Roy Oswalt pitched nine and a half seasons with the Astros from 2001-10 and went 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He was the ace of the Astros staff for almost a decade and posted back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2004 and 2005 with a 2.94 ERA. The Astros drafted Oswalt as a 23rd round pick in 1996 and he made his major league debut in 2001. That season, Oswalt went 12-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 starts and finished second to Albert Pujols in Rookie of the Year voting. He was also considered by many to be one of the five best pitchers in all of baseball when he managed to make three consecutive All-Star games from 2005-07.
Oswalt is one of only 10 pitchers to have won at least 11 games each year from 2004 to 2008 and he finished in the top-5 for CY Young voting each of those seasons. My favorite part about Roy O. was his calm demeanor on the mound. No moment was ever too big for him and he always worked quickly against his opponents. Oswalt finished his career pitching with the Phillies, Braves, Rockies, and Rangers, but never regained his Houston-form. He was the best pitcher on one of the greatest Astros teams of all-time (2005) and a key component for many of Houston’s playoff runs. He ranks second in Astros history in wins and winning percentage and dominated every year he pitched in Houston. Number 44 is one of my choices to have his jersey retired and definitely deserves to be hanging up at Minute Maid Park soon.