Spring Training is here and the 2021 Houston Astros have a similar look as well as high expectations for the upcoming season. Of course, there is one glaring difference, George Springer is no longer making residence in Houston. The man with so many legendary franchise moments has moved on in free agency, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite the loss of an All-Star like Springer, this position player group has plenty of talent. This talented group is the reason why expectations remain high. There are numerous ways to form a great lineup with this group, so here is a possible Astros 2021 lineup.
Possible Astros 2021 Lineup
With Springer gone, someone else will have to step into that lead-off spot. Alex Bregman is a good option because he has a 12.8% walk rate and just a 14.2% strikeout rate. He will battle with the best of them, but he can also go deep with the best of them. Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley would be in the spots they basically have been over the past two years. Brantley would have to be in the field more with the return of Yordan Álvarez, but he can handle his own defensively when healthy.
Four through seven in the lineup is where you can really go a lot of different ways. Carlos Correa could bat cleanup in order to have a righty in an otherwise lefty-oriented middle of the order. After Kyle Tucker’s first full season where he led the team in RBI (42) among other stats, he has earned his spot in the middle of the order. The aforementioned Alvarez could very well be higher in the order because of his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2019. However, he was limited to just two games in 2020, and is not yet cleared for Spring Training this year. Yuli Gurriel is coming off a down year and a very down postseason, but he is just a year removed from hitting .298 with 73 extra base hits.
Martin Maldonado and Myles Straw would round out the lineup. Straw obviously is not the same guy Springer was, but he is an upgrade in one aspect: speed. In six seasons between the Minors and the Majors, Straw has 186 stolen bases. Batting at the bottom of the order, he can be like a second lead-off guy, and wreak havoc on the bases.
Just as it is with the pitching staff, the Astros bench is pretty young and inexperienced. Outside of infielder Aledmys Diaz and catcher Jason Castro, Houston’s bench options have little-to-no big league experience. The trio of Garrett Stubbs, Abraham Toro, and Taylor Jones combine for 98 games of big league time. They don’t have much outfield depth, so Chas McCormick could end up taking a spot on the roster. The 25 year old has three minor league seasons under his belt, where he owns a solid .276/.360/.400 slashline. However, he has not appeared in a Major League game.
It is hard to see a player like Springer leave in free agency. However, this loss can be overcome. Houston had a lot of people with down years in 2020, but with the talent on this roster, it’s hard to see that happening again. Bounce-back years from All-Star caliber players like Bregman, Altuve, Álvarez, and Gurriel could put the Astros back at the top of the AL West in 2021.
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Players Mentioned: George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Yordan Álvarez, Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel, Martin Maldonado, Myles Straw, Aledmys Díaz, Jason Castro, Garrett Stubbs, Abraham Toro, Taylor Jones, Chas McCormick.