25-year old lefty swinging Michael Bourn was brought in with a trade with the Phillies in the off-season and the Astros are going to see what he can do. He played in 105 games for the Phillies last season and he was 33 for 119 (.277 avg, .726 OPS) with 29 runs scored, 1 homer, 6 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Bourn has averaged 40.8 steals per season in his 4 years in the minors. He played in 12 games in CF for the Phillies last season and he showed below average range but didn’t make an error.
34-year old lefty swinging Darin Erstad is a good insurance policy in case Michael Bourn can’t handle the job. Erstad played in 87 games for the White Sox last season and he was 77 for 310 (.248 avg, .645 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 4 homers, 32 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. The Astros hope that Erstad revives his bat as he has a career average of .284 with a .750 OPS in 1,407 games in the major leagues. Erstad played in 45 games in CF for the White Sox last season and he only made 1 error while showing below average range.
27-year old righty swinging Reggie Abercrombie played in 35 games for the Marlins last season and he was 15 for 76 (.197 avg, .554 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 2 homers, 5 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. He whiffed an amazing 22 times last season for the Marlins as he’s not a good hitter at all because he tries to hit homers instead of putting the ball on the ground and using his speed. He played in 17 games in CF last season for the Marlins and he made 1 error while showing outstanding range, but, he mis-plays a lot of balls.
If injuries spread among the CFs of the Astros, Hunter Pence could return there. He played in 95 games for the Astros last season and he made 4 errors there while showing outstanding range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-