(National League, South Division)
From the Colt .45s to the Astros, this expansion team has included some incredible talent like Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, J.R. Richard, Mike Scott, Billy Wagner, Jose Altuve & Alex Bregman.
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Active 26 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Craig Biggio (2B/CF)
- C – Jason Castro
- 1B – Jeff Bagwell
- 2B – Jose Altuve
- SS – Carlos Correa
- 3B – Alex Bregman (SS)
- CI – Lance Berkman (1B/LF/CF/RF)
- CI – Yuli Gurriel (1B/3B)
- LF – Bob Watson (1B/RF)
- CF – Cesar Cedeno
- RF – Jim Wynn (LF/CF)
- OF – Hunter Pence (LF/RF)
- OF – George Springer (CF/RF)
- RF – Kyle Tucker (LF)
- SP – J.R. Richard
- SP – Mike Scott
- SP – Don Wilson
- SP – Roy Oswalt
- SP – Dallas Keuchel
- SP – Turk Farrell
- CL – Billy Wagner
- SU – Will Harris
- RP – Dave Smith
- RP – Brad Lidge
- RP – Luis Garcia
- RP – Joe Sambito
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 1B – Glenn Davis
- 3B – Doug Rader
- 2B – Bill Doran
- SS – Dickie Thon
- C – Alan Ashby
- LF/CF/RF – Richard Hidalgo
- LF/CF/RF – Derek Bell
- LF/RF – Jose Cruz
- P – Chad Qualls
- P – Lance McCullers Jr.
- P – Shane Reynolds
- P – Joe Niekro
- P – Octavio Dotel
- P – Mike Hampton
- P – Larry Dierker
Building the Roster: Houston Astros
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.
Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.
There are a few brilliant players who made significant contributions to multiple teams, and it’s our job to decide where they made the biggest impact. Houston can place a claim on Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan, but where do they really belong?
Houston: 10 years, 2-time All-Star, 0 MVPs, 30.7 WAR, .261 AVG, 597 Runs, 327 RBI, 72 HR, 219 SB
Cincinnati: 8 years, 8-time All-Star, 2 MVPs, 57.9 WAR, .288 AVG, 816 Runs, 612 RBI, 152 HR, 406 SB + 2 World Series Titles
N.Y. Mets: 5 seasons, 0 All-Stars, 0 CYA, 3 WAR, 3.58 ERA, 29 Wins, 13 CG, 493 K, 510 IP, 2 SHO + 1 World Series Title
L.A. Angels: 8 seasons, 5-time All-Star, 0 CYA, 40 WAR, 3.07 ERA, 138 Wins, 156 CG, 2416 K, 2181 IP, 40 SHO
Houston: 9 seasons, 2-time All-Star, 0 CYA, 25.4 WAR, 3.13 ERA, 106 Wins, 38 CG, 1866 K, 1854 IP, 13 SHO
Texas: 5 seasons, 1 All-Star, 0 CYA, 15.2 WAR, 3.43 ERA, 51 Wins, 15 CG, 939 K, 940 IP, 6 SHO
The numbers bear it out (he even threw four of his record seven no-hitters as an Angel) and Nolan Ryan will go to Los Angeles, and Joe Morgan to Cincinnati.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.
The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame doesn’t give us much help here as the only two full-time Astros in Cooperstown are Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.
The Hall of Fame gives just two of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Jose Cruz, Cesar Cedeno, Lance Berkman, Jim Wynn, Jose Altuve, Bill Doran, Terry Puhl, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Bob Watson, Alex Bregman, Glenn Davis, Doug Rader, Richard Hidalgo, Kevin Bass, Hunter Pence, and Dickie Thon.
Every team needs three catchers, so Brad Ausmus, Jason Castro, and Alan Ashby are considerations as well.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Craig Biggio, Jason Castro
FIRST BASE: Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman
SECOND BASE: Jose Altuve, Craig Biggio (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel
LEFT FIELD: Bob Watson, Hunter Pence (sometimes)
CENTER FIELD: Cesar Cedeno, George Springer, Craig Biggio (sometimes)
RIGHT FIELD: Jim Wynn, Hunter Pence (sometimes)
Craig Biggio is still an absolute miracle in that he played above average defense at catcher, second base, and center field. It’s hardest to find offensive talent at Catcher, so that’s where Houston will use him.
That leaves inactive roster options for Jose Cruz, Glenn Davis, Doug Rader, Bill Doran, Dickie Thon, Alan Ashby, Richard Hidalgo, Kevin Bass, and Terry Puhl.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive. With 22 players on the total roster we have room for 18 more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Astros) we came up with: Roy Oswalt, Larry Dierker, Don Wilson, Mike Scott, Joe Niekro, J.R. Richard, Shane Reynolds, Ken Forsch, Dallas Keuchel, Turk Farrell, Wade Miller, Mike Hampton, Mike Cuellar, Wandy Rodriguez, Dave Smith, Danny Darwin.
Quality relievers Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, and Will Harris are candidates as well.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: J.R. Richard, Don Wilson, Roy Oswalt, Mike Scott, Turk Farrell, Dallas Keuchel
RELIEVERS: Joe Sambito, Brad Lidge, Dave Smith, Larry Dierker
SET-UP: Will Harris
CLOSER: Billy Wagner
I gotta say, it makes me smile to imagine J.R. Richard in his prime once again leading the Astros rotation.
The inactive pitcher options are Octavio Dotel, Chad Qualls, Ken Forsch, Shane Reynolds, Mike Hampton and Joe Niekro.
So how did we do?
Are you still mad about Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan?
Are you down with Craig Biggio the catcher?
What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Astros for Eternal Baseball.
Visit Our Houston Astros Discussion Board
Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!