Tony Kemp gets the call.
The Astros are calling up Tony Kemp from Triple A to replace Preston Tucker on the active roster, per sources.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) May 16, 2016
The Astros have struggled to find people who can hit at the bottom of the order. Tony Kemp is going to get his shot. Tony was drafted with the 1st pick of the 5th round in 2013 out of Vanderbilt as a 2nd baseman. He played at 2nd base for the early part of his minor league career, but he started getting reps in the outfield last year to increase his versatility.
He will hopefully help bolster an Astros outfield that is only getting production at 2 of the 3 positions. Astros center fielders have slashed .166/.217/.225. That's good for a wRC+ of 16. Yes, sixteen.
Kemp has very little pop, but brings very good on base skills to the Astros. His career walk rate in the minors is 11.2% while his strikeout rate is only at 12.2%. He certainly is a different hitter than most of the guys who have been batting 6-9 in the Astros lineup. His career minor league slash is .303/.394/.403.
Kemp can play center, left, and second base. I imagine he will more than likely play left when he gets to play and Rasmus will slide to center. He can also give Altuve days off at 2nd base.
It will be interesting to see how the Astros utilize Kemp.