Houston Astros’ All-Time Best Seasons: Second Base

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1965: Joe Morgan

In 1965, the newly monikered Houston Astros were terrible, going 65-97. Joe Morgan, however, had a spectacular rookie season starting at second base for the ball club. His stats from Baseball Reference:

  • .271 BA/.373 OBP/.418 SLG/.791 OPS
  • 100 runs
  • 163 hits
  • 22 doubles
  • 12 triples
  • 14 HRs
  • 20 stolen bases
  • 97 walks
  • 5.6 WAR

The strong debut helped Morgan finish 2nd in NL Rookie of the Year voting to Jim Lefebvre of the Los Angeles Dodgers despite posting better numbers in every statistical category except runs batted in (what were the voters thinking?).

The diminutive second baseman led the Astros in runs, hits, triples, and walks. He finished in second (or tied for) in batting average, doubles, home runs, stolen bases, and WAR behind Jimmy Wynn.

Morgan would go on to play six more seasons in Houston before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds in November 1971 in an unpopular blockbuster deal. Morgan won back-to-back World Series championships and NL MVP awards with the “Big Red Machine” in 1975 and 1976. Houston never made the playoffs and only finished above .500 three times between 1972-79 (Morgan’s tenure with the Reds).

Morgan returned to the Astros for one season in 1980. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1990.

Next: 1987: Bill Doran