Projections and Paces – Astros

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Lance Berkman
2008: .312/.420/.567, 29 HR, 114 R, 106 RBI, 18 SB in 554 AB
Proj : .291/.405/.537, 31 HR, 105 R, 103 RBI, 9 SB in 546 AB
Pace: .256/.387/.507, 35 HR, 85 R, 98 RBI, 5 SB in 550 AB

Berkman is getting a lot closer now. He’s raised his average from .162
in April to .286 last month and .357 in 13 games so far during June.

Carlos Lee
2008: .314/.368/.569, 28 HR, 61 R, 100 RBI, 4 SB in 436 AB
Proj : .293/.352/.519, 32 HR, 86 R, 118 RBI, 8 SB in 588 AB
Pace: .313/.363/.520, 29 HR, 77 R, 106 RBI, 5 SB in 603 AB

In theory, the improvement from Hunter Pence, Miguel Tejada and
Michael Bourn should be resulting in better run and RBI numbers for
Berkman and Lee. But that’s hardly been the case. Lee’s hitting pretty
much as expected, yet he has just 69 runs plus RBI. Ryan Howard, with
the same OPS, has 92. Dan Uggla has 71 even though he’s been hitting
.218 from the fifth and sixth spots in the Florida lineup.

Hunter Pence
2008: .269/.318/.466, 25 HR, 78 R, 83 RBI, 11 SB in 595 AB
Proj : .280/.337/.493, 28 HR, 79 R, 100 RBI, 14 SB in 592 AB
Pace: .323/.406/.509, 21 HR, 96 R, 69 RBI, 21 SB in 584 AB

Pence’s power numbers are a bit off, but he’s more than made up for
it with a huge increase in his OBP. He currently has a 35/33 K/BB ratio
after finishing last year at 124/40.

Miguel Tejada
2008: .283/.314/.415, 13 HR, 92 R, 66 RBI, 7 SB in 632 AB
Proj : .288/.343/.427, 16 HR, 91 R, 83 RBI, 5 SB in 611 AB
Pace: .344/.366/.506, 16 HR, 96 R, 96 RBI, 5 SB in 672 AB

Tejada is worthy of his own post. He’s struck out or walked in just
21 of his plate appearances. In 2000, Tejada has 102 strikeouts and 66
walks in 607 at-bats. Right now, he’s on pace for 40 strikeouts and 16
walks in 672 at-bats.

Ivan Rodriguez
2008: .276/.319/.394, 7 HR, 44 R, 35 RBI, 10 SB in 398 AB
Proj : .278/.319/.406, 10 HR, 51 R, 57 RBI, 5 SB in 453 AB
Pace: .247/.280/.393, 13 HR, 50 R, 69 RBI, 0 SB in 473 AB

Pudge’s average has really tumbled of late, and he has just one
extra-base hit since May 17. Time will tell if he has another rally in
him. His OPS was 845 on this day a month ago.

Michael Bourn
2008: .229/.288/.300, 5 HR, 57 R, 29 RBI, 41 SB in 467 AB
Proj : .256/.325/.354, 5 HR, 68 R, 42 RBI, 43 SB in 503 AB
Pace: .290/.367/.394, 3 HR, 98 R, 37 RBI, 58 SB in 613 AB

Bourn is also on pace for 135 strikeouts, so I’m not at all
convinced that he’ll maintain that .290 average. Still, that he’s
showing a better walk rate, at least against righties, and more doubles
power provide hope that he’ll last as a leadoff man.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.

Report: Phillies agree to minor league deal with Daniel Nava

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Daniel Nava #12 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.

Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.