by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Yesterday was a busy day for the Astros, who pulled off a pair of moves to bolster their lineup:
Talk about making a quick splash. While there’s likely going to be some moves to make, and some platoon situations, the lineup just got a significant boost as the two acquisitions replace the outgoing Jason Castro and Colby Rasmus). In fact, outside of centerfield (where we will likely see some combination of Jake Marisnick, Teoscar Hernandez and Norichika Aoki) you could argue that the team should get above average production across the board.
How will McCann and Reddick fit into the lineup? What type of production can we expect? Let’s take a look:
Brian McCann – Catcher/Designated Hitter
He’s consistently shown 20+ HR power, and it’s not like he’s been a product of Yankee Stadium (9 HR on the road last season), so his new home ballpark shouldn’t change things. The obvious knock is going to be his average, and considering he’s been .256 or worse in each of the past five seasons why should we suddenly expect things to change?
His strikeouts have actually been on the rise (18.1% and 20.1% over the past two seasons), though his SwStr% has remain solid (7.8% last season) so there shouldn’t be significant concern. The problem is more an inflated fly ball rate (44.1%) for a player with little speed. That means a below average BABIP (.269 last season, for instance) and with it poor averages.
Nothing should change, and that means he’ll be your prototypical 20+ HR catcher with a poor average. Obviously there’s value, but it’s not elite.
Health was the big problem for Reddick early in the season, as he was putting together a strong year with the A’s (.296 with 8 HR over 272 AB). He struggled after a trade to LA (.258 with 2 HR over 167 AB), but that shouldn’t deter you. Finally in a hitter’s ballpark, there’s an awful lot to like.
He’s shown a much improved strikeout rate over the past two seasons (11.2% and 12.8%) thanks to impressive SwStr% (6.2% and 6.0%). Nothing should change in that regard and in Houston there’s reason to believe his power improves. He had 17 doubles and 1 triple last season and his 8.0% HR/FB should rise in a friendlier ballpark.
He had a significant split last season, which could lead to him being a bit of a platoon player (as he was late in the season):
He’d obviously be on the favorable side of things, though, so this shouldn’t be seen as a significant red flag. While he may not be a Top 25 outfielder, he’s right there in the mix and a must own in five-outfielder formats (and a good option in three-outfielder formats, even if it’s just for your bench).
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com
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