Straw will open the season as a shortstop for Triple-A Round Rock, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Moving Straw to the infield is something that's been talked about as Houston has a glut of outfielders, some with major-league experience, at Round Rock. The 24-year-old Straw played infield in high school, but in four professional seasons, he's tallied just four innings at short.
Straw is listed as an infielder on Triple-A Round Rock's roster, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Given the glut of outfielders in the Astros' system, this transition should give Straw a better chance of getting playing time for the big club when rosters expand in September. He played one game at shortstop at Triple-A last year, and will presumably also get time at second base this year. Straw would need some injuries to strike the big-league roster for him to reach the majors before September, but his elite speed and solid plate skills would make him very interesting if he ever appeared poised for semi-regular at-bats with the Astros.
Straw had been angling for a reserve outfield gig but was ultimately deemed expendable due to the Astros' wealth of options. Once injuries inevitably hit the outfield ranks, Straw could get a look with the big club, but it's unlikely he'll end up seeing steady at-bats at any point. Straw's lack of power makes him better suited as a late-inning replacement for defense or baserunning purposes rather than a full-time player.
Straw is hitting .310 (9-for-29) with nine runs scored and two stolen bases.
Straw's main asset is his speed -- he swiped 70 in the minors in 2018 -- and was on Houston's postseason roster last year solely for that reason. Speed alone, however, is not going to earn a roster spot for the regular season, so he'll need a dynamite final two weeks of spring training at the dish to move past Jake Marisnick and Tony Kemp.
Straw went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in a 5-2 win over Baltimore in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader.
The home run was the first of Straw's MLB career and came in his second start since having his contract purchased Sept. 15. The rookie's speed may be an element that manager A.J. Hinch wants in the postseason, perhaps more so than third catcher Max Stassi.
|5/14/2019 vs Detroit|
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|Last 7 Games|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2017||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||13||46||9||11||0||0||0||3||7||9||2||0||.340||.239||.239|
|2017||AFA-Buies Creek Astros||114||437||81||129||17||7||1||41||87||70||36||9||.412||.373||.295|