.
What are your thoughts on this roster?
Tags: Houston Astros