ake Marisnick, OF
It may seem odd to place a guy who doesn’t have an obvious route to consistent playing time but Jake Marisnick finds himself on this list as an X-Factor nonetheless. Marisnick is one of the fastest players on the Houston Astros roster and boasts the best glove in the outfield.
That being said, there was speculation that he may not even make the roster at the start of Spring Training. Typically, the Astros have carried 13 pitchers and 12 position players. Those twelve players have usually only included one full-time backup outfielder. So, it was either Tony Kemp or Marisnick making the 25 man roster for Opening Day.
However, both Kemp and Marisnick have played extremely good baseball this Spring and both are expected to earn spots on the Opening Day 25 man roster. They both have their merits, Marisnick’s briefly explained above and Kemp’s being mostly tied to his bat.
With Marisnick’s tremendous defensive ability and speed, he looks more like a potential X-Factor than Kemp. His speed and defense will earn him playing time but if he can get his bat going, it could keep him in the lineup.
Marisnick is hitting over .300 so far this Spring to pair with two homers, two stolen bases, and four RBIs. If can somewhat resemble that stat line over the course of a full season, he should be kept in the starting lineup with George Springer in right and Josh Reddick in left with Michael Brantley splitting time between DH and first base. This would make the lineup immensely more deadly.