I agree with Andy that our defense should be solid - Baseball Prospectus 2006 loves Taveras's range (more on that in a sec), Everett is great, Biggio is only a little below average, and Ausmus is above average. That's good up the middle, Wilson and Lane are ok, Ensberg is good, Berkman is ok. All in all, a very good defensive team.
I don't share your enthusiasm about Wandy, however. Your comparison to Zito is interesting because Zito is a bit of an exception to the rule - he's succeeded despite a declining K rate and an increasing walk rate. He's probably due for a fall. I didn't know Wandy was a GB pitcher - that bodes well for him in MMP and with our good infield defense, particularly the left side. I don't expect too much out of him with his 2005 BB / K ratio (53 / 80), but we don't really have anyone better.
I promised some BP 2006 Astros nuggets; here are my favorites: (you want more? buy the book!)
"The last sting of the Killer's B's was last year, especially if the Rocket's really retired....Whether they sign the 43-year old Clemens or not, the Astros are already a very old team...The farm system has one or two interesting prospects but no stars."
"One example of their front-office problems is the two-year deal recently proferred to Brad Ausmus, which locks him up in his Age 37 and 38 seasons for 7.5 million...a truly and thoroughly bad hitter, he's been ineffective his entire career, with only the most transitory blips to make you wonder if he's achieved adequacy...His defense, while solid, doesn't approach the level necessary to make up for his anemic bat."
"All clubs rebuild. It has to be done. The Astros...need to rebuild right now. This year is an opportunity for the Astros to take some chances, make some investments, and start building the next great Astros team. That team probably won't include Bagwell, Biggio, or Clemens, and it certainly won't include Brad Ausmus."
Jeff Bagwell - "Long term contracts for players already in their 30's arent a good idea....when the Astros finally made the World Series, they did so in spite of Bagwell's contract, not because of it."
Lance Berkman - "He's pretty much run out of value defensively, but he's a nice guy to stick in the middle of the lineup and depend on for legitimate #3 hitter production."
Craig Biggio - "He's aged gracefully....defensively, his return to 2nd base worked out about as well as anyone could have expected...he wasn't good, but he wasn't Alfonso Soriano either."
Morgan Ensberg - "If he can hang onto his dramatic increase in walks, there's no reason he can't cement his place among the NL's best players. Ensberg is an underrated defender as well; he may not look as graceful as Eric Chavez or Scott Rolen, but he's not far out of their class."
Adam Everett - "Shortstop is a wasteland in the NL right now...Everett should be healthy to begin the 2006 season, and should perform pretty well versus his peer group."
Jason Lane - "Lane finally demonstrated some of the power that the stathead community has waited for...his plate discipline took a bit of a slide, which isn't terribly unusual in a hitter's first full season. Lane's defense in the outfield is better than publicly perceived."
Hunter Pence - "Pence is the only real prospect in the organization, but he's got some strikes against him...it shouldn't be hard to keep an eye on him in this system - he'll be the only guy in double digits in the home run column."
Willy Taveras - "A better player than most think, Taveras didn't exactly light up the scoreboard in his first full season in the majors, but his defense was astonishing...he showed some significant plate discipline and even a little power in the minors...he might be able to combine all the skills he's shown and have a reasonably valuable career."
Roger Clemens - "The only question left about Clemens is whether or not he's the best pitcher to ever walk the planet. A player of his caliber can be the difference between contender and champion, and World Series rings have a certain compulsive magic about them."
Brad Lidge - "Don't believe the backlash - Lidge is a complete and utter badass and could put up numbers in 2006 that would make Goose Gossage proud."
Roy Oswalt - "Great control, an above average K rate, a slow curve that makes hitters wish they were facing Johan Santana, and he's tough to steal on? A few things break his way, and he's vintage Pedro."
Wandy Rodriguez - "He wasn't ready to be pushed into the starting rotation, so while he had a couple of decent runs during the season, he got whacked around for mostof the year. He lacks the stuff to get by without nibbling, and doesn't really miss enough bats."
That's it for now. Opening Day can't come soon enough.