I know that the readers here at the Crawfishboxes don't really represent the average Astros 'fan' since the average fan has apparently forgotten that Houston has a major league baseball team. The cast of characters that frequents this website is, as Jabba would say, my kind of scum. When the big league club is drowning in the bilge of the National League like it is now, we like to dream on our young players, pray for the dismissal of ineffective veterans, and look to the future. The average Astros fan thinks that the team should never have traded away Bagwell and Biggio for that Chris Johnson character, and they definitely should have traded for Todd Van Poppel. So my question for you above-average Astros fans is this:
Do you really want to watch this lineup next season?
I'm not going to try and make any guess at the rotation since it seems like there will be a good chance that Myers and/or Wandy could be dealt, and this lineup assumes that Barmes is resigned. When I look at this lineup, I see a bunch of players that I really like. I like what Schafer, Altuve, Martinez, Bogusevic, Barmes, Paredes, Downs, and Castro all bring to the team, but I really don't feel too good about them keeping me enthralled throughout the season as a unit.
I have a hard time believing that this lineup will score enough runs to make things interesting. Now, I know that next year is a growing year and even though Altuve, Martinez, Bogusevic, and Paredes are doing pretty well at the moment they are expected to have some growing pains over the course of the next 2 years, so it is unrealistic and unfair to ask them to compete for a playoff spot so soon. But will they score enough runs to keep games close? What's the best-case scenario for power production from these guys? (Ok, so I have more than one question for you.)
One thing I do see when I look at this team is a solid defensive club, which should go well with our young and talented pitchers that are starting to pop up from recent trades. I know it's a small sample size, but just about all of these guys have positive UZRs. In fact Altuve and Schafer are the only starters that are slightly negative and both have good reputations. Even though Pence and Bourn were no slouches with the glove, replacing Lee in left, Johnson at 3B, Kepp at 2B with Bogusevic, Paredes, and Altuve should improve the defense despite losing Bourn and Pence. Not to mention that Castro and Q will be better than Corporan and Q.
I see a very frustrating offensive year ahead of us for 2012. Am I the only one? Is there anyway to remedy the ailing power production? The only place I can see serious offensive upgrades on the free agent market are at first and short, but those upgrades would require large, and for lack of a better word, stupid contracts. What solutions can you guys come up with? How can we compliment this young, fast, solid defensive team that has offensive upside to make 2012 a little more fun for us and the average Astros' fan?