1991: Craig Biggio
Apr 1, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros former player Craig Biggio waves to the crowd before a game against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
In 1987, Craig Biggio was the Houston Astros’ first round draft pick out of Seton Hall and made his MLB debut in 1988. By 1989, he was the full-time backstop, beating out Alan Ashby and Alex Trevino. The guy must’ve been pretty good.
Showing continual improvement at the plate every year, Biggio had his best year as a catcher in 1991, starting in 131 games behind the plate (stats from Baseball Reference):
- .295 BA/.358 OBP/.374 SLG/.731 OPS
- 161 hits
- 23 doubles
- 4 triples
- 4 HRs
- 46 RBI
- 53 walks
- 19 stolen bases
- 4.4 WAR
Craig Biggio’s WAR is the 2nd highest for an Astros catcher. Biggio earned his first All-Star appearance in 1991. It was also the last year for Mr. Astro behind the dish, though he caught for 2 innings in his farewell season.
He moved to second base in 1992, teaming up with Jeff Bagwell during one of the most memorable decades in franchise history. And he was just getting started.
Next: 2013: Jason Castro