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TCB Astros Hitter of the Week: April 5-14

Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not a lot to like in the Astros performance this week offensively. They finally got shut out last night by the A's. They almost got no-hit by the Indians. They've scored exactly three runs in the last 30 innings.

YET! The sky isn't falling. I was able to find three whole players who actually deserved to be mentioned here.

Who are your choices? Who's jumped out at you as making the most improvement from last season offensively?

Honorable mention

Jason Castro

Though his power isn't back, Castro is not striking out at a super-high rate right now and he's walking quite a bit. Those are both positive trends, considering the most troubling part of his offensive collapse last season was his plate discipline.

In 2014, Castro's walk rate dropped by nearly four percent from where it sat in his first two seasons. His strikeout rate also spiked three percent over 2013 and was nearly 10 percent higher than it was in 2012.

Castro will strike out this year, probably about a quarter of the time. But, if he can walk around 10 percent of the time and continues to hit with an ISO around .150 or higher, he'll be just fine.

Jed Lowrie

Look who showed up to start the season. Lowrie's been so solid offensively that he jumped up from the bottom of the order into the third spot of the lineup fairly quickly and should hang around there for a good chunk of the season.

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Lowrie has struck out more than he probably will long-term, but his .240/.345/.480 line seems near what he could do over the course of 150 games. That slugging percentage is a little high, but other than that, this is the best-case Lowrie.


Jake Marisnick

If you had given me eight choices on hwo would win this award before the season started, I wouldn't have picked Marisnick. That's how surprising his first-week performance has been.

It's not sustainable, given his minor league track record. I mean, in the last two games alone, his average has plummeted nearly 100 points.

Yet, the speedy center fielder is hitting for average, for power and not striking out a ton. Do those things for a couple of months and Marisnick should be pretty productive.

Again, all he needs to do is hit at a league-average rate. Right now, he's hitting about 30 percent better than that. He's got some room to fall back to earth and still be a very nice member of this starting lineup.