Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Fantasy outlooks: Houston Astros

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Houston Astros' 2012 campaign is going to mark the end of an era.

Check out our Fantasy Baseball podcast!
Stay a step ahead of your competition in 2014 by checking out our popular Fantasy Baseball Today podcasts. Adam Aizer, Scott White and Al Melchior will entertain you and help you dominate all season.
Latest episode | Subscribe!

Beginning as the Colts .45's in 1962, the Houston franchise has always been a member of the National League. But that is going to change in 2013 when the Astros pack their bags for the American League.

Therefore, baseball enthusiasts get to enjoy the Astros in the Senior Circuit for one more year. Then again, "enjoy" probably isn't the right word when it comes to discussing this year's team. "Rebuilding effort" and "extended losing streaks" might be better phrases.

Houston has made nine playoff appearances through the years, but 2011 wasn't one of them. Last year's team finished with a franchise-worst 56 wins and lost north of 100 games for the first time in team history. At least the good news for the 2012 squad is that likely won't get any worse.

The days of Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are distant memories. The only real star bat left is Carlos Lee, but the big question is who will provide El Caballo with lineup protection?

The rebuilding project began the last few years as Houston traded stars Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn. The Astros are now ready to start over with the likes of J.D. Martinez, Jose Altuve, Brett Wallace, Jason Castro, Jason Bourgeois and Jordan Schafer, but the Astros aren't built to contend this season.

The strength of this year's Houston squad lies in its rotation. Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Bud Norris give the Astros a potentially potent 1-2-3 punch. Houston could also get a huge lift from lefty J.A. Happ if he pitches more like the guy that went 12-4 in 2009 with Philadelphia and not the 6-15 arm he was in 2011. Houston is also hoping homegrown arm Jordan Lyles can solidify the back of the rotation instead of heading back to the minors for more seasoning.

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Baseball.

The two biggest offseason acquisitions were shortstop Jed Lowrie and catcher Chris Snyder. Lowrie will now get to play every day without looking over his shoulder. Snyder's ability to handle a pitching staff will be a welcomed addition in Houston and also his presence will help ease Castro back into action after he missed last season with a knee injury.

Once considered a weakness, the Astros have started to rebuild their farm system. Trades have brought them potential stars in Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart, and strong drafts have landed them George Springer and Delino Deshields.

But that seems to be the underlying theme with Houston -- building toward the future.

Sleeper ... J.D. Martinez , OF

Martinez has developed into a steal for the Astros. He hasn't even played a full season in the majors, but has already surpassed expectations as a 20th round draft pick in 2009. Martinez sped through the minors thanks to a .342 average, .414 on-base percentage and .958 OPS. He has more of a line-drive swing and is a better doubles hitter, but he could get some cheap homers at Minute Maid Park. The good news for Martinez is that manager Brad Mills is likely to hit him third in front of Carlos Lee. Martinez hit .295 with five homers, 12 doubles and 31 RBI in 44 games batting third in 2011.

Injury-risk sleeper ... Jed Lowrie, SS

Let's take a moment to reminisce about the season that could have been for Lowrie in 2011 had he not developed a nagging shoulder injury. He hit .306 with a .354 OBP and .804 OPS in his first 46 games (40 starts). He also had 21 RBI in that span. Unfortunately, Lowrie went on the disabled list in mid-June and didn't return until early August, but he wasn't the same. He hit .195 in his last 42 games. That's going to be the biggest question mark for Lowrie heading into this season. If healthy, he could end up a steal for Fantasy owners. But his shoulder problem and the fact he no longer plays for a contender means you can't invest more than a late-round pick on Lowrie.

Late-round flier ... Bud Norris, SP

Norris hasn't had a winning season since his rookie campaign in 2009 and might be headed for a third straight losing campaign in 2012, but we still feel the best is yet to come from the soon-to-be 27-year-old hurler. Fantasy owners might not realize, but Norris is averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, which is his strongest Fantasy asset. However, Norris also lowered his ERA to 3.77 and his WHIP to 1.33 in 2011. It's also worth pointing out that opponents have hit .256 or worse against Norris the last two seasons. He remains only a late-round flier because the wins could be hard to come by, but Norris definitely has appeal as a back-of-the-rotation Fantasy arm.

2012 Houston Astros Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Jordan Schafer CF 1 Wandy Rodriguez LH
2 Jose Altuve 2B 2 Brett Myers RH
3 J.D. Martinez LF 3 Bud Norris RH
4 Carlos Lee 1B 4 J.A. Happ LH
5 Brian Bogusevic RF 5 Livan Hernandez RH
6 Jed Lowrie SS Alt Jordan Lyles RH
7 Jimmy Paredes 3B
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Jason Castro C CL Brandon Lyon RH
Top bench options SU Wilton Lopez RH
R Jason Bourgeois OF RP Juan Abreu RH
R Chris Snyder C RP Sergio Escalona LH
R Brett Wallace 1B RP Fernando Rodriguez RH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2011 high Destination
1 Jonathan Singleton 20 1B Class A Double-A
Former Phillies farmhand that has potential to hit .300 with 25-30 homers in majors.
2 Jarred Cosart 21 SP Double-A Double-A
Another key part of Hunter Pence trade, Cosart has ace potential but could transition to closer as well.
3 George Springer 22 OF Class A Class A
First-round pick from 2011 who is a five-tool player. A power-speed combo guy in the mold of Matt Kemp.
4 Jonathan Villar 20 SS Double-A Double-A
Villar's strengths are his defense and speed, but needs to improve strike-zone discipline.
5 Domingo Santana 19 OF Class A Class A
The word that best describes Santana is raw, but the ceiling is high if he reaches his full potential.
Best of the rest: Paul Clemens, SP; Brett Oberholtzer, SP; Delino Deshields, 2B; Mike Foltynewicz, SP; Telvin Nash, 1B/OF; Kyle Weiland, SP; Adrian Houser, SP; Austin Wates, OF; Jiovanni Mier, SS; Tanner Bushue, SP; Ariel Ovando, OF; Nick Torpeano, SP

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Michael Hurcomb at @CBSHurc . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
David Robertson picks up relief win
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:52 pm ET) Yankees reliever David Robertson (3-5) collected a relief win Thursday night at home against Blue Jays. Robertson struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The offense scored a run on a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth. He owns a 2.83 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 60 1/3 innings of relief.

Shane Greene twirls 6 2/3 scoreless innings in no-decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:35 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Shane Greene turned in a solid outing in a no-decision Thursday night at home against the Blue Jays. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Of his 105 pitches, 73 were strikes.

Greene owns a 3.24 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP over 75 innings of work. His next start will come Wednesday at home against Baltimore.

Aaron Sanchez coughs up game-winning run vs. Yankees
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:30 pm ET) Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez (2-2) was pegged with a loss Thursday night against the Yankees. Sanchez allowed the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth due to a throwing error by Aaron Lind.

Sanchez was charged with one unearned run on one hit over one-third of an inning in a 3-2 defeat. He owns a 1.24 ERA and a 0.66 WHIP over 29 innings of relief.

R.A. Dickey unable to factor into the decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:21 pm ET) Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey tossed a quality start but was unable to factor into the decision Thursday night against the Yankees in New York.

Dickey allowed a run-scoring double to Stephen Drew in the fifth and a solo home run to Derek Jeter in the sixth. He permitted two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three over six innings of work. Of his 89 pitches, 60 were strikes.

Dickey owns a 3.82 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 32 starts (202 2/3 innings). His next start will come Tuesday at home against Seattle.

Jered Weaver on track to start Game 1 of ALDS
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:34 pm ET) Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, who was scratched on Thursday, will make his next scheduled start on Saturday, then Sept. 26 at Seattle, which leaves him on track to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series, according to the Orange County Register.

Diamondbacks shut down Daniel Hudson for remainder of season
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:24 pm ET) The Diamondbacks are expected to shut down pitcher Daniel Hudson for the remainder of the season. Hudson is not dealing with any injuries, but the team does not want to increase the workload of Hudson, who recently returned from Tommy John surgery, per MLB.com.

Hudson will finish the season with just 2 2/3 innings of work, having allowed four runs over three appearances.

Padres may ease Joaquin Benoit back into action
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8:16 pm ET) The Padres may ease pitcher Joaquin Benoit back into action before using him in save situations, according to U-T San Diego. Benoit has been since Aug. 26 because of a shoulder injury, but could return as early as Friday. He owns a 1.58 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 60:14 K:BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings.

Giancarlo Stanton will need 6-to-8 weeks for facial fractures to heal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton told reporters that he still needs more dental work before he has another CT test. Stanton  also admitted to sustaining an orbital fracture, though his vision was never impaired. The swelling has gone down in his face, but he'll need 6-to-8 weeks for all facial fractures to heal, according to MLB.com.

Jake Smolinski cranks out four hits vs. A's
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:39 pm ET) Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski had a monster game at the plate Thursday afternoon against the Athletics in Oakland.

He singled in a run in the first, and added three more singled. He finished the game 4 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI in a 7-2 victory. He is hitting .408 with one home run and eight RBI over 49 at-bats.


Josh Hamilton experiencing more shoulder issues
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is dealing with tightness and discomfort in front part of his right shoulder, a different spot, which flared up before Wednesday's game, the Los Angeles Times reports. He returned to action Tuesday but left the ballpark early to visit a chiropractor. Hamilton described it as "a sharp, stabbing pain" near his chest and right rib cage, underneath his armpit, per MLB.com. 

He was not in the starting lineup Thursday against Seattle.


 
 
 
Rankings