2016 Houston Astros Preview & Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep
The Houston Astros weren’t expected to grow up so fast, but a few young stars burst onto the scene and helped the Astros jump out to a hot start. After taking the eventual champs to five games in the ALDS, Houston will look to ride their young bats and quality pitching staff to an even deeper postseason run.
(Note: When a player’s fantasy draft status is mentioned – e.g., "he’s an SP4" – the number is based on 12-team mixed leagues. ADP references are from NFBC drafts.)
Key Additions: RP Ken Giles, SP Doug Fister
Key Losses: 1B Chris Carter, SP Scott Kazmir
CL: Ken Giles
Dallas Keuchel made the leap and won the AL Cy Young thanks to some surprising strikeout power we hadn’t previously seen. He’s a workhorse who should keep his ERA and WHIP low while racking up the wins and quality starts. His ADP and FOX rank is SP14, which sounds about right … Collin McHugh is incredibly underrated with an SP51 ADP. He won 19 games last year and there’s reason to belive the Astros will be even better … Lance McCullers had 129 strikeouts in his first 125 innings and looks like a legitimate ace. SP35 might seem aggressive to some but he has nasty stuff … Don’t let Mike Fiers fall too far in your draft. His kind of strikeout juice for a good team shouldn’t be underestimated … For fantasy purposes, this rotation should go four deep. I wouldn’t trust Doug Fister in a fantasy format … Ken Giles has a 1.56 ERA with 151 strikeouts in 115 career innings. He hasn’t been officially named the closer, but with those numbers, I’m comfortable taking him well above his RP8 ADP … If something happens to Giles, Luke Gregerson showed last year he’s plenty capable of filling that role.
Sleeper: Fiers. He’s being selected outside of the top-50 pitchers, but with a career 9.1 SO/9 and plenty of run support headed his way, he could easily outplay his draft slot.
A.J. Reed, 1B: If Singleton struggles out of the gate, Reed could take his job sooner rather than later. Reed hit .340 with 34 HR last year in the minors and brings serious power from the left side of the plate.
Alex Bregman, SS: The No. 2 pick in last year’s draft still has plenty of time for seasoning in the minors, and he’s currently blocked by Carlos Correa. Keep an eye on whether Bregman starts playing third in the minors, as he could potentially take over for Luis Valbuena at some point.