Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 2/15/12
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1. Jordan Schafer CF Schafer has the skills and the speed to play center field in the major leagues. But skills do not equal production. Schafer first must prove he can stay healthy -- he has battled a broken wrist and a broken finger in recent seasons. Second, he will have to prove to management that he has seen the light, matured and is ready to move on since he was arrested in October on a charge of marijuana possession. 2. Jed Lowrie SS Another player who has to prove he can remain healthy. Lowrie has a .378 career on-base percentage when he bats second in the order. 3. J.D. Martinez LF In 226 plate appearances last season, Martinez hit six home runs and had 35 RBI. In this young lineup, that qualifies one to bat third. 4. Carlos Lee 1B The Astros have already said they are leaving Lee at first base. Got a better option for a cleanup hitter? 5. Brett Wallace 3B Wallace is getting yet another opportunity to win an everyday job by getting switched back to his old position of third base. The Astros really, really, really want the centerpiece of the Roy Oswalt trade to become a major league hitter. 6. Brian Bogusevic RF In 145 plate appearances in the second half of 2011, Bogusevic batted .305 with a .361 OBP. 7. Jason CastroChris Snyder C If Castro is healthy, hell get the job because the Astros have yet to get an extended look at their 2008 first-round pick. Castro missed all of last year with a severe knee injury. 8. Jose Altuve 2B Unless Altuve changes his plate approach dramatically, there is no way the Astros can have him anywhere near the top of the lineup. Altuve walked only five times in 234 plate appearances in 2011 for a .297 OBP. That will have to improve significantly if Altuve wishes to remain a major leaguer, but he has time. Hes only 21 years old. Starting Rotation: Wandy RodriguezBud NorrisBrett MyersJ.A. HappJordan Lyles If the Astros have a strength, it's the rotation. But Happ and Lyles have to pick up the back end. Lyles must continue his late-season production of 2011 and forget the first portion of the year. Lyles eventually will have to be a control freak because none of his pitches fall under the category of great "stuff."
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