Monday, January 3, 2011

The Astros County Power Rankings: January 3

Here's a little something we'll be doing throughout Spring Training and the season: rather than going with a traditional Power Ranking post every Monday morning, we're going to rank the Astros on a 1-25 system, with a pithy little blurb after each name. Will it be lusciously flawed like Megan Fox? Yes! Will it piss you off? Perhaps! Let's get going on this first Monday of 2011, and not do it again until Spring Training starts...

#1: Brett Myers

Can Myers improve on his 2010 as the ace of the staff? The key to an interesting August depends on it!

#2: Hunter Pence

Pence will have to step up and fill the offensive shoes of Carlos Lee, whom you won't see on this list until much, much later...

#3: Wandy Rodriguez

Which Wandy shows up in 2011? Early 2010 Wandy, who sucked and almost got traded, or Late 2010 Wandy, who was pretty dad gum great?

#4: Michael Bourn

Bourn has the defensive prowess and speed on the basepaths, but who gets to first base first: Bourn, or a 6th-grade tuba player on a band trip?

#5: Chris Johnson

I don't think any of us are expecting Johnson to hit .340 through 2011, but if he can hit within 60 points of it (on either side), we'll be happy.

#6: J.A. Happ

Showed up in the second half and provided solid, solid work. If he's that solid again (and everything goes right with Myers and Wandy), the Astros could have a solid core of 30-year old pitchers, peaking three years too late.

#7: Brandon Lyon

With the CL1 all his, will Lyon keep pitching like his role depended on it?

#8: Bud Norris

Will 2011 be the year that Norris comes into his own, and allows you to stop wondering if he'll walk, or strikeout, ten batters?

#9: Bill Hall

Ed Wade is betting Hall can provide some pop to the middle infield. Hitting 18HR last year, the most since hitting 35 in 2006, will certainly help...if he can stay healthy.

#10: Wilton Lopez

Should take over the 8th-inning if he can continue to dominate his command (5BB in 67IP in 2010).

#11: Clint Barmes

Sure, he's an offensive upgrade over Manzella, but is he worth the price?

#12: Brian Bogusevic

Two years ago, would you have imagined some fans clamoring for Bogusevic over $18.5m Carlos Lee?

#13: Fernando Abad

Had a decent showing in a handful of 2010 outings, and could feature in the SP5 spot.

#14: Brett Wallace

The Big Question Mark going into 2011. How his Spring Training goes depends on whether Bogusevic becomes an everyday player, and Carlos Lee becomes 1B1.

#15: Nelson Figueroa

Did alright as the 80-year old spot-starter/long relief guy in 2010, and could also figure in to the SP5 spot in 2011.

#16: Jason Castro

Buster Posey he's not (yet, anyway). How much patience will the Astros have with Castro?

#17: Wesley Wright

Once the Astros decide if he's going to be a starter or reliever, we'll be able to tell what kind of player he is.

#18: Angel Sanchez

Filled in admirably through Manzella's injury, but just doesn't have any pop.

#19: Carlos Lee

Lee's stock is waaay down, but he can't be moved thanks to that contract.

#20: Jason Michaels

He's good for a Ruthian week every season, and as a defensive replacement.

#21: Humberto Quintero

Established himself as Myers' personal catcher, but can't get on-base, or hit for power.

#22: Jeff Keppinger

The Astros have pretty much sunk Keppinger to this point, with talks with the Yankees breaking off at some point, Keppinger is looking up at playing time.

#23: Jason Bourgeois

Thought he might be able to do a little more at the plate, but just might spend 2011 in Oklahoma City.

#24: Jeff Fulchino

Injuries helped Fulchino take a step back in 2010 after a strong 2009.

#25: Tommy Manzella

Sucks to be here, but the Astros haven't done him many favors.


David said...

I expect a decline from Myers and CJ, but the others should hold about where they are, or show improvement.

Myers isn't going to regress much, though. I just expect a few more home runs. That won't be horrible as long as he keeps the walks down.

CJ, well, he has a big hole in his swing and doesn't walk enough. I expect him to try to rip the ball more, which is gonna hurt his average and strikeouts. If he hits .285 with decent pop, I will be happy. Though, I suspect closer to .265. I hope I am wrong!

Pence will continue to be Pence, Wandy is going to have a repeat of last season almost exactly, or be all the way good.

Same goes for Bourn (though i wish he would learn to walk a bit).
I have good hope for Happ improving. He still hasn't figured out the difference between pitching and throwing, but I think he is close.

Wallace will prove himself this year. The kid has hit at every level, there is no reason to think he won't hit at this one. His swing is smooth and fluid, but he needs to learn to take a walk. Give him a little time, and he will be hitting 35 home runs for us.

Everyone else, i agree with 100%. Gutsy putting relievers up that high, though. Hard to predict any of them except the very good and very bad

Darin said...

I originally didn't like the Bill Hall signing, but today I realized, that baring a major miracle, the Astros will be sellers again at the trade deadline and if Hall's hitting he could bring a decent piece in return. Wandy, Lyons and possibly Haap could be trade fodder as well.

The said...

The Boulder thinks that there is no way that Manzella makes the 25 man squad and will be damn lucky to be on the 40 man squad at the end of spring training.