Top 50 Houston Astros

The Houston Astros debuted in 1962 but not as the Astros, but as the Houston Colt .45’s.  The Colt .45’s were short lived as with the advent of the space program in Houston and the first domed stadium, in 1965, the Houston Astros were officially born.  

The Astros may not have been the most successful on the field, but the dome (rather domes) and color schemes they used on their uniforms have made them a recognizable team throughout their existence.

To date, the Astros have not won a World Series (they have only been to one), but remember this is Houston, which is in Texas!  The greatest sports state that there is.  

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.
While we have been open (often) about how Jeff Bagwell should have gotten into the Baseball Hall of Fame at the very least by his second year of eligibility, He at least earns this honor by being selected as the greatest Houston Astro of all-time.
Like his “Killer B” teammate, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio spent his entire career as a member of the Houston Astros.  
The third member of the famed Houston Astros “Killer B’s”, Lance Berkman had a decade of success in the state of Texas where he would finish five times in the Top Ten in National League Most Valuable Player voting.  Berkman was a certified run producer who would tally over 100 RBIs as an Astro six times and would seven times exceed the .400 On Base Percentage mark.  That in itself is impressive enough to keep Lance Berkman in the top ten on this list for decades to come.
In 1972, Cesar Cedeno would become the second player in MLB history to hit 20 Home Runs and accumulate 50 Stolen Bases in a season, a feat he would duplicate in the next two years.  The flashy Dominican was known for his aggressive defense and on the base paths, which resulted in four Gold Gloves and six consecutive seasons swiping 50 bases.  The four time All Star finished in the top five in Offensive bWAR on four occasions.
A great hitter who hit .300 or above for the Astros six times, Jose Cruz finished in the top ten in MVP voting three times.  Cruz, a two time All Star, would lead the NL in Hits in 1983 and was close to the 2,000 Hit mark with the Astros.  Cruz would also exceed the 30 Stolen Base mark five times.
From 2005 to 2007, Roy Oswalt was regarded as one of the elite pitchers in Baseball.  Over that time, he was an All Star each year and has a Wins Title, a bWAR for Pitchers title and won the 2005 NLCS MVP award though the Astros were unable to win the World Series that year.  Oswalt may have never won the Cy Young, but he finished in the top five in voting six times, a very impressive accomplishment for the man who was the best pitcher in Houston Astros history.
Mike Scott was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1986 and this was in a season where he led the National League in ERA, FIP, WHIP, H9, SO9, Strikeouts and SO/W.  While that was Scott’s best season, he still had a lot left as he finished 7th and 2nd in Cy Young voting in years after.  The three time All Star was the main reason the Astros made the playoffs in 1986, and he was named the NLCS MVP in the series that they lost, though Scott went the distance in both games, winning both and allowing only…
Nolan Ryan was a machine for decades and the Houston Astros fans were glad that the Ryan Express made a nine year stop there.  Ryan would win the Strikeout title twice as an Astro (low for him), and was a two time All Star and would twice finish in the top five in Cy Young voting.

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Receiving a new wave of respect due to the sabremetric wave, Jim Wynn was nicknamed the “Toy Cannon” for generating power numbers despite a 5’ 8’’ frame.  Wynn often had an On Base Percentage well over 100 points over his Batting Average and led the National League in Walks in 1969.  Power, speed and a healthy OBP made Wynn a true threat at the plate and he is finally getting a lot of his due now.
As of this writing, Jose Altuve has been on an absolute hitting tear with the Astros leading the National League in Hits in the last three years.  Altuve has already won two Batting Titles and has been named an All Star four times. On top of all of those accolades, the speedy infielder has already won two Stolen Base titles and a Gold Glove.  Last year, Altuve had a 20 Home Run season, the first of his career.
There was a time when the baseball world was transfixed on the flamethrowing ability of Astros hurler, J.R. Richard, and why not?  He threw faster than anybody else, he fanned piles of batters and he was a young black pitcher in a time when there were not that many.  Richard was only an All Star once, but he is a two time strikeouts champion and finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting three times.
Far more than just Phil’s younger brother, Joe Niekro had his best seasons of his twenty plus year career as a Houston Astro.  Niekro would post two consecutive 20 win seasons both of which saw him make the top five in NL Cy Young voting.  Joe Niekro would have 144 wins and 1,178 strikeouts with the Astros.
While Joe Morgan is rightfully remembered mostly for his accomplishments with the Cincinnati Reds, the Second Baseman first plied his trade with Houston, where he would make the first two of his ten All Star appearances.  Morgan would lead the NL in Walks in 1967 and when he returned for one season in 1980, he accomplished the same feat again.
A Houston Astro for all nine seasons of his MLB career, Don Wilson was an All Star once (1971) and hurled a pair of no-hitters.  Wilson, who had a winning record, likely would have contributed more to the organization but he died in January of 1975 in his garage with his family with his car still running.  His number was retired by the team that spring.
The Second Baseman for the Astros for most of the 1980’s, Bill Doran was a fan favorite for his plucky play.  Doran was not an excellent hitter, but he put up consistent numbers and had over 140 Hits four times and exhibited plate discipline with four seasons with an OBP over .350.  Although he was never named to an All Star Team, he did finish 11th in MVP voting in 1986.
Playing 14 of his 15 seasons in baseball with the Astros, Canadian born outfielder, Terry Puhl was an All Star in his first full season in 1978.  Puhl would not repeat an appearance to the mid-season classic, but he would have two more seasons tabulating over 150 hits and would steal 20 or more bases six times.
Bob Watson achieved greater heights as an executive with the New York Yankees, but he was still quite the player at his peak with the Houston Astros.  A two time All Star, Watson would exceed 150 hits six years in a row and had four campaigns where he batted over .300.
Shane Reynolds played eleven years for Houston and was a solid starting pitcher for most of it.  Known for his control, Reynolds would lead the National League in BB9 in 1999 and would also win the SO/BB title.  The following season, Reynolds would make his first and only All Star Game appearance.