23-year old switch-hitting Jimmy Paredes’ name is written in pencil as the starting 3B heading into spring training. Paredes played in 46 games for the Astros last year and he was 48 of 168 (.286 avg, .713 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 2 homers, 18 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He also played in 93 games in AA-ball last year in which he was 104 of 385 (.270 avg, .726 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 10 homers, 41 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. Paredes had 5 errors in 46 games at 3B for the Astros last year while showing awful range.
27-year old righty swinging Chris Johnson is going to try to win his starting job back this spring. He played in 107 games for the Astros last year and he was 95 of 378 (.251 avg, .670 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 7 homers, 42 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Johnson has now played in 212 games in his first three years for the Astros and he is 202 of 741 (.273 avg, .725 OPS) with 73 runs scored, 18 homers, 95 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Johnson had 15 errors in 101 games for the Astros at 3B last year while showing pretty awful range.
27-year old righty swinging Matt Downs played in 19 games at 3B for the Astros last year and he made 2 errors while showing off terrible range. He is likely to be the Astros’ top utility man in 2012.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 3B IN 2012: C-