Houston Astros: Comparing the 2005 World Series lineup to 2015 ALDS team

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Top of the Lineup

Sep 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and right fielder George Springer (4) celebrate after the win against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. The Houston Astros defeated the Oakland Athletics 11-5. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With the ten-year anniversary of the Houston Astros lone World Series appearance in 2005 versus the White Sox, we wanted to compare the starting lineups and rotation to the 2015 Astros. While the 2005 Astros were known for their pitching and not their bats, while the 2015 Astros had a good mixture of both. Which team was better? Let’s take a brief look at the game one starting lineup for both teams.

Leadoff hitter

Jose Altuve vs. Craig Biggio

As good as Altuve is, it’s hard to be compared to a recent Hall of Fame Inductee. In the 2005 season, Biggio was 39-years-old and played in only two seasons following his World Series appearance. While Biggio’s star was setting, Altuve’s star is on the rise with the young nucleus of the Houston Astros. Both players during their prime offered speed and around 20 homers potential. They both represented the face of the franchise at the time, and Altuve is looking like he might be a lifetime Astro like Biggio was. Let’s look at the stats from Baseball-Reference, keep in mind that Biggio’s numbers were on the decline in 2005.

Biggio’s 2005 season: .264/ 94 runs/ 26 homers/ 69 RBI/ 11 steals.

Altuve’s 2015 season: .313/ 86 runs/ 15 homers/ 66 RBI/ 38 steals.

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Batting Second:

George Springer versus Willy Taveras

Unlike Biggio and Altuve, Springer and Taveras are totally different players. Taveras was built more for speed, and during his 2005 rookie campaign he was one of the Astros primary speed threats on the World Series roster. Taveras had a good season in 2005 hitting .291 with very little pop in the bat with a .341 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Springer despite a down year from bursting onto the scene in 2014 still offers a combination of energy, power, and speed to the lineup. Springer and Correa were two of the most anticipated Astros prospects since Hunter Pence. What I remember about Willy T is that he would get tons of infield and bunt hits. Springer is a center fielder playing right field, but his hits might travel just a little further than Taveras.

Taveras’ 2005 stats: .291/ 82 runs/ 3 homers/ 29 RBI/ 34 steals.

Springer’s 2015 stats: .276/ 59 runs/ 16 homers/ 41 RBI/ 16 steals.

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Batting third:

Carlos Correa versus Lance Berkman

Even if the two players stats are relatively similar, their personalities are totally different. Phil Gardner said that he used to have to get a coach to get Berkman to run laps during team so that he would not be a distraction during the team meetings. This is the polar opposite of the youngest Astros star Correa, who is very mature for his age. Like Berkman then, teams will start pitching around Correa pretty soon. Correa’s ceiling is probably higher that Berkman’s ceiling was, but they may finish up with similar stats.

Berkman’s 2005 stats: .293/ 76 runs/ 24 homers/ 82 RBI/ 4 steals.

Correa’s 2015 stats: .279/ 52 runs/ 22 homers/ 68 RBI/ 14 steals.

Next: Middle of the Order