2003: Morgan Ensberg
Feb 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Houston Astros staff Morgan Ensberg poses for a picture during photo day at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The 2003 Houston Astros went through a roller coaster ride of a season. The team executed a six-pitcher no hitter in June at Yankee Stadium, took a division-leading 50-44 record into the All Star break with dominant closer Billy Wagner, and ultimately collapsed during the final games of the regular season, finishing in 2nd place in the NL Central at 87-75 ,only 1 game behind the Chicago Cubs.
Besides the bullpen, a key to the Astros’ success in 2003 was their lineup. With Jeff Kent, Lance Berkman, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, and Richard Hidalgo, the Astros seemed stacked with hitting talent. But, one of the unsung heroes in 2003 for the Astros was third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who had a breakout season.
Here are Ensberg’s 2003 statistics from Baseball Reference:
- .291 BA (7th among 3B in MLB)
- .377 OBP (6th among 3B in MLB)
- .530 SLG (4th among 3B in MLB)
- .907 OPS (6th among 3B in MLB)
- 25 HR (9th among 3B in MLB)
- 48 BB (11th among 3B in MLB)
- Named NL Player of the Week on June 8, 2003
- Only 9 errors committed in 111 games played at 3B
Morgan Ensberg made an immediate impact in his first full season with the Astros and really took off from there. He was an important piece to the Astros’ postseason push in 2003 and in their run to the NLCS in 2004. Although there would definitely be better days ahead with the Astros, Ensberg set a strong foundation with his 2003 season.
Next: 1972: Doug Rader