TCB's Astros Fan Favorite March Madness Tournament is underway. From now until the end of Spring Training 64 players will spend the next several weeks facing off in a head to head public vote to determine who advances to the next round and who will eventually be crowned the communities favorite Astros player. For more details click here for the introductory post.
The rules are simple determine which player you want to advance to the next by voting for that player. Any excellent arguments made for an advancing player in the comments below may be used in the players description for the next round. Vote subjectively, objectively or by using your trusty magic eight ball. Votes will last exactly 24 hours.
In this match-up:
19 - Alex White
Rated in Baseball America's pre-season top 100 prospects for 2010 and 2011, Alex White got a shot with the Colorado Rockies and struggled to be effective. At 24, White is still young enough to make adjustments and justify Baseball America for it's 2010 and 2011 rankings but he could see some positive regression in the luck area. To this point his batting average on balls in play (BABIP), homerun/flyball ratio (HR/FB) and his left on-base percentage (LOB%) have all worked against him in his 149.1 major league innings. All of the projection systems on FanGraphs suggest he is going to have the best year of his career yet at the major leagues.
46 - Nolan Fontana
Nolan Fontana had 222 plate appearances in Lexington in 2012, and he drew 65 walks. Do the math - that's a hair under a 30% walk rate, which helped his OBP (.464) more than double his AVG (.225), despite a healthy .302 BABIP - all despite skipping straight to Lexington after being drafted in the 2nd round. He's a defense-first shortstop with a questionable hit tool, but his patience at the plate has raised a lot of eyebrows. But it's no fluke, as his final year at the University of Florida saw him draw 48 walks to just 27 strikeouts, with a 284/406/444 line. -Anthony