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These Houston Astros projections are part of a series looking at each team in Major League Baseball with a focus on Fantasy production and value. At the bottom of this page you can find links to all completed team projections. The projection series runs from January 2 thru 31, but will be adjusted all the way up to Opening Day.

The Astros were one of MLB’s top feel-good stories of 2015, and their young players had Fantasy owners feeling pretty good as well. In Carlos Correa and George Springer, Houston has two of the most exciting young players in baseball, while veterans like Jose Altuve and Carlos Gomez have pretty nice track records as well.

On the pitching side, American League Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel, headlines the starting staff, while newcomer Ken Giles should step right in and climb the closer ranks in fast order.

One caveat about these Houston Astros projections; they are most definitely Fantasy focused. As such you won’t see every player on the team projected. I’ve attempted to project all players who will likely have value in 12-team AL-only leagues. This covers your typical mixed leagues and should go deep enough to cover the 2016 Fantasy Baseball season. We’ll have plenty of content geared toward prospects and keeper/dynasty formats to satisfy those of you who go even deeper.

Below each set of projections I’ve included brief notes on my thought process as I projected many of the players. In general I’m pretty conservative with my projections, but the Astros have some young talent that’s hard not to get excited about. Enough talk, let’s get on to the Houston Astros projections for the 2016 MLB season.

Houston Astros Projections: Hitters

Pos.
Player
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
C Jason Castro
125
431
105
25
1
15
51
53
43
130
0
.243
.316
1B Jonathan Singleton
120
378
85
18
1
17
48
53
62
129
4
.225
.335
2B Jose Altuve
158
662
210
41
3
12
92
71
38
71
38
.317
.356
3B Luis Valbuena
128
427
99
19
2
15
61
57
54
102
1
.233
.323
SS Carlos Correa
156
622
181
34
2
32
94
94
66
121
19
.291
.358
LF Carlos Gomez
145
566
151
31
4
22
84
74
44
142
28
.268
.331
CF Colby Rasmus
130
445
107
26
1
22
63
64
44
153
2
.240
.310
RF George Springer
140
525
140
27
3
26
83
73
76
153
20
.266
.368
DH Evan Gattis
148
564
144
25
5
32
67
85
33
130
0
.255
.301
RES Preston Tucker
75
208
52
11
0
7
24
24
16
50
1
.249
.306
RES Marwin Gonzalez
70
184
47
9
1
4
22
17
10
38
2
.255
.297
RES Jake Marisnick
68
165
40
7
1
4
21
16
8
48
9
.242
.282

 

Notes on Astros Hitters:

  • Jason Castro came up through the minors with a reputation as an offensive catcher and in 2013 it looked like he was on his way to a solid career. Since then he’s done nothing but disappoint. The power has went in reverse and his strikeout rate has climbed each year, culminating in a30.7% rate in 2015. At just 28 years old, there’s still time for a rebound. I’m not reaching for him, but he does offer more upside than most other catchers you’ll see in his draft neighborhood.
  • Right now the Astros are saying that Jonathan Singleton is the man at first base. I’m not totally buying that, especially with A.J. Reed knocking on the door to the bigs. My projection has Singleton holding onto the job until just past midseason before the Astros turn to reed. This is definitely a situation I’ll be watching once as Spring Training progresses.
  • Jose Altuve is not the .341 hitter of 2014, nor is he likely to reproduce his 15 long balls of last season. What he is, is a multi-faceted player who is just now entering his prime. Expect the power to come down, but the speed is just as likely to go up, while a .300-plus average is almost a given.
  • I hope you squeezed every bit of value you could out of Luis Valbuena in 2015. He won’t be seeing 20-plus homers again anytime soon, but that .224 average is something you can get used to. If he still had middle infield eligibility I could live with his shortcomings, but with only first and third base eligibility for 2016, he’s way down my list of acceptable options.
  • The projection I have for Carlos Correa has been adjusted downward several times in attempt to fight the hype. I looked through his peripherals just asking for reasons for him to go through some second-year struggles. There’s nothing. If anything I’d expect his .296 BABIP to be a bit higher considering his 32.9 Hard Hit Percentage. The hype will likely turn some people off of Correa. Just not me. Shortstop is a barren wasteland and I have no problem with drafting Correa in the bottom third of the first round.
  • I’m not a fan of the way Carlos Gomez acts on the field, but he may end up as one of the top values of this Fantasy Baseball season. Injuries derailed his 2015 and he never seemed to go on one of his hot streaks and it seemed like the controversy he created may have affected his play as well. He’s still one of the few players in baseball with 30/30 type talent, and I find it hard seeing him repeat the mediocrity that was 2015. It won’t always be fun to own Carlos Gomez, but his numbers should make you smile when you collect your Fantasy winnings.
  • There have been times over the last few years when Colby Rasmus looked like he was going the route of Chris Young and turning into a fourth outfielder with power. His 25 homers may have bought him another season as a regular, but it’s a very shaky tightrope he walks, especially in the Fantasy world. Strikeout rates over 30 percent make it hard to maintain positive value and if the power slips just a bit, Rasmus turns into a negative real quick. I’m staying away in 2016.
  • I love to watch George Springer hit, much like I do Giancarlo Stanton. The problem is Springer seems to be following in Stanton’s injury footsteps as well. The power wasn’t what we expected in 2015, but Springer did cut down on his strikeouts and showed some of the speed we’d heard about. I don’t have a hard time seeing Springer completely break out in 2016. The problem is that you’re paying for it ahead of time. The hype is still big with this one and at the cost it will take to acquire him, there’s very little room for profit.
  • Preston Tucker gets interesting real quick in the event of an injury in the Houston outfield. I suspect he might get exposed in full-time duty, but the tools are there. Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick have their positives, but they’re both nothing more than AL-only fodder unless more playing time opens up.

Houston Astros Projections: Pitchers

 

Player
G
GS
QS
IP
W
L
ERA
WHIP
SV
HLD
H
SO
BB
K/9
BB/9
Dallas Keuchel
33
33
24
232.0
16
9
3.13
1.15
0
0
210
209
57
8.10
2.20
Collin McHugh
32
32
21
201.6
14
10
3.67
1.24
0
0
196
175
54
7.80
2.39
Mike Fiers
30
30
18
171.0
9
9
3.72
1.15
0
0
144
165
53
8.70
2.80
Scott Feldman
22
22
11
114.4
4
9
4.49
1.47
0
0
134
66
34
5.20
2.70
Lance McCullers
32
32
19
185.6
13
8
3.70
1.26
0
0
165
184
68
8.90
3.32
Ken Giles
66
0
0
67.3
4
3
2.21
0.82
39
3
38
85
18
11.40
2.35
Luke Gregerson
70
0
0
68.6
4
6
3.22
1.04
2
24
57
63
14
8.30
1.90
Pat Neshek
68
0
0
62.6
4
2
3.43
1.07
0
26
53
57
14
8.22
1.98

 

Notes on Astros Pitchers:

  • Much like any pitcher who wins a Cy Young, it’s hard to expect Dallas Keuchel to repeat what he did in 2015. In reality his K-rate jumped nearly two full batters per nine from 2014 to last year. I’m not sure he can maintain that. That doesn’t mean he won’t be one of the Top 10 to 15 starting pitchers in Fantasy Baseball. It just means I’ll take a few pitchers with longer track records before I start thinking Keuchel.
  • The 19 wins looks real nice, but Collin McHugh took a pretty big step back in 2015. His strikeout rate dropped from 9.14 to 7.56, and his ERA climbed from 2.73 to 3.89. In reality 2015 is probably what McHugh is. Pay for last year’s stats, minus five to eight wins, and you’ll get a decent mid-range Fantasy starter.
  • Mike Fiers overall numbers are not all that impressive, but he actually improved after he was traded to Houston. His issues with the home run won’t go away in that park, but his 200-strikeout upside makes him a decent value if he slides into the late rounds of drafts like I think he might.
  • Some pitchers actually fare a bit better when they reach the Majors. Is Lance McCullers one of those pitchers? He could be, but I suspect we’ll see hitters start to catch up to his stuff as they see him a few times. I’d expect to see his strikeout rate slip under 9.0/9 and that ERA to head up closer to 4.00.  He can still be a useful pitcher, but there will likely be many owners who think he’s more than what he really is.
  • I can’t see an up-and-coming team like the Astros sticking with Scott Feldman in their rotation, but as of this writing he’s the only real option. He’s surprised me the last few years with not terrible numbers, but he carries a huge blow-up risk, and offers absolutely no strikeout upside to help offset it. Even in AL leagues I stay away and let someone else gamble on a few cheap wins.
  • Ken Giles‘ control fell back in the first half of 2015 (3.96 BB/9), but he corrected that in the second half (2.30 BB/9) and was once again looking like one of the best relievers in baseball. Now he’ll get a full-time closing gig (ignore Astros talk that there’s a competition). Depending on the investment you like to use on closers, Giles will be a pretty nice value in 2016.
  • Luke Gregerson doesn’t strike out batters like he used to, but he’s still a safe middle reliever with solid ratios. He’s also the likely backup plan if something goes amiss with Giles. I’m not onboard with using Gregerson in mixed leaues, but he can be a useful part on AL-only squads.
  • Pat Neshek? See Luke Gregerson without the possibility of closing.

That wraps up the Houston Astros Projections for the 2016 MLB season. Disagree with one of my projections? Is there another player you think needs to be included? Let me know about it in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

2016 MLB Projections By Team

NL WEST
NL CENTRAL
NL EAST
LAD
SD
SF
CHC
CIN
MIL
PIT
STL
ATL
MIA
NYM
PHI
WAS
AL WEST
AL CENTRAL
AL EAST
OAK
SEA
TEX
CWS
CLE
DET
KC
MIN
BAL
BOS
NYY
TB
TOR

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