The Houston Astros lineup is fairly simple and their point of emphasis isn’t too hard to guess. Atop the lineup, they have great sources of steals that combine for a career 1,154 steals and counting. They’ll look for great production from the top third of the lineup which is quickly followed by their three sluggers in the 4-6 spots. Rounding out the lineup is the current left side of the infield and yet another speedster. While this Astros team doesn’t look very frightening, they could make a lot happen with small ball offense and very solid defense across the entire field.
1. Craig Biggio, C (R)
2. Cesar Cedeno, CF (R)
3. Jose Altuve, 2B (R)
4. Jeff Bagwell, 1B (R)
5. Lance Berkman, RF (S)
6. Carlos Lee, DH (R)
7. Alex Bregman, 3B (R)
8. Carlos Correa, SS (R)
9. Jose Cruz, LF (L)
Roy Oswalt, P (R)
Manager: A.J. Hinch
1988-07: 1,844 Runs, 291 HR, 1,175 RBI, 414 SB, .281 BA/.363 OBP/.433 SLG
Alright, this might be a bit of cheating but Craig Biggio did debut as a catcher and spent his first four seasons at the position. While his career didn’t take off until he moved to second base, he was actually a capable defender at the catcher spot and playing him at catcher isn’t too bad of an idea. The 7 time All Star and Hall of Famer was a great run scorer atop the lineup for Houston and source of speed for many years. If doesn’t hurt that he’s also got a great batting average throughout his career and will likely occupy one of the lineup’s top spots.
Honorable Mentions: Jason Castro, Alan Ashby
1991-05: 1,517 Runs, 449 HR, 1,529 RBI, 202 SB, .297 BA/.408 OBP/.540 SLG
The slugging first baseman, Jeff Bagwell, is an ideal piece to our lineup and should nicely find a spot right in the middle of it. The Rookie of the Year burst into the scene in 1991 and established himself as one of Houston’s best all time players. He would go on to have great home run numbers throughout his career and scored a great deal of runs during his career. In fact, he was even a steals threat during a brief period which made him a great five tool player. The slugger tailed off in his final three seasons but overall, the numbers are nothing short of impressive.
Honorable Mentions: Bob Watson, Glenn Davis, Art Howe
2011-19: 713 Runs, 120 HR, 520 RBI, 253 SB, .315 BA/.365 OBP/.460 SLG
Since debuting with the Astros in 2011, Jose Altuve a\has been a great leadoff guy for Houston and slowly developed into their #3 hitter. He shows great approach at the plate and his smaller frame makes him one of the harder hitters to steal strikes off of. He led the league in hits in four consecutive years and likely would’ve been a fifth had he been healthy all of 2018. The 6 time All Star is one of Houston’s leaders and will fill a very important role on their team. The mix of average and speed is consistent in the Astros’ lineup and Altuve will be a perfect part of that.
Honorable Mentions: Joe Morgan, Bill Doran, Phil Garner
2015-19: 309 Runs, 100 HR, 369 RBI, 33 SB, .277 BA/.356 OBP/.487 SLG
At the shortstop position will be Altuve’s middle infield mate, Carlos Correa. The 2015 Rookie of the Year has struggled with injuries the past few seasons but when healthy, he’s another great young player to watch. He’s easily a top five player at his position and plays great defense at short. While only an All Star in 2017, He’s consistently displayed 25 home run ability and has a shot at both 90 runs and RBI on a yearly basis. There’s no doubting his skillset but there is a big question mark around his health.
Honorable Mentions: Dickie Thon, Adam Everett
2016-19: 318 Runs, 88 HR, 291 RBI, 33 SB, .281 BA/.377 OBP/.514 SLG
Rounding out the Houston infield is current third baseman, Alex Bregman. That’s how good their team is and to see potentially three of the franchise’s top infielder on the same team is a sight to see. In only four years in the league, Bregman has already showed great power numbers and has seemingly gotten better each season. While the season isn’t over just yet, he’s almost guaranteed to break his career high in home runs by at least a few homers and should once again reach a season of 100 runs. He provides a great glove at the hot corner and only appears to be working his way into the prime of his career.
Honorable Mentions: Ken Caminiti, Morgan Ensberg, Denny Walling
1975-87: 871 Runs, 138 HR, 942 RBI, 288 SB, .292 BA/.359 OBP/.429 SLG
Jose Cruz was excellent during his time with the Astros and quickly made himself known as a great speedster during his prime years. While not the greatest bat in the lineup, Cruz used his speed to do the talking and will look to continue using that part of his skillset in this lineup. However, he does get caught quite a bit on the basepaths which will be something to keep an eye on. He provides a fairly reliable bat and showed decent plate vision during his tenure. Furthermore, the defensive numbers aren’t bad and his quickness should be able to help make up for any mistakes.
Honorable Mentions: Richard Hidalgo, Marwin Gonzalez
1970-81: 890 Runs, 163 HR, 778 RBI, 487 SB, .289 BA/.351 OBP/.454 SLG
Yet another base stealer in this lineup is center fielder, Cesar Cedeno. He was a great base stealer though he never actually led the league. For 6 seasons he stole at least 50 steals but actually led the league in caught stealing twice during that span. He patrolled center for the Astros for the total of his 12 years and was awarded with 4 All Star Game appearances. Additionally, he won 5 straight Gold Gloves and there’s no doubt he’ll do a solid job patrolling center. His stats are great for a leadoff hitter but we’ll put him at the #2 spot to back up one of the best run scorers in Houston history.
Honorable Mentions: Jim Wynn, George Springer, Michael Bourn
1995-04: 1,008 Runs, 326 HR, 1,090 RBI, 82 SB, .296 BA/.410 OBP/.549 SLG
Rounding out the outfield unit is slugger, Lance Berkman. Unlike his fellow outfielders, Berkman doesn’t possess much, if any speed, and offers a totally different skill set. He’ll pair alongside Bagwell in the middle of the lineup as a big left handed bat with a lot of pop. He’s a great on base getter and shouldn’t have trouble hitting home runs. He’ll make a great RBI man and is even likely to draw a few intentional walks.
Honorable Mentions: Terry Puhl, Kevin Bass, Hunter Pence
2007-12: 376 Runs, 133 HR, 533 RBI, 26 SB, .286 BA/.338 OBP/.479 SLG
The latest, and possibly last, team to switch leagues from NL to AL, the Houston Astros didn’t had a DH until the 2013 season. There’s two real candidates we can put at this spot though neither really plays the designated hitter spot for Houston. Carlos Lee has history at the position and rated as a poor aging outfielder by the time he reached Houston. Yuli Gurriel has played at the position before though he serves as Houston’s primary first baseman. With how he’s playing, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Yordan Alvarez takes this spot in the lineup within the next few years. However, we’ll go with Lee here as he’s got the best track record and adds another needed power bat to the lineup.
1939-53: 200-148 Record, 3.07 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 3.8 BB/9
While Roy Oswalt likely doesn’t have a Hall of Fame pedigree or the numbers to get him in, he was a very dominant pitcher during his prime. He often led by example and could back up his talk with a great game. While he did pitch on some very bad Houstin teams, Oswalt still put up respectable records in his many seasons with the club. He’s the best bet for the Astros at starting pitcher as Nolan Ryan, the best Houston pitcher in their history, is suiting up to pitch for the other team in Texas.
Honorable Mentions: Larry Dierker, Don Wilson, Mike Scott
Continuing with the theme of current players, the manager of the Houston Astros All Time Lineup will be A.J. Hinch. While he hasn’t won the Manager of the Year like former Astros’ skippers Hal Lanier (1986) or Larry Dierker (1998), Hinch did help in delivering Houston their first and only World Series trophy. He’s been widely successful since taking over in late 2014 and has had a winning every year at the helm. His stint with the Astros is clearly just beginning and as long as their great infield core remains intact.
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