The AAAA Houston Astros come to town for a three game set, Tuesday April 8th – Thursday April 10th.
I stand by the above quad-A Astros statement— the team is stocked full of players that are AAA or AAAA caliber.
Astros Lineup Overview
The OF consists of Robbie Grossman, a below average fielding OF that is forced into duty at CF in 2013. Grossman’s main claim to fame is a 104 BB minor league season back in 2011. This walk rate unfortunately hasn’t translated over the MLB, as Robbie walked just 23 times in 257 AB last season. Fortunately for the Astros, they acquired Dexter Fowler in the off-season to play CF. Fowler is a legitimate MLB player, although it remains to be seen how he’ll perform outside of Colorado.
The corners are manned by L.J. Hoes, Jesus Guzman, Marc Krauss, and Alex Presley, a mixture of cast-offs and failed prospects.
The infield is a (relative) bright spot. At 3B is Matt Dominguez, a player similar to Brett Lawrie–a great defensive 3B that has issues at the plate.
At SS is Jonathan Villar. His glove is MLB ready but his strikeouts are out of control; 93 K in 339 AAA AB in 2013 & 71 K in 210 AB. He’s holding down the fort until prospect Carlos Correa is ready for the show.
At 2B is Jose Altuve, a legitimate MLB player and a member of the 2012 National League all-star team. At 5-5, Altuve is one of the shortest players in MLB. He’s a bit of a throwback infielder, a scrappy player that hits for a high average and steals bases.
Rounding out the infield is Chris Carter, a three true outcomes 1st baseman that hit 29 HR with 212 K in 2013. He’s one of the worst defensive players in recent memory, statistically speaking, with a career -31.8 UZR/150 while splitting time between 1st & corner OF positions.
Behind the plate is Jason Castro, a 4+ WAR producer in 2013. Castro hit 18 HR last season and posted a .350 OBP. He’s been banged up early this season, missing games and spending time at DH.
There are some bright spots in the infield for Houston, but on the whole over half the lineup doesn’t belong in the majors. This will change in the next year or two; in the meantime games vs Houston have to be considered ‘easy pickings’.
Jays Desired Outcome
While it’s early in the season, the Jays need to win at least two out of three in this upcoming series.