1997: Jeff Bagwell
Jeff Bagwell had plenty of great seasons for the Astros, but as I mentioned earlier, I can’t devote entire post to just Bagwell. Just going by Bagwell’s WAR, his 1997 season was his second best season ever.
While he may have hit more home runs and drove in more runs in other seasons, 1997 represented one of his better overall seasons.
His stats (from Baseball Reference):
- .286 BA/.425 OBP/.592 SLG/1.017 OPS
- 162 hits
- 40 doubles
- 2 triples
- 43 HRs
- 135 RBI
- 127 walks
- 31 stolen bases
- 7.7 WAR
Craig Biggio’s WAR in 1997 was far larger than Bagwell’s, 9.2 compared to 7.7 respectively. This is what made them such a dynamic duo, because of the way they were able to carry the team.
Under manager Larry Dierker, the Astros finished 1st in the central division after scoring 777 runs while giving up 660 runs. They fell short in the NL Division Series 3-0 to the Atlanta Braves.
This was also the year of the “Killer B’s,” with Bagwell, Biggio, Sean Berry, and Derek Bell. The pitching staff included Darryl Kile, Mike Hampton, Shane Reynolds, Jose Lima, and Chris Holt. With Billy Wagner as the closer, the Astros went 84-78.
Did You Know: In 1997 Bagwell was an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award.
Next: 2008: Lance Berkman