26-year old lefty swinging Michael Bourn was handed the starting CF job in 2008 and he gave it away due to his awful hitting. Bourn played in 138 games for the Astros last year and he was 107 for 467 (.229 avg, .588 OPS) with 57 runs scored, 5 homers, 29 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. Bourn made 5 errors in 130 games in CF last season for the Astros while showing good range. Bourn does have a surprisingly strong arm as he had 9 assists last season.
34-year old lefty swinging Darin Erstad will battle Bourn for playing time if he doesn’t hit well in 2009. Erstad played in 140 games for the Astros last year and he was 89 for 322 (.276 avg, .672 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 4 homers, 31 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Erstad played 40 games in CF last season not making any errors while showing outstanding range.
27-year old righty swinging Reggie Abercrombie will try to make the Astros this season. He played in 34 games for the Astros last season and he was 17 for 55 (.309 avg, .848 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 2 homers, 5 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Abercrombie has played in 180 games in his major league career and he has a batting average of .223 with a .629 OPS so it could be that last season with the Astros was a mirage. Abercrombie didn’t make any errors last season in 11 games in CF while showing outstanding range.
Jason Michaels could also get some P.T. in center field this season for the Astros. He played in 8 games in CF last season making 0 errors and showing outstanding range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: D-