Stats, via Mlb.com , are as of July, 15th 2009. All grades were assigned prior to the All-Star game.
Ivan Rodriguez - C
At the start of the season, I think I could have predicted a line like this from Pudge - .245/.278/.397. Perhaps the batting average and on-base percentages are a tad low, but he's still providing better offensively production (sadly) than the Astros have been used to in recent years. Pudge has also belted seven homeruns along with scoring twenty-six runs and thirty RBIs. Rodriguez has also been Pudge behind the plate, and that always helps.
Humberto Quintero - D-
Only seventy-seven at-bats for Quintero, but he hasn't made the most of them, he's hitting .247/.266/.312 this season. One thing I have learned about 'Q' is that he will not be an everday player, something we wondered about prior to the season.
J.R. Towles did not qualify, having less than 50 at-bats.
Miguel Tejada - A
Tejada has been amazing, maybe the defensive is in decline, but I haven't seen anything this year that makes me think his defense is detrimental to the team. Tejada leads the team in batting average at .329. He also hit a slugging % of .473 with seven homeruns and thirty-seven extra-base-hits. Tejada struck out only twenty-six times the first half but, also only walked ten times, leading to a mediocre .357 OBP. Miggy was tied for second on the team with forty-nine RBIs and third on the team in runs scored with forty-eight.
Lance Berkman - A-
Due to a horrid April many believe Berkman has had a poor first half, however, he leads the team in homeruns, OBP, SLG%, walks, and RBIs (anymore I'm missing? probably) with eighteen, a .403 OBP, a .526 SLG%, sixty-six and fifty-five respectively. Berkman's average was only .271, but who cares with an OBP over .400, right? He's also silently stolen six bases in eight tries and was second on the team with fort-nine runs scored.
Jeff Keppinger - B-
Keppinger, the right-handed platoon at third base, has really grown on me. When first acquired, I didn't feel Keppinger would provide anything more than Drew Sutton (who was sent to Cincinnati in the deal). However, through the first half, Keppinger has been holding up his side of the plate. Batting .273 with a .353 OBP and .416 SLG%, in one hundred and sixty-one at-bats (thirty-eight less at-bats than Blum). Keppinger is also one of two Astros batters with a BB/K ratio over one (Berkman being the other), he has walked nineteen times and struck out sixteen times. Also, in less at-hats, Keppinger has driven in one more run than Blum.
Question of the day: Would you prefer the power upgrade of Chris Johnson taking over the right side of the platoon, or keep Keppinger's on-base skills?
Geoff Blum - C+
Blum has hit .281 with a .350 OBP and .362 SLG%. He struck out twenty-seven times and walked nineteen times, scoring twenty-seven runs. All-in-all nothing stands out about Blum, but he has been servicable and the two of them (Blum and Keppinger) manning third hasn't kept the Astros from competing.
Kazuo Matsui - D
Matsui 1. couldn't stay healthy 2. Was not the most effective second basemen, even when he returned. Matsui hit .252 with a .313 OBP and .338 SLG%. He struck out forty-three times and walked only nineteen times. He has stolen nine bases and has provided some timely hits, so I won't give him an F, but a D is more than deserved, unfortunately.
Edwin Maysonet - B
I don't know why the front office doesn't seem to like Maysonet. He fields well and provided some good offensive production during his stint in the majors. In fifty-four at-bats he hit .315 with a .356 OBP and .407 SLG%. Personally, I would like to see Maysonet be brought back up with a chance to stick, but with Matsui making five million for the next two years that, it isn't likely to happen.
Matt Kata didn't qualify.
Due up: The remaining 'Player Performance Grades' as well as a look into the Elias Rankings, the off-season and 2010. I'm looking forward to reading your answers to the 'question of the day'.