Myles Straw looks like one of the Astros best outfielders with just over two weeks left before the home opener. Could he move up to starting right fielder?
At the beginning of the Astros spring training, Myles Straw was thought to be one of the players battling it out to win that 26th slot on the active roster. The way things are looking, he may be the third-best outfielder on the team. Straw may be climbing up the ladder to pass Kyle Tucker and Josh Reddick as the mainstay in right field.
He has certainly been given every chance and is taking advantage of the opportunity in a way that’s hard to overlook. Straw has gotten into ten of the fifteen games this spring and is at the top of the leaderboard in nearly every category. And I’m not talking about just among the outfielders, but the entire Astros squad.
His 1.365 OPS is the second-best on the team out of all players with more than three games on their spring resume. He is at the top of the pack with seven hits and seven runs scored and also in RBIs with five. He surpasses everyone, by a long shot, with 16 total bases. The stat that has caught all of us by surprise is his team-leading three home runs.
The two team members that are also in the mix to patrol right field for the Astros don’t even come close in comparison. Tucker and Reddick are having very disappointing springs, although Tucker has experienced a bit of a surge in the last few games he’s appeared in.
Tucker started out spring training with an abysmal showing in his first eight games going hitless in 16 at-bats. But in the three games following, he has gone 5-for-8 at the plate with a homer and two doubles. He’s currently sitting with a slash line of .208/.259/.417 with a .676 OPS.
Reddick is having a start to his spring training that he would just as soon forget. He has played in just six games to date, but they have resulted in miserable numbers with only one hit in 15 at-bats. He is slashing .067/.176/.067 and an OPS of .243. There’s still time to get things going, but not the start one wants when there are a couple of hungry prospects vying for your job.
With Astros manager Dusty Baker in his first year on the job, he can go into this season with open eyes and no apparent favorites. He has been extremely impressed with what he’s seen in Straw this spring, labeling him as “very valuable”. From what I’ve seen so far, I’d give him a serious look at starting in right field come opening day.