When the Houston Astros sent Jed Lowrie to the Oakland Athletics, they received a 26-year-old power hitter named Chris Carter who should step in as the regular DH and fill in for Carlos Pena at first base when needed. Carter, 26, hit .239/.350/.514 with 16 home runs and 12 doubles for the A’s last year in 218 at bats. Of those 16 homers, 11 of them came away from the Oakland Coliseum.
Carter will move into the cozier confines of Minute Maid Park, where Carter will be able to take aim at the left field wall that sits just 315 feet away from home plate at its closest point. Granted, Carter won’t be hitting a lineup that can protect him and force pitchers to throw to him, but he should still see a dramatic rise in his power numbers just playing away from the Oakland Coliseum.
It should also be noted that, although a small sample size, he hit .300/.405/667 as a DH in 30 at bats with 3 home runs. Again, that is a miniscule sample size, and doesn’t mean Carter will hit .300 or crush thirty home runs over 300 at bats or 60 homers in 600 at bats. However, it is a bit encouraging for the Astros, who plan to use him as their primary DH.
It is conceivable that Carter will emerge as a 30-home run threat, even in the Astros lineup that currently has only three other players who eclipsed double-digit home runs last season. Carlos Pena had 19 for the Tampa Bay Rays while hitting just .197, Justin Maxwell led the Astros in homers with 18 and J.D. Martinez had 11.
The Astros did well in trading Lowrie for a young power hitter in Carter and pitching prospect Brad Peacock. Carter should be a consistent power threat for several years and team with Jonathan Singleton, who is serving a 50-game suspension for marijuana use, to form a dangerous combo at first base and DH.