Saturday, June 4, 2011

Houston Astros

1B  Jeff Bagwell – Slugged 39+ HRs six times; eight 100-RBI seasons; NL MVP in ’94 (.368, 39, 116 in strike-shortened season).
2B  Craig Biggio – OBP topped .380 eight straight years; hit 20+ HRs eight times; 414 career SBs; won four consecutive Gold Gloves.
SS  Craig Reynolds – Known more for his fielding than hitting, though he did lead the NL in triples in ’81.
3B  Doug Rader – Excellent fielder (five straight Gold Gloves) with decent power.
OF  Lance Berkman – Power-hitting Killer B; six 100-RBI seasons; drew loads of walks to push his OBP over .400 seven times.
OF  Cesar Cedano – Stole 50+ bases six straight years; slugged over .450 eight times; won five Gold Gloves.
OF  Jose Cruz – Batted .300 or better six times; RBI-producer with five seasons of 30+ SBs.
C  Brad Ausmus – Reached postseason four times with Houston; excellent defensive catcher with three Gold Gloves.
Bench  Jimmy Wynn – The Toy Cannon boomed 20+ HRs eight times (37 in ’67); could steal a base and drew 100+ walks three times in Houston.
Pitcher  Nolan Ryan – Twice led the NL in ERA (1.69 in ’81); twice led the NL in Ks; posted an ERA of 3.52 or lower in eight of nine years in Houston.
Pitcher  J.R. Richard – Dominating during four straight 18+ win seasons; led the NL in Ks twice and ERA once; was nearly unhittable in ’80 before a stroke ended his career.
Pitcher  Roy Oswalt – Won 17+ games four times; playoff wins in ’05 propelled Houston to the World Series; won ERA title in ’06; Mike Scott or Joe Niekro would also be a strong choice.
Closer  Billy Wagner – Five seasons with 30+ saves (44 in ’03); twice posted a sub-2.00 ERA for Houston.

And this team would take the field wearing the greatest uniforms in Astros history. Yes, I’m talking about the bright orange, yellow, and red stripes of the late ’70s.

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