Houston Astros’ All-Time Best Seasons: Left Field

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The next two players are Astros Legends. One has his number retired while the other, fans say, should have his number retired. While I do not disagree, I think that we have too many numbers retired as an organization. And that is worthy of its own discussion as one of the more difficult situations the Astros need to resolve.

Jose Cruz ranked better in the MVP-voting after the 1983 season. His batting average was higher as well. But Baseball-reference pegs 1984 as his better year in terms of OPS+. The next column is where I am deciding this as a tiebreaker. Perhaps it be that total bases is not the best measure to use. Regardless Cruz posted three seasons of at least, or in excess of 275 total bags. In 1983, however, Cruz set his 277 as a career high.

En route to a silver slugger and finishing 8th in the MVP voting, Cruz had a slash-line of .312/.381/.462 while starting 160 games in left field. The days of the Astrodome surely limited his true potential. Of his 12 home runs in 1983 none of them were hit at home. His slash lines were also totally different: .276/.367/.371 at home while he created a .344/.394/.545 line of heavy damage on the road. And 1983 was a totally different era than the baseball we see today. Cruz had 28 doubles and 13 triples, stealing 22 bags and striking out fewer times than he earned a free pass.

Next: 2001: Lance Berkman

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