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
 
 
 

2014 Fantasy Outlooks: Houston Astros

  •  

The Astros have set franchise records for most losses in a season three years in a row, and last season's dive resulted in a 51-111 record. The rebuilding is likely to continue, but 2014 will probably be the year Astros fans will begin to see the fruits of a revamped farm system in earnest.

The youth movement started to get underway last season, as Bud Norris was dealt to the Orioles and Erik Bedard and Lucas Harrell moved into swingman roles, making way for Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock and Paul Clemens to enter the rotation as the season wore on. All four are expected to return in starting roles this year, filling out the rotation behind free agent signee Scott Feldman.

2014 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

Once again, Jason Castro, Jose Altuve and Chris Carter will anchor the lineup, but offseason acquisition Dexter Fowler will be a new presence at the top of the order. Further down, Matt Dominguez, Jonathan Villar, Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes will likely reprise the roles they took on for all or part of last season. Expect the Astros' roster to be fluid throughout the year, though, as they will likely need to make room for prospects like outfielder George Springer, first baseman Jon Singleton and starting pitcher Mark Appel.

Some positions could be in flux from spring training on forward. Marc Krauss, Jesus Guzman, Brett Wallace and Japhet Amador are among those who will vie to win the job at first base, though whoever emerges out of camp could just keep the seat warm for Singleton. Bullpen roles are also unclear as the Astros head into Grapefruit League play. Josh Fields and Chia-Jen Lo, who each got save opportunities last year, will be back in the mix to close, but so will newcomers Jesse Crain and Chad Qualls.

The Astros have probably hit rock bottom, but they're unlikely to be good enough to produce many Fantasy-relevant options. Even if they find a closer to keep the job all season, there may still be a dearth of save opportunities. Should Springer and Singleton spend a large chunk of 2014 in the majors, they still might lack the lineup protection and run-producing opportunities to launch them into Fantasy superstardom. With the emergence of some top-notch prospects along with the return of a few solid Fantasy contributors, such as Altuve, Castro and Villar, there is at least something for owners to pay attention to when they happen upon an Astros game while channel surfing this year.

Rotisserie gem ... Jose Altuve, second base

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Dexter Fowler CF
2. Jose Altuve 2B
3. Jason Castro C
4. Chris Carter DH
5. Matt Dominguez 3B
6. Marc Krauss 1B
7. Robbie Grossman LF
8. L.J. Hoes RF
9. Jonathan Villar SS
Bench Jesus Guzman 1B
Bench Cesar Izturis 2B/SS
A year ago, Altuve finished as the eighth-ranking second baseman in Rotisserie value, but it would be a mistake to think that he doesn't belong in the top five this year. What Altuve produced in 2013 represents his floor. We already knew he was capable of 35 steals in 152 games, and from his first full season in 2012, we know that Altuve is able to hit for a little more power and score 80 runs, even while hitting in an anemic lineup. He could easily leapfrog Matt Carpenter, Daniel Murphy, Brandon Phillips and Ian Kinsler just by getting back to the level of his '12 performance. Turning just 24 in May, Altuve could still enjoy a breakout and vault even higher in the rankings.

Late-round flier ... Matt Dominguez, third base

Altuve and Castro are clearly draftable in all standard mixed league formats, but it's time to add Dominguez's name to this brief list. Last year, his 21 home runs tied him for eighth-most among third baseman, as he experienced a breakout that was presaged by a homer spike that occurred when the Marlins promoted him from Double-A to Triple-A in 2011. As he's not much of a line drive hitter, Dominguez will disappoint those looking for a high batting average, but he should improve from last season's .241. A 20-plus home run season with a .260ish average will put Dominguez on a par with Brett Lawrie and Aramis Ramirez in terms of overall value, and that makes him worthy of a late-round pick.

Impact prospect ... George Springer, outfield

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Scott Feldman RHP
2. Jarred Cosart RHP
3. Brett Oberholtzer LHP
4. Brad Peacock RHP
5. Paul Clemens RHP
ALT Dallas Keuchel LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Josh Fields RHP
2. Jesse Crain RHP
3. Chad Qualls RHP
4. Matt Albers RHP
5. Kevin Chapman LHP
The Astros may want to send Springer to Triple-A to start the year in order to delay his arbitration clock, but it's just a matter of time before we see him in H-Town. Springer strikes out far too often -- he recorded a K in nearly one out of every three at-bats last year -- but that's end of his list of negatives. He hits for tremendous power, has posted high walk rates and is a stolen base threat. Between Double-A and Triple-A, Springer was three home runs short of a 40-40 season. Unless he is called up in June or later, he's a good bet to finish as a top 50 outfielder in 2014.

Prospects Report

Springer could be the first of the Astros' major prospects to graduate to the big leagues, but several others could follow in short order. As mentioned above, Singleton could earn a callup as long as he rebounds from a disappointing, suspension-shortened 2013 season, and he even has a slight chance to break camp with the team. ... Outfielder Domingo Santana has a lesser chance to show up in the majors this year, but if his power hitting continues to improve like it did the last two seasons, he could force his way onto the big league roster. ... Shortstop Carlos Correa is one of the top prospects in all of baseball, but he is still probably at least a year and a half away. ... Mike Foltynewicz and Asher Wojciechowski have long surnames, but neither may have a long wait to make their debuts in the Astros' rotation. Both are legitimate targets in dynasty leagues and deep single-season AL-only leagues. The same is also true for Appel, the first overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, even though he has yet to pitch above Class A. ... Starting pitchers Vince Velasquez and Lance McCullers won't likely be relevant to single-season league owners until 2015 at the earliest, but both need to be owned in dynasty formats.

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
Chad Qualls serves up go-ahead homer against Blue Jays
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:11 am ET) Astros closer Chad Qualls took the loss Thursday night at home against the Blue Jays. Qualls permitted a go-ahead solo home run to Nick Reimold in the ninth inning, which proved to be the difference. He was charged with one run on one hit and no walks while striking out two over an inning of work. He owns a 3.35 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Jake Buchanan settles for no-decision in spot start
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Astros pitcher Jake Buchanan was unable to factor into the decision in a spot start Thursday night against the Blue Jays. The right-hander permitted three runs on five hits and no walks while striking out three over five innings of a 6-5 defeat.

Buchanan owns a 5.51 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP over 16 1/3 innings of work. It remains to be seen if he'll remain in the rotation.

Casey Janssen closes out Astros
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:00 am ET) Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen worked his way past a walk and needed only 13 pitches to complete a scoreless ninth inning for the save Thursday night against the Astros in Houston. He has converted 18 of 20 save attempts, with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP over 28 1/3 innings of relief.

Drew Hutchison gets blasted in no-decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison was blasted on Thursday against the Astros in Houston, but managed to escape his outing with a no-decision. The right-hander was pulled after three innings and allowed four runs on six hits and no walks while striking out two.

Hutchison has allowed four-plus runs in three of his last four starts. He owns a 4.62 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP over 22 starts (122 2/3 innings). He will make his next start Wednesday at home against Baltimore.

Greg Holland retires the side in order for the save
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Royals closer Greg Holland struck out one and needed only 14 pitches to retire the side in order in the ninth to close out a 6-3 victory. The right-hander has converted 29 of 31 save attempts, with a 1.77 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP over 40 2/3 innings of relief.

Yordano Ventura gets back on track in win over Twins
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura got back on track with a quality start against the Twins on Thursday, improving to 8-8 on the year. The right-hander permitted two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and three walks while striking out seven over seven innings of a 6-3 victory.

Over his last two starts covering 13 1/3 innings, Ventura has allowed four earned runs. He owns a 3.50 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP over 121 innings. He will make his next start Wednesday at Arizona.

Kevin Correia bounces back in no-decision
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Twins pitcher Kevin Correia bounced back with a quality start but was unable to factor into the decision Thursday against the Royals in Kansas City. The right-hander permitted two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and no walks while striking out four over six innings of a 6-3 defeat.

Correia has won only once since July 21. He owns a 4.89 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP over 22 starts (123 1/3 innings). He will look to get back in the win column Wednesday at home against San Diego.

James Paxton named starter for Saturday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton was confirmed as the starter for Saturday's game against the Orioles, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. He has been recovering from a lat injury since making his first two starts of the season.

Marlins shuffle roster following loss to Reds
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) The Marlins announced several roster moves following Thursday's loss to Cincinnati. The team optioned Dan Jennings and Ed Lucas down to Triple-A New Orleans. The team will promote Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez. Cosart will make his season debut Friday night against the Reds.

Eric Hosmer to miss 3-6 weeks with broken hand
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/31/2014) Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was forced out of Thursday's game against the Twins after re-aggravating his hand injury. He was sent for X-rays which revealed a stress fracture. He will land on the disabled list and will likely miss approximately 3-6 weeks moving forward, according to FOX Sports Kansas City and the Kansas City Star.


Hosmer first sustained the injury on a hit-by-pitch on July 20. He is hitting .267/.312/.377 with six homers and 46 RBI in 409 at-bats.


 
 
 
Rankings