Yuli Gurriel, 1B
Yuli Gurriel’s versatility and athleticism have been instrumental for the Houston Astros not completely sinking into oblivion during all of these injuries. When he first arrived in the organization, he was a third baseman. He has successfully transformed into a very solid first baseman.
When Correa and Altuve were out, he played quite a bit of third and even began to learn some second base. This was huge because it allowed the Astros to get their best bats in the lineup this time and not sacrifice for the sake of positions. He’ll never be a great second baseman but, his versatility has been a huge boon.
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Even though he’s technically only in his third season, Yuli is one of the elder statesmen of this team. Having played over a dozen seasons in Cuba and Japan he has a lot of baseball experience under his belt. Experience that has surely dealt with many highs and many lows. The Astros need him to tap into this down the stretch.
Yuli’s power may never turn into too many home runs as he is more of a line drive hitter but, that is perfectly okay. He has been the Astros best hitter with runners in scoring position though, he has been slumping a little bit.
The Astros need La Pina to zone in and produce again when guys are on base. During the Astros nine-game home losing streak, they’ve only produced 25 runs. That is a far cry from the nearly 5 runs per game they have been averaging this season. Yuli can help the team return to that average.
The Astros aren’t in bad shape. They’re still a pretty strong bet to make the playoffs but, if this recent play continues it’ll be a lot harder to defend their championship. So, hopefully, these guys and a return to health power this team to another AL West title.