Astros: What’s Up With Hank Conger?


Despite a few previous bumps on the road, the Houston Astros are back on track.

And they’ve been on that track since the All-Star Break, going 10-4 since the Midsummer Classic.

This team has figured things out and they’re having a lot of fun doing it.

The cohesiveness, the camaraderie, the way they seem to all play as one unit certainly gives us plenty of hope that this team will be competitive far after the end of the season.

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This team also has all of the tools — your superstars, young guns and the role players.

A championship team must have each of those three attributes in order to be successful.

Everyone knows their role and what it takes for their contribution in order for the team to thrive.

Remember the Houston Rockets back-to-back championship teams of the mid-1990s?

Yes, each of those teams certainly had those characteristics in addition to the mindset that they can go out and beat anybody.

Having that high level of confidence instilled from within is what gets one through and eventually to the promised land.

That’s how I feel about the 2015 Astros.

Something is different, I can’t quite put my finger on it but how this team continues to be successful is quite peculiar.

But there’s one guy who’s making a difference night in/out and I didn’t think that was going to be the case.

Just who am I talking about?

Hank Conger.

The guy has been terrific for the Astros as of late and it appears as if he has figured things out — you know, what his role is on this team.

For the 27-year-old who has a Twitter handle of PanderCusher35, he is definitely making a name for himself on this team.

When the Astros announced that he was to be the 2nd catcher on this team alongside Jason Castro before the season, I was optimistic but yet shrugged my shoulders because I knew how bad he was of a hitter he was with the Los Angeles Angels.

In each of his five seasons with the Angels, he hadn’t hit over .250 but I knew that he had exceptional catching skills so I figured that was the reason that we picked him up.

I thought we were going to see a lot of the same this season with him.

It was really looking that way as well.

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Astros appear to be content to let the rest of the league pass them by this offseason
Astros appear to be content to let the rest of the league pass them by this offseason /

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  • But we’ve seen an exponential rise in his production — since the All-Star break, Conger has hit .348 up from .232 before.

    His OPS has been a whopping 1.233 post-break (up from .773 pre-break) which is good for tops on the team at this exact moment.

    Conger also eight home runs to his credit this season — quite a milestone — considering he never hit more than seven of those which was back during the 2013 season.

    He had five home runs pre-All-Star and he’s nearly matched that total in just a few weeks after the break.

    Not to mention that he hit his first career Grand Slam last night as well!

    I was watching the game and I had a feeling that he was going to do it — he had the look — the look of intrepidity on his face as he pummeled that ball out to right field eventually propelling the Astros to a 9-2 win!

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    And ultimately sending Jeremy Hellickson to the showers early…

    I don’t know what’s gotten into Conger but I want to see more of it!

    I just continue to think that if Conger and Castro were all rolled into to one, that would make for one hell of a catcher!

    But we have to take what we can get and allow these guys to split time at the position — so far it’s working and even Castro is coming around hitting his now-infamous walk-off homer Thursday night against the Angels to complete a sweep of that respective series.

    So keep it up Hank, you have my full support!

    Go ‘Stros!

    Next: Are The Astros A World Series Favorite?