Houston Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez has put some some outstanding power numbers, all things considered. As he’s consistently batting in the bottom third of the lineup, very little was expected of him offensively, and his average is hovering around .230.
So should the Astros be content with his batting average?
Dominguez is incredibly streaky. He’s hit as high as .250 and as low as .210. While it would be reasonable to try to find someone to blame for streaky hitting, I’ll spare John Mallee that accusation. It’s got to be part of the growing process. Having 14 home runs and 55 RBIs is far and above any expectations placed on Dominguez’s offensive potential when he was acquired from the Miami Marlins for Carlos Lee.
However, the number that really stands out is just 16 walks in 347 at-bats. Dominguez is second on the team in at-bats, being the undisputed everyday third baseman. But he’s seventh in walks, behind players who have seen up to 200 at-bats less than him.
This is unacceptable.
Strikeouts are easily the biggest problem the Astros have that needs immediate correction, but it needs to be expanded into plate discipline in general. Walks are just as good as singles, and the Astros players are not seeming to grasp this concept. Either that, or coaching isn’t emphasizing it enough.
Regardless of the root of the problem, it needs to be fixed. The no. 1 priority should be to cut down on strikeouts and build up on walks. It’s easy to say and it’s tough to do, but it’s far from impossible.