Astros 2022 Season Guide - The Essentials

Updated: Mar 10

In preparation of the lockout ending, we are preparing 2022 season guides for EVERY MLB team. This is the quick and more condensed version of the off-season guide written in November.


The structure of these guides will be the same and be updated with input and changes as I receive and process it especially for the other teams.

  1. Analysis of the MLB projected roster

  2. Heatmap

  3. Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource

  4. Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

  5. Position by position ratings

  6. Greatest Strengths

  7. Greatest Weaknesses

  8. Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

  9. Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

  10. Areas to Address before Start of Season

  11. Season Prediction



Analysis of the Astros Projected Roster

(per Roster Resource on Fangraphs.com)


Heatmap

Here is the overall projected WAR of each team by position for each team as of January 2022. The key for this table is to understand where the Astros rank by position to understand their relative strengths and weaknesses as a team to the league. In short, the top team will be deep red, and the bottom team will be dark blue. The table attached is sorted by overall WAR.




Projected Batting Lineup per Roster Resource


The stats shown here are PROJECTED 2022 stats. The table in green shows the league average OPS and wOBA for each spot in the batting order in 2021. It then shows the projected team performance vs. the league average in 2021.


As shown, almost all spots in the order are above average batting.


Projected Pitching Lineup per Roster Resource

The average ERA/ FIP in the AL

Starting Pitchers- 4.46/ 4.38

Relief Pitchers- 4.15/ 4.15

Projected stats in table are heat mapped vs. these averages


Position-by-position Rankings

The Astros relative rank by position is shown below.

Greatest Strengths

  1. The Astros have several stars that project in the top five WAR in their position. These are likely to be the key to the Astros run scoring in 2022. Their batting projects to be fourth currently even without Correa.

  2. Alvarez- DH

  3. Altuve- 2B

  4. Bregman- 3B

  5. Tucker- RF

  6. The Astros top three starting pitchers- Verlander, McCullers, and Valdez can compete with almost any other top pitchers. Starting Pitching projects to be seventh currently.

  7. The young starting pitching is also deep- Garcia, Urquidy, Javier, and others in the minors may surprise and outperform their projections.

Greatest Weaknesses

  1. Maldonado is a liability offensively. Even his strong defense is not enough to prevent the Astros catching from currently ranking 26th in WAR.

  2. Both Center Field and Shortstop are depending on rookies or second year players. Pena at SS and McCormick/ Meyers in CF may outperform their projections, but it is a performance risk. Read more about Pena here. Read more about McCormick and Meyers here.

  3. The bullpen could still use a strong LHRP. Overall the bullpen is a relative weakness currently heading into the season.

  4. Pedro Baez may be done. The Astros cannot afford to allow his projected season to become a reality.

Top Prospects – focusing on those who can impact in 2022

According to MLB Pipeline, these are the Astros top prospects.

Pena should start opening day or soon after.

Lee may make an impact as a September call-up.

Leon might possibly join in 2022 as well depending on how he performs in AAA

Brown and Solomon are the most likely to make an impact on the pitching in 2022.


Payroll analysis- flexibility for trades or additional free agent signings

According to the Roster Resource payroll projection, the Astros currently project to have a $192M payroll in 2022. The CBA negotiations determined a new CBT level of $230M, the Astros have around $38M for transactions in 2022. I would expect them not to spend that entire payroll space before opening day.

Read more about the CBA and CBT here.


Areas to Address before Start of Season

  • The Astros really need to add a strong LHRP. Andrew Chafin would be an ideal addition.

  • The Astros might also choose to mitigate risk at SS by signing a viable starting SS. Re-signing Correa would be the most valuable option but would likely cause the Astros to face CBT penalties. Read more about the best options for Correa here. A more short-term option (like Villar or Simmons) is more likely if the Astros go this route. They might choose to start the season with Pena and pursue a trade if needed.

Season Prediction- As currently constructed, the Astros project to win 89-93 games and finish first in the AL West.


Please give me your thoughts on this guide and any questions you have in the Forums here.


Select the category "2022 MLB Team Guides" to see the other team guides or check out the Forum index.


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