I still don’t know what the Astros are gonna do when they begin their offseason moves, but it’s time for them to start thinking about getting younger, about giving opportunities to their young players to show what they’re made of and see whether they fit in the team’s long-term plans.
Having said that, three of those players might be Abraham Toro, Taylor Jones, and Myles Straw, who’s the most experienced one of the three, but with only 98 MLB games under his belt. Out of that group, who will get the most playing time considering Astros’ needs going forward?
Something tells me that the team will try to put both Toro and Jones in the lineup constantly to see if they can perform and be productive on a daily basis. At the end of the day, they posted great numbers in their recent MiLB seasons. But then there’s Straw as well, who has failed to hit in the Majors, but knows how to get on base and is a good runner/defender.
If you ask me, I’d choose Jones. Why? There are several reasons to pick him over Toro and Jones...
- He had an outstanding 2019 season in Triple-A: .291/.388/.501, 28 2Bs, 22 HRs, 84 RBIs in 125 Gms.
- Jones only appeared in seven MLB games in 2020 (six starts) and, despite his low average (.190), he hit one double and one home run in 21 at-bats.
- I know it’s a small sample size, but he registered a 91.9 MPH exit velocity that sits notably above Toro’s 86.1 MPH and Straw’s 87.4 MPH.
- With that exit velocity, a 42.9 Hard Hit%, and a .231 BABIP, you can think he was a victim of bad luck. So give him more chances to get into his rhythm.
But easy. I’m not saying Toro and Straw won’t play at all. They could play important roles in how successful the Astros can be in 2021, especially Straw considering the Astros just lost three of their veteran outfielders to free agency (George Springer, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick) and haven’t brought back any of them or signed anyone else.
It’s just the “next big thing” (hopefully) to prove is Jones. Even though we can’t give up on Toro just yet, things haven’t panned out for him in 58 games between 2019 and 2020. In fact, he looked even worse this year. And regarding Straw, so far he’s looked more like a fourth outfielder to come off the bench.
Another reason to believe either Jones or Toro might see more action than Straw is because of the Yuli Gurriel factor. Although the Cuba native is signed for 2021 and his contract includes a team option for 2022, he was awful for most of 2020, including an abysmal postseason performance.
But the offseason is just in its early stages. So it’s fair to assume the Astros will bring somebody to address their outfield needs and even maybe somebody as a backup infielder.
Let time do its thing.