As we gather once again to give out this prestigious award, let's see how the Astros faired as a whole offensively this past week. They played a total of six games, winning three and losing three. In those six games they scored a total of 21 runs. Overall they did not have a bad week at the plate. Even in the one game where they got shut out they still managed to get ten hits (five for extra bases). All of their average stats were up from the week before, including batting average (.284), OBP (.338), and slugging (.453). Which guys had the best week at the plate?
I almost gave him the top spot because his last week looked a lot like the Astros team this season. Low batting average? CHECK. Still getting on base? CHECK (.333 OBP and 14.3% BB Rate). Power? CHECK (Two of his three hits on the week left the park.) Is it optimal to have a guy in the lineup that only gets a hit one out of every seven at bats? Probably not. But when your friends ask how a team can be doing as well as Houston with such a low batting average, point them to this week for Valbuena. If you are still getting on base, and the hits you DO get lead to immediate runs, you can still be a valuable addition to a team.
"Hey Ernie, isn't Carter still striking out at over a 30% clip? Even this past week?" Yep. In spite of that he has been one of the most productive hitters recently. He ended up with seven hits on the week (.368 avg.) and drove in 4 runs. He also walked four times (over 16% of his plate appearances) which gave him an impressive .458 OBP. He is still not hitting for as much power as we expect, but if he is going to be an everyday player I would settle for Chris Carter the singles hitter and OBP machine until the power returns.
Have yourself a week, Evan Gattis! Even though Gattis didn't hit any triples this week, he still moves into the winner's circle. With a slash line of .440/.440 (Cavemen have no need for walks)/.880 , he definitely earned his keep. He also hit three home runs in big situations. The first was to tie the game in Baltimore last Wednesday, the second provided an insurance run in Keuchel's complete game against the White Sox, and the third tied the game against the O's last night to come back from a 4-0 deficit. Personally my favorite hit from him was in Monday night's game. With a 3-2 lead late and the bases loaded, Gattis got into an 0-2 hole. On the next pitch he slapped what has to be the ugliest single of the season just between the infielders into right to score two more runs. Hey it doesn't have to be sexy, just effective!
I always like to know what others see, so inform me in the comments if you have a different view. Or you can tell me how insightful I am. I'm good either way.