35-year old righty swinging Carlos Lee will be the Astros’ full-time 1B in 2012. Lee played in 155 games for the Astros last year and he was 161 for 585 (.275 avg, .788 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 18 homers, 94 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He has now played in 749 games in his first five years with the Astros and he is 820 for 2,863 (.286 avg, .824 OPS) with 352 runs scored, 128 homers, 504 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. Lee has now played in 1,952 games in his first 13 years in the majors and he is 2,128 of 7,433 (.286 avg, .831 OPS) with 1,072 runs scored, 349 homers, 1,286 RBIs and 122 stolen bases. Lee looks like a statue at 1B as he made 5 errors in 79 games at 1B for the Astros last year. The Astros will put up with Lee’s D as long as he keeps raking with the bat.
25-year old lefty swinging Brett Wallace might still be the Astros’ 1B of the future, but he’s going to need to step up at some point. Wallace played in 115 games for the Astros last year and he was 87 for 336 (.259 avg, .703 OPS) with 37 runs scored, 5 homers, 29 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has now played in 166 games in his first two years with the Astros and he is 119 of 480 (.248 avg, .677 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 7 homers, 42 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Wallace also has shown poor plate discipline so far in his major league career as he has whiffed 141 times while walking 44 times. Wallace made 6 errors in 96 games at 1B for the Astros last year. Wallace will need to improve with the bat and the mitt before the Astros give him another chance.
PROJECTED GRADE AT 1B IN 2012: B