For much of the first half of the 2021 MLB season, the Houston Astros‘ bench depth was tested, particularly in the outfield. After the trade deadline rolled around and starting centerfielder Myles Straw was traded, there were even more questions. However, after a couple of impactful MiLB call-ups, just about every question has been answered. The addition of Jake Meyers and Jose Siri to the Major League roster has yielded big returns. The Astros’ outfield depth was once a weakness, but these rookies have made it a big strength.
Meyers received his call to the big leagues shortly after the Straw trade. After a few appearances as a pinch-hitter, he finally got the opportunity to start. Once he got the chance to start some games, it did not take long for him to make an impact. In just his second start, he hit his first two career home runs, one being a grand slam. He ended the day with five RBI. Meyers has been a mainstay in centerfield ever since. He has played center in 33 of his 40 games played this season entering Wednesday. Overall, the 25-year old is slashing .267/.321/.450 with five homers and 24 RBI.
After bouncing around in the minors for nearly a decade, Siri is making the most of his first taste of the majors. His introduction to the majors was extremely similar to Meyers. After a few appearances off the bench, he finally made his first start. It was in this start where he made history. Siri collected four hits, two of them home runs, and he drove in five runs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Siri is the first player to drive in five or more runs and hit two or more home runs in his first major league start since RBI became an official statistic in 1920. In 13 games played entering Wednesday, Siri is slashing .333/.375/.733 with four homers, eight RBI, and three stolen bases.
Chas McCormick has been a solid option off the bench and for spot starts since the beginning of the season. The 26-year old has logged over 170 innings at every outfield spot this season and has contributed offensively as well. With Michael Brantley dealing with multiple injuries this season, McCormick has played admirably. He is slashing .252/.310/.450 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI. McCormick’s homers and RBI are actually more than Brantley’s eight and 45 this season, though Brantley is hitting .315.
Of course, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez are continuing on their path to superstardom. Tucker is an extra-base hit machine, with a team-leading 66 entering Wednesday. Alvarez leads the team in home runs and RBI, with 31 and 98 respectively. Typically, the 24-year old will fill out the DH spot, however, Alvarez has been getting an increasing share of time in left field. He has spent over 270 innings in left this year, blowing past his previous career high of 66 innings in 2019.
Those who had concerns about the Astros’ outfield depth entering 2021 have had their worries put to rest. Assuming everyone is healthy, Houston knows Brantley, Tucker, and Alvarez will be starting in left, right, and DH in the postseason. The biggest question that remains is who will start in center, but needless to say, the Astros have plenty of solid options.
Embed from Getty Images