Even after the losing streak last weekend, I'm really impressed with the opportunities that the Astros have for the coming seasons. Chris Johnson has played out of his mind (as has Angel Sanchez and Brett Wallace). Hunter Pence has been solid, and the Myers/Rodriguez/Happ starting rotation could be good too.
In 2011, we'll have a young lineup together next year. Here's what I project next season's lineup will look like.
CF- Michael Bourn (L): Bourn has slumped this season, but I don't see anyone else who can lead off next season. I like Bourn at the top of the lineup, but he's gotta improve his contact.
2B- Jeff Keppinger (R): Solid #2 hitter, while Sanchez has been good, Kepp has done it a little longer than our young shortstop has been doing it.
RF- Hunter Pence (R): New face of the franchise, the 3 spot is ideal here. Pence will never be Jeff Bagwell or Lance Berkman with his bat, but he's a solid hustle player and one of the veterans of the lineup.
3B- Chris Johnson (R): I want to see Johnson hitting 3rd by the end of the year, but I can see him in the #4 spot too. Johnson has been hitting out of his mind recently. I want to see him up higher in the order.
1B- Brett Wallace (L): I can't wait till he hits his first home run and justifies being up here. Still high average and good hitting makeup, Wallace is the next great Astros first baseman.
LF- Carlos Lee (R): I'd rather write in Bugosevic in this spot than El Sucko, but we're stuck paying the giant mess 19 million next season and that's that. Lee belongs down here at this point.
SS- Angel Sanchez (R): 7th seems low considering his play this season, but I'll take his bat down here. No Keppinger = Sanchez as the team's #2 hitter.
C- Jason Castro (L): Still waiting for the hype. Did we rush him?
P- Brett Myers (R): I could see Wandy here in the #1 spot, particularly if we go Wandy/Myers/Happ/Norris/Paulino with the rotation, but I'll give our new "moneyman" the ace title for now.
Thoughts on the lineup?