Blog Entry

Astros Players Performance Grades, Midseason 2009

Posted on: July 19, 2009 2:56 pm
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Stats, via Mlb.com , are as of July, 15th 2009.  All grades were assigned prior to the All-Star game. 

Catchers:

Ivan Rodriguez - C


At the start of the season, I think I could have predicted a line like this from Pudge - .245/.278/.397.  Perhaps the batting average and on-base percentages are a tad low, but he's still providing better offensively production (sadly) than the Astros have been used to in recent years.  Pudge has also belted seven homeruns along with scoring twenty-six runs and thirty RBIs.  Rodriguez has also been Pudge behind the plate, and that always helps. 

Humberto Quintero - D-

Only seventy-seven at-bats for Quintero, but he hasn't made the most of them, he's hitting .247/.266/.312 this season.  One thing I have learned about 'Q' is that he will not be an everday player, something we wondered about prior to the season. 

J.R. Towles did not qualify, having less than 50 at-bats. 

Infielders:

Miguel Tejada - A

Tejada has been amazing, maybe the defensive is in decline, but I haven't seen anything this year that makes me think his defense is detrimental to the team.  Tejada leads the team in batting average at .329.  He also hit a slugging % of .473 with seven homeruns and thirty-seven extra-base-hits.  Tejada struck out only twenty-six times the first half but, also only walked ten times, leading to a mediocre .357 OBP.  Miggy was tied for second on the team with forty-nine RBIs and third on the team in runs scored with forty-eight. 

Lance Berkman - A-

Due to a horrid April many believe Berkman has had a poor first half, however, he leads the team in homeruns, OBP, SLG%, walks, and RBIs (anymore I'm missing?  probably) with eighteen, a .403 OBP, a .526 SLG%, sixty-six and fifty-five respectively.  Berkman's average was only .271, but who cares with an OBP over .400, right?  He's also silently stolen six bases in eight tries and was second on the team with fort-nine runs scored. 

Jeff Keppinger - B-

Keppinger, the right-handed platoon at third base, has really grown on me.  When first acquired, I didn't feel Keppinger would provide anything more than Drew Sutton (who was sent to Cincinnati in the deal).  However, through the first half, Keppinger has been holding up his side of the plate.  Batting .273 with a .353 OBP and .416 SLG%, in one hundred and sixty-one at-bats (thirty-eight less at-bats than Blum).  Keppinger is also one of two Astros batters with a BB/K ratio over one (Berkman being the other), he has walked nineteen times and struck out sixteen times.  Also, in less at-hats, Keppinger has driven in one more run than Blum. 

Question of the day:  Would you prefer the power upgrade of Chris Johnson taking over the right side of the platoon, or keep Keppinger's on-base skills? 


Geoff Blum - C+

Blum has hit .281 with a .350 OBP and .362 SLG%.  He struck out twenty-seven times and walked nineteen times, scoring twenty-seven runs.  All-in-all nothing stands out about Blum, but he has been servicable and the two of them (Blum and Keppinger) manning third hasn't kept the Astros from competing. 

Kazuo Matsui - D

Matsui 1. couldn't stay healthy 2. Was not the most effective second basemen, even when he returned.  Matsui hit .252 with a .313 OBP and .338 SLG%.  He struck out forty-three times and walked only nineteen times.  He has stolen nine bases and has provided some timely hits, so I won't give him an F, but a D is more than deserved, unfortunately. 

Edwin Maysonet - B

I don't know why the front office doesn't seem to like Maysonet.  He fields well and provided some good offensive production during his stint in the majors.  In fifty-four at-bats he hit .315 with a .356 OBP and .407 SLG%.  Personally, I would like to see Maysonet be brought back up with a chance to stick, but with Matsui making five million for the next two years that, it isn't likely to happen. 

Matt Kata didn't qualify.

Due up:  The remaining 'Player Performance Grades' as well as a look into the Elias Rankings, the off-season and 2010.  I'm looking forward to reading your answers to the 'question of the day'. 



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Comments

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 22, 2009 1:02 pm
 

Astros Players Performance Grades, Midseason 2009

One thing stands out about Blum: he's batting .274 with RISP. That's better than Carlos Lee and Berkman. The same goes for Quintero's .348 average with RISP. Considering that we're talking about a low-paid utility man forced into a starting role and a back-up catcher, I'm very pleased with both of their performances. If we're grading Blum against the David Wrights of the world, then he doesn't look great. But if we measure him against pre-season expectations, I'd say he's exceeding them.

Also, I think your numbers are off on Blum and Keppinger. Blum had 27 RBIs before the all-star break; Kepp had just 15 (partly due to his .171 average with RISP). I think it's a nice, versatile platoon, but Blum trumps Keppinger in pretty much every category statistically, and the at-bat discrepancy is minor.



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: July 19, 2009 8:02 pm
 

Astros Players Performance Grades, Midseason 2009

My take on First-Half Performances:

Catcher: Watching Pudge, I didn't get the impression that he's doing as badly as he is (I too am used to seeing far worse from the catcher offensively).  But the numbers are not good, and certainly don't validate his claims prior to the season that he wasn't done and could play everyday.  He's just lucky that Quintero is so utterly, utterly, utterly inept offensively.  Speaking of Q, he had another terrible first-half offensively, but since he seems to synch up decently with Wandy, he'll remain here for the rest of the season.  After this season, I'd love to see him go so that Castro can take his spot.

Infielders: Tejada is still solid defensively, with the occasional gem.  Offensively, he was peerless until Berkman woke up.  Berkman has played great lately.  His defense has slipped on certain occasions, which happened to coincide with game-losing errors.  I'm of the opinion that those belong in the "shit happens" category.  Keppinger has been good in the time that he's gotten.  I like Blum, and his average is pretty good for a guy who's really not that talented with the bat.  His OPS is below mediocre, though.

What can I say about Matsui?  Not much good, that's for sure.  He still misses far too many games, and for the most part he was terrible when he WAS playing.  Maysonet got tagged with the all-field/no-hit descriptor, and despite hitting quite well hasn't gotten his chance.  He's probably better than Kata, but since Matsui is back and healthy (for the moment), it's not a present concern.

Question of the Day: Keep Keppinger.  Chris Johnson's power upgrade ultimately isn't worth it.  His OPS is .713 at Round Rock, with a .302 OBP.  Keppinger's isn't at a Berkman-esque level, or anything, but it's a solid .353 at the major-league level.  I highly doubt Chris Johnson could maintain that level of OBP while providing more power than Keppinger over the number of AB's Keppinger is likely to get.  Plus, he strikes out about 25% of the time.  As you noted, Keppinger has 16 K's in 161 AB's, which is pretty awesome (to wit, Berkman has struck out 60 times in 294 AB's, or once every five AB's).

Unless Chris Johnson makes a massive improvement at Round Rock in the second half, we should write in Keppinger at 3B in 2010.  And I think the team should re-sign Blum, especially if he maintains his numbers through September.


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