I’ll be honest, I am a huge fan of Tony Kemp. With his small strike zone, good speed, and pesky left handed bat, I can see him being a great #2 hitter in the lineup.
So, I’m not sure why AJ Hinch wont stick him in there and leave him. He has certainly proved himself at every stop in the minors.
In almost 1800 minor league plate appearances, Tony Kemp has a .392 OBP. What was Alex Bregman’s minor league OBP? It was .388.
In the majors, Kemp struggled with a .296 OBP in 136 plate appearances. But, it took him 59 games to get those plate appearances. A lot of pinch hitting and once-a-week starts at the bottom of the lineup. That was some spotty playing time – AJ Reed had the same problem.
But when Bregman came up, he was assured a spot in the lineup everyday to work through his struggles. What was Bregman’s OBP after 136 plate appearances? It was .301 – basically the same as Kemp…but it only took him 30 games to get them.
I wish AJ would show faith in Kemp like he did with Bregman.
Can you imagine a lineup of Altuve and Kemp at the top? 2 of the smallest strike zones in MLB…with speed to boot!
***Plus, Kemp accomplishes Hinch’s goal of breaking up the right-handed bats.
So, to dream up a lineup…how about this:
- Altuve 2B – great speed, good power… and greatness getting the most at bats he can get in a game.
- Kemp LF – pesky, OBP ability, and good speed – and a LHB sandwiched between our two best players
- Correa SS – power, speed, superstar, born #3 hitter
- Bregman 3B – power, speed, natural, future superstar
- Beltran DH – great switch hitter in the middle of the lineup where he belongs
- Gurriel 1B – Cuban hitting legend
- Reddick RF – quality LHB with power sandwiched between RHBs
- Springer CF – power/speed but high strikeouts (in this lineup of great hitters, he belongs here – I honestly think he is our 8th best hitter)
- McCann/Gattis C – platoon, both good power, consistency of the catcher hitting 9th every day
So there it is, my dream lineup to get the Astros to the World Series. LHBs and RHBs are alternated optimally – and speed/tough outs are at the top with power bats following them.
Hinch, Luhnow… are you reading this?