Another great Houston Astros team, another rightfielder having a career year. On a 102-60 team, Bell put up uncannily high numbers:
- His slash line: .314/.364/.490
- 22/home runs/41 doubles/108 RBI
- 198 hits as seen above (Jose Altuve is not impressed)
- (Again, not a big runs scored guy, but): 111 runs, 24 more than his next-best season
And here’s the real indicator that things were ‘wicked good’ for Bell in ’98: 5.4 WAR, almost double his next-best season, when he put up 2.8. He was actually fifth amongst N.L. rightfielders with five errors that year, but, to an extent, who cares? His offense that season was more than enough of a boon to keep his bat in the lineup every day, and he played in a career high 156 games. Pretty impressive IMO, even if his lackluster postseason numbers (.091(3/33) over his career in Houston), helped prevent three talented teams from advancing past the NLDS in ’97, ’98 and ’99.
Next: 1967: Rusty Staub