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November 5, 2013

Fantasy Team Preview

Houston Astros

by Craig Goldstein and Bret Sayre


Here in the fantasy section at Baseball Prospectus, we are trying a few different things this year, as you may or may not have already noticed. Our newest addition is a team-centric fantasy preview that will be paired with the release of an organization’s Top 10 Prospects List. Yesterday, Jason Parks and company unveiled the first installment of their highly awaited product: the Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects.

Today, we follow suit with a look at the rest of the organization from a fantasy perspective. We’ll march through projected roster construction, including lineup, rotation and back end of the bullpen. We’ll also touch on positional battles to watch out for as we head into spring and the triumvirate of the fantasy world: a player to target, a player to avoid and a deep sleeper.

The Astros as an organization, despite having the incredible wherewithal to hire a number of Baseball Prospectus alums, are very weak on the major league level. There’s plenty of help coming, as the prospect list covers, but 2014 is likely to be another rough season as far as production goes. Here is a look at what you need to know, as the Astros currently stand:

Projected Lineup

  1. 2B Jose Altuve
  2. RF L.J. Hoes
  3. C Jason Castro
  4. 3B Matt Dominguez
  5. 1B Brett Wallace
  6. DH Chris Carter
  7. LF Robbie Grossman
  8. CF Brandon Barnes
  9. SS Jonathan Villar

It’s extremely early in the offseason and there are a lot of moving parts here, as Houston has depth, although it’s not extremely talented depth. Grossman is likely to see at least half a season’s worth of at-bats as part of an outfield rotation. The other areas of upheaval (1B, CF) are likely to impacted by Houston’s farm system (Singleton/Springer, respectively), though it’s hard to know exactly when those players will make their presence felt. Aside from extremely deep leagues, I’d say it’s worth avoiding all of the above aside from Castro, Altuve, Carter, and Villar. Carter and Villar are especially flawed fantasy assets, but they’re good at what they do (power and speed, respectively). Given the dearth of firepower in this offense—and that extends to when the prospects arrive, as we’ve little idea how they’ll adjust—expect counting stats to be hard to come by even for the more talented members of the lineup.

Projected Bench

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<< Previous Article
Prospects Will Break Y... (11/04)
No Previous Column
Next Column >>
Fantasy Team Preview: ... (11/06)
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Baseball ProGUESTus: E... (11/05)

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