Houston Astros: CTH’s Top-25 Astros All-Time Hitters
By Cody Poage
#15 Top Hitter
Ken Caminiti by Cody Poage
Outside of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, nobody more emphasized those young Astros teams than the late Ken Caminiti. Even though he would had arguably his greatest stretch of dominance as a hitter with the San Diego Padres between his stints with the Astros, his time in Houston will always be remembered fondly.
More from Astros All-Time Lists
- Ryne Stanek is Making History for Houston in 2022
- Astros: Top 5 Managers in Franchise History
- Top 5 Coolest Astros of All-Time
- Best Houston Astros Moments from the 2021 Season
- Astros’ All-Time Lineup in Terms of Career-bWAR
Starting with his major league debut in 1987, Caminiti would go on to establish himself as the team’s everyday third baseman for six up-and-down seasons in the spacious Astrodome. At his best, the third baseman would hit for decent power (18 HR in 1994) while maintaining an above average wRC+ (125 in 1992, 119 in 1994). Following the 1994 season, Caminiti along with Steve Finley and others was traded to the Padres in 1995 in the now-famous 12-player trade that brought over Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, and Ricky Gutierrez, among others, from southern California.
After having arguably his best seasons in San Diego, Caminiti would eventually find his way back in Houston in 1999 courtesy of a two-year contract. However, his second stint back in an Astros uniform would be somewhat of a disappointment after injuries hampered the third baseman. Even through the injuries and limited playing time (78 games in 1999, 59 games in 2000), Caminiti would still produce a WAR of 1.6 and 1.8. Between his two stints in Houston, he would go on to accumulate a 19.2 WAR, which is good for 13th overall in franchise history.
He left the Astros once again following the 2000 season, and he would find himself playing with the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves before retiring after the 2001 season. And as we all unfortunately know, the former Astro would eventually pass away due to drug addiction and various health issues in the fall of 2004. But we can all look fondly upon Caminiti’s time in Houston and remember the memories he left as one of the Astros more talented hitters during the 1990’s.
Next: 14th All-Time Astros Hitter