On Saturday, the Astros called up speedy outfielder Myles Straw from Class AAA Fresno.
Straw batted .291 with 70 stolen bases, 102 strikeouts and a .734 OPS across two levels of the minors.
He made his major league debut as a pinch runner in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game.
Kyle Tucker may be the organization’s best prospect at the plate, but the Astros have envisioned Straw — a 5-10, 180-pound center fielder from California, who turns 24 in October — boosting their chances on the basepaths since spring training.
“When we talk about our players in the spring, we talk about them bringing something to the team that somebody else doesn’t,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “With Myles it was always about base running and base stealing.”
The organization wanted Myles to be more aggressive with steals this season. He nearly doubled his total from 2017.
“As you get toward the big leagues, there’s more experience and control of the running game, controlling stolen bases,” said Hinch, a former major league catcher. “Everybody knows when he gets on first, he’s probably going. So we had to challenge him to be more aggressive.”
Straw batted .327 in Class AA and struggled at .257 in Class AAA.
Hinch lauded Straw’s defense at all outfield positions and expects his greatest value to be in pinch run opportunities.
“To have him as the potential tying run is huge,” Hinch said.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Straw, the Astros transferred righthander Jandel Gustave to the 60-day disabled list.
The Fresno Grizzlies might finish their postseason by Sunday evening. If so, Hinch said the Astros might call up “another player or two,” depending on the health and performance of players on the major league roster.