Astros Player of the Day: Chas McCormick

Nov 3, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Chas McCormick (20) makes a catch on the fly ball hit by Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (not pictured) for the second out during the eighth inning in game five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Astros Player of the Day: Chas McCormick

Welcome to Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight: Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout the spring.

Today’s Astros Player of the Day is outfielder Chas McCormick.

McCormick is an Astros draftee, coming to Houston after his selection in the 21st round of the 2017 draft. He quickly ascended through the minors after getting into Houston’s system, advancing to Triple-A in 2019 before all of the minors missed the 2020 season due to COVID. He batted .262 with 10 home runs in 191 at-bats in Triple-A in 2019, but his acumen for finding a way to get his glove to the ball is one of the more promising parts of his game that led to his major league debut in 2021.

He took the field for the first time in the lopsided Opening Day win over the A’s on April 1, 2021, but that was a defensive appearance only as he took over for Michael Brantley in left field in the bottom of the ninth when the game was out of reach. He made his first plate appearance on April 3 of that season, again taking over for Brantley, who had been hit by a pitch and exited the game.

He struck out in his first at-bat and was hit by a pitch in his second, but in the top of the ninth notched his first hit and RBI with a double, which extended Houston’s lead to 6-1 as they would eventually go on to complete another rout of the A’s. McCormick appeared in 108 games in 2021 and finished the season with a .257 average and 50 RBI.

His offensive numbers slipped in 2022, dropping to a .245 average with 44 RBI despite more playing time; however, with the loss of Michael Brantley, and the resulting increased playing time, McCormick was able to provide the consistent defense that the Astros sorely needed. Although he primarily took the role of the everyday center fielder, he also made some starts in left when Yordan Alvarez would need games off his feet to DH.

McCormick’s defense was on display on the biggest stage of them all in 2022 World Series Game 5, where his incredible leaping catch of a fly ball by J.T. Realmuto helped keep the Phillies at bay in a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth. It went down as one of the best defensive plays of the year and could quite possibly be one of the best in Astros franchise history.

In 2023, with Brantley hopefully healthy and able to split time in LF with Alvarez, it opens up McCormick to have a more steady role as Houston’s center fielder. However, the return of Jake Meyers may mean some split time as Meyers tries to return and garner some playing time in the outfield during the year.

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