Astros Player Performance Rankings - June 8, 2012

June 5, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell (44) celebrates a home run with teammates against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

For an explanation of the methodology for these rankings go to the inaugural post of the Player Performance Rankings. Also for pitchers check out this post.

It's been two weeks since we've done one of these thanks to the draft, and honestly it didn't seem like anyone missed it. So I'm wondering if it's worth continuing to look at. I like it because it updates my perception on how this team and individual players are doing.

For example this week we're seeing all three aspects of this Astros, hitting, pitching and defense, head into below average territory. Carlos Lee is an average hitter for the league and below average for first base and he's fourth on the hitter rankings. Things like that help me keep perspective on what's going on with a team that had been playing well prior to the last two weeks of play. But you might not care and if that's the case then I can focus on producing other content that you might be interested in. So speak now or forever hold your peace.

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Observations

  • As stated above Carlos Lee is fourth on the team in terms of wOBA and he's only a league average hitter and a below average in terms of first base.
  • Jed Lowrie and Jose Altuve continue to flip-flop at the top - make sure you get them some All-Star votes. I know it's hard to forget because of the past few years we've had only one representative at the All-Star game, but teams can have more than one. And both Altuve and Lowrie are making cases they deserve to go.
  • I'm starting to come around to the idea that Justin Maxwell and Jordan Schafer should be platooning. Maxwell despite batting on .229 with a .316 OBP is hovering around league average for hitters in wOBA. His defense is proving to be not too shabby in centerfield. He could provide power that this team lacks.
  • Schafer on the other hand is a below average hitter and still has a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .361 which is an above average BABIP and likely to regress. Yes he could maintain a higher than average BABIP, .322 career BABIP, but the fact that he's already a below average hitter is disconcerting for his future numbers.
  • In the meantime, Maxwell has passed up Schafer defensively. This has been brought up before, Schafer certainly has more speed than Maxwell, however, it appears Maxwell has better instincts. Both are likely to be average to above average in the field, which goes back to the idea of trying out a platoon.
  • It's good to see Jason Castro pull his wOBA above .315 and -- I know I sound like a broken record here -- again shows how much a players stats can improve in just two weeks time. Still a lot of baseball left to play.
  • Chris Snyder is slowly improving his offensive numbers.
  • Bad week for pitching and Bud Norris and Wandy Rodriguez led the way with drops of 5-6 points in their average Game Score.
  • I've added Jordan Lyles to the rankings because he's made five starts and it looks like he'll be the fifth starter for the foreseeable future.
  • Is it a good or bad thing that Bud Norris. 50.83, average Game Score, and J.A. Happ's, 49.67, average Game Score are fairly close?
  • Brett Myers and Wilton Lopez continue to lead the bullpen in Shutdown and Meltdown ratio, but now Brandon Lyon has joined them and in face has tied Wilton Lopez with a four SD/MD.
  • Lowrie took a huge hit to his defensive numbers and now is rating as average at short, which is right around where he expected him to be.
  • Chris Johnson will below average defensively is not at the bottom of the list, Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez are. For Altuve I'll chalk it up to his youth; for J.D. we kind of expected this.
  • As stated above, across the board the Astros have more below average rankings than above average rankings, which has me tempering my expectations for the rest of the season.
  • What are your observations?
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