Houston Astros All-Time 26-Man Rosterby John Lepore February 25, 2022 1 comment
The Houston Astros started off as the Colt 45s in 1962. After just three years the name was changed and shortly after that, they moved into the Astrodome. It would take them 18 years to make their first postseason appearance and 42 years to win their first playoff series. Despite the struggles, especially in the early years, the Astros have had some Hall of Famers put on the uniform. Let’s take a look at who makes their All-Time roster.
Make sure to check out all of our other All-Time Rosters.
Alan Ashby, C
This is the weakest position on the team by far. Ashby caught 901 games for the Astros over 11 years. While his stats aren’t anything to write home about, from 1980-1987 the switch-hitting catcher batted .262 and had an OPS+ of 106. Maybe Houston’s top-ranked prospect can take over this spot soon.
Jeff Bagwell, 1B
Not much needs to be said about Bagwell getting the nod here. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1991 and won the MVP in 1994 when he also led the league in OPS at 1.201 and won his lone Gold Glove award. He had two seasons (1997, 1999) of 40+ home runs and 30+ stolen bases. That’s not very common for any player, let alone a first baseman. Bagwell finished his 15-year career slashing .297/.408/.540 with 449 HRs, 1,517 runs, and 1,529 RBIs. Surprisingly, he had to wait for his seventh try on the ballot to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The call came in 2017.
Craig Biggio, 2B
The other part of the “Killer B’s” fittingly sits right below Bagwell. A member of the 3,000-hit club, Biggio came up as a catcher and played mostly behind the plate for his first four years. In 1992, the Astros decided to put him at second base. It seems to have worked out. For a decade from 1992-2001, Biggio slashed .292/.393/.455 while averaging 16 homers and 29 steals. He also won four Gold Gloves and was a seven-time All-Star. The Seton Hall alum was elected to Cooperstown in 2015.
Alex Bregman, 3B
Bregman came up in 2016 but made a name for himself in 2017 as the Astros won their first championship. The third baseman finished second to Mike Trout in the MVP race in 2019. He has been an All-Star twice and has a career .884 OPS in his 650 games in the majors. Still only 27 years old, Bregman should continue to add to those stats.
Carlos Correa, SS
The first pick overall in the 2012 draft made his debut just three years later. Correa won the AL ROY in 2015 and followed it up with a solid 2016. Despite injuries taking away 192 games between 2017-2019, the shortstop is arguably the best in the game now at just 27 years old. He is a two-time All-Star and finished fifth in MVP voting this past year along with winning his first Gold Glove. He will likely be wearing another uniform in 2022, but it will be a while before someone in the Astros organization dethrones him here.
Jose Cruz, LF
Cruz started his 13-year Astros career in 1975 and while he never put up the big numbers, he was a model of consistency. In his time with Houston from 1975-1987, Cruz slashed .292/.359/.429 with 138 home runs and 288 stolen bases. He led the NL in hits in 1983 (189) and was a two-time All-Star while finishing in the top 10 of MVP voting three times. The Puerto Rican outfielder averaged 4.4 rWAR/600 PA from 1976-1985.
Cesar Cedeno, CF
Cedeno debuted as a 19-year-old in 1970. For 12 years he played with the Astros and his career started off well finishing fourth in ROY voting. In 1972 he became a terror to opposing teams earning the first of four All-Star selections. He also took home the first of five consecutive Gold Gloves while finishing sixth in MVP voting. He stole 50+ bases six years in a row from 1972-1977 and is still the franchise leader in swipes at 487.
Jim Wynn, RF
The Toy Cannon gets the nod here. Although he was mostly a centerfielder, he was an excellent defensive right fielder for the 361 games he played there. Wynn could also hit a bit. From 1965-1970, he slashed .267/.374/.481 with a .380 wOBA and 143 wRC+. He also showed his power-speed combo with 163 HRs and 130 SBs. Wynn is still fourth in franchise history with 223 home runs.
Lance Berkman, DH
Berkman was, simply put, one of the most productive hitters of the 2000s and in Astros history. From 2000-2009, the big switch-hitter blasted 309 homers, drove in 1,026 runs, and slashed .300/.413/.559. In that time, he also made five All-Star teams and was top 5 in MVP voting four times. Despite not being a good defender or baserunner, Berkman still put up 4.4 rWAR/600.
Roy Oswalt, RHP
Often overshadowed by the bigger names and strikeout guys of his time, Oswalt was a damn good pitcher. From 2001-2008, he won two-thirds of his decisions, had a 3.13 ERA, and averaged 203 innings a year. He was second in ROY voting in 2001, and finished in the top 5 of CYA voting five times in those eight seasons. Oswalt led the league in wins with 20 in 2004 and ERA with a 2.98 mark in 2006. He was also NLCS MVP in 2005 winning two games against the Cardinals to bring Houston their first World Series appearance.
Nolan Ryan, RHP
We all know Ryan was great. So I will throw some interesting facts at you that you may not know. In 1987, Ryan threw no complete games. Aside from his cup of coffee in 1966 and his final year with Texas in 1993, it was the only time that ever happened. That same year, Ryan was also victimized by poor support like Jacob deGrom is now. The Express led the league with a 2.76 ERA and also led the NL in strikeouts with 270. However, Ryan’s record that year was 8-16.
In the strike year of 1981, Ryan gave up just two home runs in 149 innings. Neither was to a left-handed batter as they were hit by Mike Schmidt and Bob Horner. The flamethrower also got his 3,000th (Cesar Geronimo) and 4,000th strikeouts (Danny Heep) as a member of the Astros.
J.R. Richard, RHP
When Ryan came over to the Astros in 1980, Houston looked like they would have the scariest duo of pitchers to grace a major league mound. Richard, who stood 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, was a flamethrower like Ryan and was just as wild. However, Richard was the ace of an up-and-coming Astros team and had struck out over 300 in 1978 and 1979. 1980 started off well as JR was 10-4 with a 1.90 ERA and had cut down on his wildness considerably. Unfortunately, health complications and an eventual stroke ended the 30-year-old’s career. He passed away last year in August and still sits as one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history.
Mike Scott, RHP
Scott came over to the Astros in 1983 after the New York Mets gave up on him. In 1985, he learned the splitter. It turned his career around and for five years, Scott was one of the best pitchers in the NL. In the stretch from 1985-1989, the right-hander had a 2.93 ERA and won 86 games. He led the league in strikeouts (306) and ERA (2.22) in 1986 to take home the CYA. He then finished second in CYA voting in 1989 winning 20 games.
Don Wilson, RHP
He was the best pitcher on some bad Astros teams in the late 60s/early 70s. Wilson was a hard-throwing right-hander who made his debut out of the bullpen in 1966. He went on to pitch for eight more years, all with Houston, and accumulated 104 wins. He was an All-Star in 1971, tossing 268 innings with 16 wins and a 2.45 ERA. He put up a career 3.15 ERA with 1,283 strikeouts. Wilson died mysteriously in January 1975 at just 29 years old.
Billy Wagner, LHP
One of the best closers ever, Wagner appeared in 464 games for the Astros. While he was generally dominant, he posted his best season in 1999. That year the left-hander had a 1.57 ERA and struck out 124 of the 286 batters he faced (43.4 percent). He got the first of his three All-Star nods with the Astros and even finished fourth in CYA voting. For his Houston career, Wagner had a 2.53 ERA while striking out 34.2 percent of hitters. He also is the franchise’s all-time leader with 225 saves.
Dave Smith, RHP
The pitcher who is second to Wagner in saves is Smith at 199. He was an Astro for 11 of his 13 years in the majors. The right-hander saved 20+ games six times with a career-high of 33 in 1986 while earning his first All-Star nod. While Smith was not a big strikeout guy, he walked only 8.3 % of the batters he faced and allowed just 28 home runs in 762 innings with Houston.
Brad Lidge, RHP
While Lidge is remembered by many Astro fans for giving up the absolute tank to Albert Pujols in the 2005 NLCS, he was also an excellent closer. During his time in Houston from 2002-2007 was an All-Star once and finished eighth in CYA voting in 2004 with a 1.90 ERA and a whopping 157 strikeouts. In total, he put up 123 saves and struck out a third of the hitters he faced.
Joe Sambito, LHP
Sambito had an impressive five-year stretch with the Astros from 1977-1981. During that time, he had a 2.26 ERA, saved 67 games, and averaged over 84 innings a year. He and Smith formed an excellent lefty-righty combo out of the bullpen for the Astros, helping the franchise to its first playoff appearances in 1980 and 1981.
Will Harris, RHP
While closers tend to get a lot more love, setup men are just as important, if not more. Harris put together a very good resume in Houston. From 2015-2019, the right-hander had a 2.36 ERA while appearing in 309 games. He was an All-Star in 2016 and his 20.8 K-BB percent is impressive.
Danny Darwin, RHP
Darwin fits in perfectly here as the team’s swingman. He came over to the Astros in August 1986. From that point until 1990, he had a 3.05 ERA while starting 67 games and appearing in 126 out of the bullpen. He chalked up 12 saves and in 1990, led the league with a 2.21 ERA.
Jose Altuve, 2B
Altuve has been a great player for the Astros over his 11-year career. He is a seven-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and an MVP. The second baseman led the league in hits four consecutive years (2014-2017). He also led the AL in batting average three times and stolen bases twice. Altuve could very well supplant Biggio someday as the starter and may join him in the Hall of Fame as well if he can maintain his production for a few more years.
Bob Watson, 1B/LF
Watson debuted in 1966 but didn’t become a full-time starter until 1971. From that point until 1978, the two-time All-Star slashed .304/.372/.454 with 122 home runs. He got MVP votes in three of those seasons and drove in 100+ runs twice while averaging 145 games per year.
Moises Alou, OF
While Alou only played for three seasons with the Astros, his production was incredible. In that time, he slashed .331/.403/.585 with 95 HRs and 346 RBIs. He was an All-Star twice and finished third in MVP voting in 1998.
Joe Morgan, 2B
Of course one of the best second basemen in the history of the game is better known for his time with the Big Red Machine. However, Morgan was very good with the Astros. He played parts of 10 seasons for them accumulating over 1,000 games. He slashed .261/.374/.393 with 219 SBs. Morgan also showed off his incredible eye at the plate leading the league in walks twice.
George Springer, OF
Springer lived up to being selected in the first round. He was a three-time All-Star and finished seventh in 2019 MVP voting. In his Houston career, he slashed .270/.361/.491. Springer was also WS MVP in 2017 and has hit 19 postseason homers in just 63 games. Despite playing just 873 games in a Houston uniform, his 174 regular season homers rank fifth in franchise history
Richard Hidalgo, OF
Hidalgo battled injuries for basically his entire career. However, he put up some very good numbers in Houston when he was on the field including 2000 when he mashed to the tune of a 1.028 OPS with 44 doubles, 44 HRs, and 122 RBIs. In his career with the Astros, Hidalgo had a solid .278/.356/.501 slash with 134 homers.
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