Sample size be damned. The Astros are a different team after the July 31 trade deadline. We want to talk about the current team. Now. And, well, all we have is a one month sample. So, let's run with it. I could give you a disclaimer about the sample size that reads like it was written by a lawyer. But I think most of us around here know that a single month's performance shouldn't be used to tell us what will happen in the future.
How do the Astros' players' August performance rank among NL players at each position? For qualified players, Runs Created as measured by RC+ and WAR are shown.
NL Ranking: August Performance
RC+ (Rank), WAR (Rank)
Carlos Lee 140 (9th), 0.9 (6th)
Altuve 92 (9th), 0.2 (11th)
Paredes 112 (6th), 0.7 (5th)
Barmes 76 (10th), 0.4 (5th)
J.D. Martinez 125 (8th), 1.3 (3d)
As you will notice, we are missing a few positions. That's because the Astros didn't have any players who were qualified at those missing positions. So, we will compound our sample size problem by delving into the Astros players who are not non-qualified. Because WAR is not readily available on a monthly basis for these players, the faux ranking will be based on RC+ and wOBA. The rankings are marked with an asterick because it attempts to show how the player would rank in August at their position if they were qualified. Truthfully, I wouldn't give much credence to the ranking, given the non-qualified players' sample size.
August NL Performance
Brian Bogusevic 174 (2d*), .425 (2d*)
Jordan Shafer 148 (3d*), .383 (4th)
Corporan 64 (last*), .264 (last*)
Quintero 71 (last*), .275 (last*)
Some interesting notes:
- Several Astros had very good defensive months of August, according to UZR. J.D. Martinez was the best LF defender. Barmes and Lee were the second best shortstop and 1st baseman, respectively. Paredes was the 4th best third base fielder. But beware the sample size caveat for advanced fielding metrics.
- Inserting Martinez in LF and moving Lee to 1st base resulted in a fairly impressive increase in the team's WAR. If not for his negative base running, Lee would have had the 2d highest WAR among 1st basemen.
- Bogusevic's faux-ranking of 2d for wOBA and RC+ is just behind No. 1 ranked Hunter Pence---whom he replaced after the trading deadline.
- Quintero's and Corporan's offensive stats are poor, but keep in mind that there are only 5 qualified catchers in the NL.
Now, on to the pitchers' August rankings. I look only at starting pitchers in the Top 35 for several pitching stats. I have also shown Astros' relievers ranked in the Top 35 for shutdowns and meltdowns.
Wandy Rodriguez 3.32 (26th)
Henry Sosa 3.97 (22d)
Brett Myers 4.18 (24th)
Henry Sosa 3.56 (24th)
Brett Myers 3.74 (28th)
Bud Norris 8.74 (12th)
Wandy Rodriguez 8.05 (20th)
Henry Sosa 7.05 (30th)
F. Rodriguez 8 (9th)
M. Melancon 6 (20th)
F. Rodriguez 3 (6th)
M. Melancon 3 (6th)
It comes as a surprise that Brett Myers and Henry Sosa have been among the better pitchers in the NL in August. Bud Norris continued to strike out hitters in August, but he hasn't gotten the top results on other pitching stats in August. Wandy continues to exhibit a steady ERA in August.