Astros: Comparing year one of the Biggio/Bagwell to Altuve/Correa era


Could the Astros current dynamic trio have more success than the Biggio/Bagwell era?

No disrespect to my favorite Houston Astros player George Springer because I do believe that the Astros are led by the dynamic trio of Jose Altuve, Springer, and Carlos Correa. However, for the sake of this post, I will call this past season the birth of the Altuve/Correa era in Houston. From what we saw in 2015, this could be the dawn of the golden age of baseball in Houston similar to the Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell era. If the Astros can duplicate their success with the current Astros, with Springer in tow, World Series or bust.

There is a reason I chose Altuve over Springer, basically because of the similarities in the time between Biggio and Bagwell’s debut and Altuve and Correa’s debut. Biggio made his debut in 1988 with the Astros, and then three years later in 1991 Bagwell made his debut in 1991. Altuve made his debut in 2011, with Correa making his debut four years later in 2015. In both cases, the second person won the Rookie of the Year Award.

With more to come, the Astros are indeed ready to make their big move starting in 2016 with A.J. Reed, Jon Kemmer, Colin Moran, Tyler White, and Joseph Musgrove knocking on the Astros doors. The Astros organization has been long known as a pitching organization, which is why it is good to see the balance of the current team’s roster.

It’s hard to compare Bagwell and Correa at the moment, but in his rookie season, Correa far exceeded the production of Bagwell. But will Correa be around for 14 more seasons with the Astros like Bagwell was? While Bagwell played first and Correa plays shortstop, Altuve and Correa still play next to each other.

It is unknown right now as to who will play first base for the Houston Astros in 2016, so let’s compare the 1991 Astros starting lineup and rotation to the 2015 counterpart.

As you can see, the Astros current rotation trumps the Astros 1991 rotation. Keep in mind, ace Mike Scott only lasted two games that season as he struggled. While Bagwell and Kile were starting their careers, Scott was sailing off into the sunset. The Astros behind the leadership of Biggio and Bagwell brought the offense to Houston despite playing home games in the Astros games.

The 1991 Astros scored 605 runs while opponents scored 717 runs while the 2015 Astros scored 729 runs while allowing 618 runs. This shows the difference between the two clubs, and this current Astros team has the better pitching as evident by their WAR and how many runs they allowed. The 1991 Astros allowed that many runs in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.

This current Astros squad appears more ready to last with the influx of young talent and looking at how long the core should be able to play together under team control. The Astros are favored to go to the World Series with 10-1 odds in 2016 by Vegas according to Evan Drellich.

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The 1991 Astros were in the process of rebuilding while the 2015 Astros made a huge leap ahead of expectations coming within six outs of advancing to the ALCS in 2015. Another good thing about the 2016 Astros besides how much better their rotation is than the 1991 version is that they have better talent at most positions. They don’t have to rely on players like Candaele, Rhodes, Simms, and Yelding. Springer is better than either Finley or Gonzalez at the time.

The 2016 Astros have some weaknesses, but they have become an all around team in 2015 that can win with offense, defense, and pitching. They patched the hole in the bullpen with Ken Giles, where he will be able to dominate the opposition better late in the games with his stuff. Should the Astros get one more free agent starting pitcher to replace Kazmir, watch out AL West.

Next: Billy Wagner on his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame (interview)

Welcome to the Keuchel, Correa, Altuve, Springer, Gomez, McHugh, McCullers, and Giles era in Houston. We hope Reed takes his rightful place sometime during the 2016 season, at first base, he is the OBP player this lineup misses in the cleanup spot.

**Stats and players come from Baseball-Reference Franchise Encyclopedia and player pages**