This is an article that is part of the ongoing overview of the Astros 25 man roster.
Part one addressed the Astros’ starting rotation and part two will address the catcher and infielders
C Jason Castro ( 24 years old)
2011 MLB Statistics: N/A (missed entire season due to injury)
Career MLB Statistics (67 games): .205 BA, 2 HR, 40 H, 8 RBI
After being called up for a taste of major league action in June of 2010, Jason Castro seemed to be a lock to make the club out of spring training in 2011. That was before he suffered the misfortune of tearing an ACL in one of his knees while running to first base on a routine play in a spring training game against the Detroit Tigers. This season Castro will most likely see a majority of time behind the plate for the Astros’ while sharing the catcher’s position with offseason acquisition Chris Snyder
C Chris Snyder (31 years old)
2011 MLB statistics (PIT): .271 BA, 3 HR, 26 H, 17 RBI
Career MLB Statistics (8 seasons): .231 BA, 70 HR, 426 H, 273 RBI
The Astros signed Chris Snyder as a free agent during this past offseason and he will most likely serve as back up to Jason Castro. Snyder hasn’t served as a team’s primary catcher since before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The best part of Snyder’s game is undoubtedly his defense, with an astounding career fielding percentage of .998 . One potential wrinkle in his acquisition is Snyder’s health. Last season he only played in 34 games for the Buccos and he has never accrued more than 334 at bats in a season; while part of this is due to his role as a backup, the Astros will undoubtedly keep a close eye on his health throughout the season.
2B José Altuve (21 years old)
2011 MLB Statistics (HOU):.276 BA, 2 HR, 61 H, 12 RBI
Career MLB Statistics (57 games): .276 BA, 2 HR, 61 H, 12 RBI
José Altuve is one of those players whose very presence on the diamond is a good reason for a fan to get excited. In only 221 at bats last year, he managed to get 61 hits and he also showed some speed by racking up seven steals in ten attempts. José Altuve is all about potential and the Astros’ management is right to get excited about what he can do with a full season at the Major League level.
Util Matt Downs (28 years old)
2011 MLB statistics (HOU): .276 BA, 10 HR, 55 H, 41 RBI
Career MLB Statistics (3 seasons): .244 BA, 12HR, 85 H, 50 RBI
Matt Downs will return to the Astros in 2012 doing much the same thing that he did in 2011. He will serve as the main utility player for the infield, in which he played every position at least once last season. His power numbers and RBIs surged last season, where he clubbed 10 of his 12 career homeruns and picked up 41 of his career 50 RBIs. Look for Downs to be a threat off the bench this season for the Astros.
The next article will cover the other four Astros infielders
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