I’ve been incredibly hard on Chris Carter all season. It even got to the point that I was rooting for him to strike out just for kicks. Well, maybe the Houston Astros slugger has finally turned the corner.
Carter has struck out 204 strikeouts across 486 at-bats in 142 games. Those numbers are scary. He obviously leads the league in strikeouts. The all-time season record was set by Mark Reynolds in 2009 at 223. All season long, it appeared that Carter would shatter that record. However, with six fewer games played, Carter finds himself still 20 strikeouts behind the record.
Carter even acknowledged that he was having problems. But now, Carter is riding a five-game hitting streak. In his last seven games, he’s batting .375 with two home runs, four RBIs and most importantly, only five strikeouts. In fact, in 69 September at-bats, he has registered a .290 batting average. He’s raised his season average from .214 to .226, and with nearly 500 at-bats so late into the season, that’s no easy feat.
Maybe Carter has more of a place on the future Astros than his season’s stats will show. His power numbers are still respectable, and he’s putting in the extra work, so the raw talent and potential is there, that’s for sure. He even leads the team in walks.
Carter will reach 30 home runs, and that power is sorely lacking in the Astros’ lineup. Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez put up good power numbers as well, but Carter is the strength in that order. Obviously, the strikeouts must be fixed, but Carter’s September performance is enough to at least give him a second audition in 2014.