By Josh Sippie @sippenator101 on May 27, 2014
The first four hitters in the Houston Astros' order are almost completely set in stone. Jason Castro has had an up-and-down year, but moving him out of the clean-up spot does not seem like it’s going to happen in the foreseeable future. The first three in the order, Jose Altuve, George Springer and Dexter Fowler have all clicked magnificently together. Here's who should be continuing the rallies after them.
It’s time. It’s been time. It’s past time. Jesus Guzman and Marc Krauss need to make way for the prodigal son. Jon Singleton, even including his recent slump, is still destroying the ball in Triple-A. His power would be a welcome addition to a pretty powerful lineup already. He’s got a massive 12 home runs and a league leading 37 RBIs. Regardless, he can’t do any worse than Guzman is doing.
This is just where he hits best. Dominguez has hit everywhere from third to eighth in the order, but the stats are pretty clear. When hitting sixth in his career, he has a .301 average with five home runs and 12 RBIs in just 83 at-bats. The next best average by spot in the order is fifth, and that’s a full 50 points under what he hits batting sixth. Maybe it’s that there isn’t as much pressure hitting sixth, who knows, but it should be his spot.
Much like Jon Singleton, Domingo Santana’s time has come. He’s hitting .293 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in Triple-A. His raw power potential is equal to that of Chris Carter, if not better. Much like comparing Singleton to Guzman, Santana can’t do any worse than say, Chris Carter or Marc Krauss.
If Robbie Grossman can pick up his late 2013 form, he should become a permanent fixture in the Astros' lineup. But they need to find a place for him where he can avoid the pressure of trying to do too much. His .322 average with four home runs and 21 RBIs coming out of the leadoff spot would be such a welcome addition from the eight-spot in the lineup.
Jonathan Villar started out 2014 so nicely. His .250 average may not have looked like much, but he was putting up power numbers to boot, with five home runs. Since then, it’s been all bad news, as his average has dropped down in to the low .200s. Marwin Gonzalez offers a fine alternative, as he’s become an invaluable utility man for the Astros.
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