Its the time of the year again when men like Bill James and Dan Szymborski bring out their annual baseball predictions for the following season. And James numbers crunched for your 2012 Houston Astros are not pretty. You can buy the entire thing but I'm just copying and pasting from FanGraphs. They aren't ugly ugly, but absolutely nothing stands out. Nothing. I'm missing about 10 starts for starting pitchers and about 700 plate appearances, 500 of which might have come from Clint Barmes, if he were still on the team.
According to the predictions no-one is going to have a breakout year. J.D. Martinez is booked for having a solid campaign for his first full-season, Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace are expected to put up unspectacular campaigns, and even Carlos Lee is predicted to rebound very slightly.
Apart from that the only real surprise is Jose Altuve, who is billed to flash a bit of power and speed, but not much plate discipline. A predicted 2.1 BB% from 2011 is in Humberto Quintero territory, something the Astros will hope Altuve can at least double in 2012.
The starter's numbers are little better. Brett Myers 3.91 ERA is much lower than last year, but Bud Norris' numbers are worse not better than 2011. Overall it seems like quite a solid unit, if both Myers and Wandy Rodriguez are around when the season starts, something which seems highly unlikely at this point in time.