Why the Astros’ Myles Straw might be the prototypical 26th man – The Athletic

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Myles Straw’s best tool is his speed. He’s one of the fastest players in affiliated baseball, and he utilizes that speed plus a strong arm to play a really good centerfield.

The doubts about his ceiling as a major leaguer have always concerned his bat, specifically the question of whether he will get on base enough. He traditionally hasn’t hit for any power; his slugging percentage in five seasons of pro ball is only .378.

In his five years in their system, the Astros have attempted to increase Straw’s value wherever they can. Last year, they undertook the highly unconventional project of turning the outfielder into a viable major league shortstop, which is still ongoing.

But believe it or not, the shortstop conversion isn’t even the most extreme experiment the team has tried with Straw. Early in his pro career, the Astros used an instructional league to test him out as a…

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