Can the Astros provide plenty of fantasy baseball value in 2022?

Can Jeremy Pena help lead the Houston Astros back to the post-season in 2022? AP

One reason the Houston Astros felt so comfortable in allowing longtime starting shortstop Carlos Correa to sign elsewhere this offseason is due to how confident they are in excellent prospect Jeremy Pena. Fantasy managers may not be thinking much about Pena, and ESPN Fantasy hardly ranks him as relevant for our game, but perhaps we should re-evaluate. Manager Dusty Baker has had Pena lead off in several recent games, including Sunday against Miami. In that game, he singled twice in three plate appearances and he was caught stealing.

Pena sure had an interesting 2021 season. He underwent wrist surgery in April and the organization initially said he might miss the entire season, but then he skipped Double-A and played 30 games for Triple-A Sugar Land, posting a .944 OPS with 10 home runs and five stolen bases. Pena also drew just six walks while striking out 35 times. This was not his offensive profile at Single-A ball in 2019. Pena muscled up and now looks like a power hitter with speed -- perhaps very much like a young Correa? Hmmm, that should interest us, yes?