Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
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
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy outlooks: Houston Astros

  •  

For the Astros, 2012 was a season of mounting losses. They lost 107 games, improbably topping the total of 106 from the year before. The Astros also lost Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brett Myers and Chris Johnson via trade, and they lost manager Brad Mills after the team lost 82 of its first 121 games. Finally, they lost their league, as the Astros moved to the American League during the offseason, ending a 51-year run in the senior circuit.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

While the Astros shed some of their established players, they have continued to restock the farm system, picking up several prospects through trades, including starting third baseman Matt Dominguez, pitching prospects Brad Peacock and Rudy Owens, and catching prospect Max Stassi. This offseason, they have focused mostly on filling some of the holes in their major league roster, acquriring designated hitter/first baseman Carlos Pena, first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter, starting pitchers Philip Humber and Alex White and reliever Jose Veras. Wilton Lopez, their incumbent closer, and shortstop Jed Lowrie were the Astros' only notable losses, as they were dealt to the Rockies and Athletics, respectively.

While most of the transactions of the past year show an emphasis on building for the future, those moves may not pay a dividend in 2013. Pena -- an exception to the front office's long-term approach -- appears to be past his prime, Carter doesn't have a clear role, Dominguez's bat is unproven and neither Humber nor White is a lock to succeed as a starter. Veras is likely to replace Lopez as the team's closer, but he has all of five career saves.

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Jose Altuve 2B
2. Fernando Martinez RF
3. Brett Wallace 1B
4. Carlos Pena DH
5. Justin Maxwell CF
6. Jason Castro C
7. Tyler Greene SS
8. J.D. Martinez LF
9. Matt Dominguez 3B
Bench Chris Carter 1B/OF
Bench Brandon Barnes OF

With top prospects like George Springer, Carlos Correa and Jonathan Singleton in the wings, the Astros' longer-term future looks considerably brighter. For the coming season, though, it's entirely possible second baseman Jose Altuve will be the only player drawing interest in standard mixed league drafts and auctions. Even rotation ace Bud Norris -- coming off a 4.65 ERA -- is likely to get passed over outside of deeper formats. Unfortunately for AL-only owners, the Astros won't bring a bounty of talent to their player pool right away, but within a couple of years, their recent moves could bear fruit in Fantasy.

Inury-risk sleeper ... Jason Castro, catcher

Because Castro has drawn walks at every level, he came to the majors with some appeal for owners in deeper points leagues. Heading into last season, Castro lacked mixed league relevance, as he hadn't hit for power since Class A ball, and he was also coming off a year missed due to knee surgery. Castro's power reemerged in 2012 in the form of six home runs, two triples and 15 doubles in 257 at-bats. That he was able to achieve this even though he experienced a sizeable drop in his flyball rate is encouraging. Castro experienced some problems with his right knee again last season, but if he can stay healthy, playing time shouldn't be a problem. The potential upside makes Castro someone to consider as a low-end second catcher in mixed leagues.

Buyer beware ... Jose Veras, relief pitcher

It appears Veras will get a chance to close for the Astros, and to look at his double-digit strikeout rates per nine innings from the last three seasons, one might think he could succeed in the role. Veras is able to get Ks as a result of recording a high rate of called strikes, but far too often his pitches fall outside the strike zone. Of this season's prospective closers, only Carlos Marmol threw strikes at a lower rate last season. Marmol has had his problems in the ninth inning and Veras doesn't miss as many bats as the Cubs' closer. Even in deeper leagues, owners can find safer options than Veras, and he could very well lose his job to Wesley Wright, Jarred Cosart or Josh Fields by midseason.

Rotisserie gem ... Justin Maxwell, outfielder

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Bud Norris RHP
2. Lucas Harrell RHP
3. Jordan Lyles RHP
4. Philip Humber RHP
5. Alex White RHP
ALT John Ely RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Jose Veras RHP
2. Wesley Wright LHP
3. Hector Ambriz RHP
4. Xavier Cedeno LHP
5. Josh Fields RHP

There is no shortage of ways Maxwell can hurt Fantasy owners, particularly in Head-to-Head leagues. He doesn't hit many doubles, has a poor walk-to-strikeout ratio and doesn't hit for even a decent average. What Maxwell does do is hit homers and generate runs. He was also a pretty fair base-stealer in the minors, though that skill hasn't transferred to the majors. Even if Maxwell doesn't get more than 10 to 15 steals, he is still someone to consider in deeper mixed Rotisserie leagues. According to ESPN.com's Home Run Tracker, Maxwell had seven "no-doubt" homers last year, which tied him for seventh in the National League, even though he had only 315 at-bats. That's the kind of raw power that should allow at least some owners to put up with his shortcomings.

Prospects Report

George Springer and Jonathan Singleton are the best of the Astros' position prospects who could make an impact in 2013. Springer is particularly enticing, as he hits for power, draws walks and has 30-steal potential. Singleton's value is hurt by his 50-game suspension for a positive marijuana test, but he could still be up later this season. ... Pitchers Jarred Cosart, Rudy Owens and Brad Peacock could be relevant in deeper mixed leagues at some point this year, though for Cosart it's not clear if that would be as a starter or as a closer. ... Shortstop Carlos Correa (first overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft), second baseman Delino DeShields (102 steals in 2012) and starting pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Lance McCullers are all at least a couple of years away, but all have enough upside to merit attention in long-term keeper leagues.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Al Melchior at @almelccbs . You can also e-mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Report: Cardinals, Pirates leading charge for Jon Lester
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) The Cardinals and Pirates are "pushing hardest" for Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, though the Dodgers are still involved as well, FOXSports.com reports.

The Dodgers aren't going to part with one of their top prospects in a deal for Lester, who is set to become a free agent, and the Red Sox seem likely to pick up a better youngster from either of the NL Central contenders as a result. Lester is likely to be moved before Thursday's trade deadline.


Luis Valbuena homers in three-hit performance vs. Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena went 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBI in his team's 6-4 loss to the Rockies Wednesday.

Valbuena drove in a run with an infield single in the sixth inning. He then tied the game for the Cubs with a two-run blast in the eighth, but the Rockies were able to pull out a win in extra innings. Valbuena has hit .252/.335/.433 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 298 at-bats.


Wesley Wright surrenders two runs in loss vs. Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Cubs pitcher Wesley Wright was stuck with a loss Wednesday after giving up two earned runs on two hits and two walks in one inning of work in his team's 6-4, 10-inning defeat against the Rockies.

Wright (0-2) has been hittable recently, and he hasn't managed to post an outing with no baserunners since July 5. He's surrendered four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings during that stretch. Wright owns a 2.84 ERA and 27:11 K:BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings.


Adam Ottavino earns first career save Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Rockies pitcher Adam Ottavino gave up one hit and struck out one in a scoreless 10th inning Wednesday to earn his first career save in his team's 6-4 win over the Cubs.

Ottavino was the pitcher of choice for the opportunity after LaTroy Hawkins tossed two innings in Tuesday's 16-inning marathon. He owns a 3.80 ERA and 49:12 K:BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings.


Dan Runzler heading to Japan after Triple-A release
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) The Giants released pitcher Dan Runzler from Triple-A Fresno Wednesday so that he could sign with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, the Associated Press reports.

Runzler hasn't pitched in the majors since making six appearances in 2012. He owned a 3.30 ERA and 53:36 K:BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings with Fresno heading into play Wednesday.


Rob Scahill picks up first win Wednesday vs. Cubs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Rockies pitcher Rob Scahill earned a win Wednesday, giving up a hit and striking out one in a scoreless ninth inning in his team's 6-4, 10-inning win over the Cubs.

Scahill (1-0) just joined the team Wednesday after the bullpen was taxed by a 16-inning game the previous night. He needed just 12 pitches to complete the bottom of the ninth inning, and his offense delivered two runs in the top of the 10th. Scahill owns a 5.68 ERA and 3:4 K:BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings.


Brett Anderson strikes out nine in no-decision vs. Cubs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson didn't factor into Wednesday's decision after giving up two earned runs on 11 hits in seven innings while striking out nine and walking none in his team's 6-4 win over the Cubs.

Anderson was in line for a win before the bullpen blew an eighth-inning lead. It was his third straight quality start in the second half, and Anderson has surrendered just three earned runs in 20 1/3 innings during that stretch. He owns a 3.12 ERA and 27:13 K:BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings. Anderson is scheduled to face the Cubs again next Wednesday, this time at home.


Travis Wood strikes out career-high 11 batters Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Cubs pitcher Travis Wood wasn't a factor in the decision Wednesday, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings and striking out a career-high 11 batters in his team's 6-4 loss to the Rockies.

Wood surrendered three runs in his first two innings to put himself in an early hole, then gave up another on an RBI double in the sixth. He hadn't topped seven strikeouts in a start since mid-April before posting his career-best mark Wednesday. Wood owns a 5.10 ERA and 108:55 K:BB ratio in 127 innings. He's scheduled to face the Rockies again Tuesday, this time in Colorado.


Josh Willingham homers, steals base Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Twins designated hitter Josh Willingham went 1 for 3 with a walk, a solo home run and a stolen base in his team's 3-2 loss to the Royals Wednesday.

Willingham's name has come up in trade rumors this month, but the team seems likely to hold on to him through the deadline, provided another team doesn't bowl them over with an offer. He has hit .223/.366/.436 with 11 home runs, 31 RBI and now one stolen base in 188 at-bats.


Greg Holland records 28th save Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/30/2014) Royals closer Greg Holland needed 28 pitches to pick up his 28th save Wednesday, issuing one walk and striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning to end his team's 3-2 win over the Twins.

Holland topped his previous season-high of 27 pitches in the outing but still managed to walk away with the save. He owns a 1.82 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 60:12 K:BB ratio in 39 2/3 innings.


 
 
 
Rankings