The Houston Astros had a 2013 season that they would like to forget. On top of a 55-111 record, they ranked second to last in team hits, and 26th in the league in team runs. Going into the season, the team knew that it would be a rebuilding year for them, but no one expected it to be that bad. Today, the Astros took on the Detroit Tigers in their second matchup of spring training this season. Much like last year, the Astros struggled to hit as they lost the game by a score of 3-0.
As a team, the Astros combined to go 3-30 against the Tigers’ pitching. It probably didn’t help their cause that Max Scherzer was on the mound, who was strong for the Tigers in three innings pitched.
Astros fans may have to suffer through yet another grueling season if the team cannot produce hits, much like last year. Their projected starting lineup features a lot of young but mostly unproven talent. Some of this talent includes second baseman Jose Altuve, catcher Jason Castro and outfielder Robbie Grossman.
One player that could help out their lineup this year is center fielder Dexter Fowler, who was acquired via trade with the Colorado Rockies in the offseason. Fowler has put up some solid numbers in his career from the leadoff position, hitting a career .270. His veteran experience will be key for an Astros team that is third youngest in the league.
The future looks bright for the Astros, as they have three prospects in ESPN Insider Keith Law’s Top 50 prospects list, including shortstop Carlos Correa (No. 3), pitcher Mark Appel (No. 11) and outfielder George Springer (No. 19). However, it will be likely another year or two at least before any of these players will be able to contribute to the team.
One thing is for certain: If the Astros continue to struggle at the plate this season, they will see similar results as last year, especially in a competitive division like the AL West.