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Astros 40 in 40: Jake Marisnick

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Primarily a pinch runner and replacement outfielder, Marisnick should serve as a valuable insurance policy and much needed depth for the stretch run.

Jake Marisnick came to the Astros as a part of the Jared Cosart trade at the 2014 trade deadline. Marisnick then spent the remainder of 2014 with the major league club showing surprising upside from the plat to compliment strong centerfield defense. In 2015, Chris Carter ran away with the title of streakiest hitter on the roster, but Marisnick had as good a claim as any for second place.

So let's break Marisnick’s 2015 down into three segments:

Early Season – During the early portion of the season Marisnick helped the Astros to get off to a hot start with a blistering March and April. Through 19 games Marisnick managed a .379/.422/.621 slash line and accumulated two homeruns and eight steals. While his early success was exciting, a BABIP over .400 and a career average of only .232 pointed to some regression.

Mid Season – As the season progressed the inevitable regression that we all feared reared its ugly head and sadly came to stay. Over the next four months Marisnick failed to hit over .205, score ten runs or knock in ten RBIs in any given month. While he struggled from behind the plate Marisnick was still able to provide strong outfield depth and defense during George Springer’s injury absence.

Final Stretch – Finally, over the last two months of the season as a number of Astros struggled, Marisnick stepped up and started to produce at the plate once again. Over the course of September and October Marisnick appeared in 27 games and managed to hit .275 with three home runs and seven stolen bases.

So the question is, which Marisnick will the Astros get in 2016? Marisnick will come into the year as the team’s fourth outfielder giving Houston one of the deepest units in the majors. With Marisnick occupying the fourth outfielder role, A.J. Hinch should be able give his starters more frequent rest hopefully contributing to a healthier roster down the stretch. At the end of the day, Marisnick should still be able to garner 300 plus at bats and provide reasonable power and speed. If he could only improve his plate discipline the Astros could be looking at a truly special outfield in 2016.