At this point, Tyler White is the presumed favorite to win the first base job after batting .366 with a .460 on-base percentage over 41 at-bats. There is still a small chance that Houston could give the job to Jonathan Singleton to start the season however, in order to create some value for him on the trade market. Potentially sacrificing games this season doesn't seem to be in the cards for this club, who will likely need each and every win in what is expected to be a tough American League playoff race, and White gives the team their best chance to win more games. Singleton has shown some pop, accumulating three homers, but he is still batting just .151 through 53 spring at-bats. What White lacks in power he makes up for in contact and the ability to get on base, creating more opportunities for some of the veteran bats in the lineup.
A.J. Reed has also had an impressive spring, and if it weren't for White's hot start, the Astros' front office would likely be seriously considering starting the season with him at first. In 45 at-bats Reed is batting .311 with a .333 OBP and three homers. The plan has always seemed to have been to keep him in Fresno to begin 2016, as GM Jeff Luhnow likes to have his position players get at least a little time in Triple-A before making their big-league debuts, and with first base seemingly covered for the time being, that is likely what will happen.
We knew about these names heading into camp, and knew each of them had a chance to make the roster if things broke their way. That is not the same story for third baseman Colin Moran. Moran saw a brief stint in Fresno for their playoff run after Pacific Coast League MVP Matt Duffy was called up to Houston, and he will be returning to Fresno for a bit of extra seasoning in 2016, but he has opened some eyes in camp. Moran has seen the same number of at-bats as presumed starting third baseman Luis Valbuena with 34, and has more home runs (Valbuena's calling card) at two to one, while hitting for a much higher average at .353 compared to Valbuena's .265. The discrepancy isn't enough to knock Luis off the hot corner just yet, but if he hits a lull and Moran is hot, the Astros could consider shuffling the roster over the course of the season. Again, Duffy would also be in this discussion. At the very least, Moran's spring performance is a nice sign with Valbuena entering his walk year.
A relative unknown, 30-year-old utility man Danny Worth, whom the Astros signed to a Minor League contract at the end of January with an invite to camp, has seen his share of playing time this spring and has handled the bat nicely, batting .333 with a couple of bombs in 36 at-bats. If either Marwin Gonzalez or Jose Altuve were to go down, Worth could be looking at his first Major League action since 2014 when he played in 20 games with the Detroit Tigers. Worth is a career .230 hitter in the Majors, but last year with Reno (Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate) he hit .314 with a .394 OBP. He could be a very nice depth option to have down the road, as no team ever makes it through a season unscathed.
Each of these players has a chance to make it to the big leagues in 2016, but aside from Tyler White each of the others has a blocked path to Houston as the roster currently stands. With their nice showings in camp however, they could have worked themselves into future conversations.
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