Despite 76 wins, 2010 was actually a historically bad year offensively for the Houston Astros. Houston showed futility at the plate not scene in nearly two decades. And while they have plenty of young pieces offensively to be excited about going forward, I want to give an exhaustive analysis of the year that was before I get into dissecting the team that will-be in 2011. Here is how the past season’s Astros stacked up historically:
Fewest runs/game since 1992
Fewest runs since 1991 (not counting strike-shortened 1994)
Fewest HRs since 92
Worst batting average since 92
Worst OBP since 1982
Worst SLG since 92
Worst OPS since 1991
And defense wasn’t a whole lot better….
Most errors since 2000
Worst Fielding% since 2004
Fewest Double-plays since 1996
As I alluded to earlier, the age of the Astros position players is promising. Houston’s hitters had an average age of 29.6. The last time that figure was under 30 was 2000 when they finished 4th, same as 2010. The following season? They won the NL Central and finished second each of the next 5 years. So hopefully the youth movement Houston’s brass is currently launching has at least the same effect if not more.
In 1991 and 1992, the Astros were an extremely young offense being built for the future from the ground up; exactly what we’re seeing now. Astros fans should be optimistic and know that 2011 should certainly see an improvement offensively. And hopefully we don’t see a season this bad offensively for at least another 18 years.