#20 Top Hitter
Morgan Ensberg by Eric Huysman
You might know Ensberg as the current Astros mental coach for all levels; he was also a good player during his prime. When you think of Ensberg, longevity is not something he was able to maintain, but he was dominating at times. Ensberg made his debut with the Houston Astros in 2000 but didn’t get to become a regular until the 2002 season where he hit .242/ three homers/ 19 homers.
His second full season in 2003 was Ensberg’s coming out part as a legitimate power threat with 25 homers while batting .291 that season. He would continue to progress over the next two years, peaking in 2005 where he finished fourth in the NL MVP voting that season. Ensberg was a big part of the offense that went all the way to the World Series without a healthy Bagwell.
During the 2005 season, Ensberg hit .283/ 36 homers/ 101 RBI/ six steals. One knock against Ensberg was that he was not the guy in the playoffs that would lead the team. In his career, Ensberg batted .242/ two homers/ 18 RBI in five playoff series as an Astro. The 18 runs driven in looks pretty good, though.
2005 would be the high point of his career as it all started slowly crumbling over the next four years until he retired following the 2008 season at the young age of 32. While it is not known why he fell apart so quickly, I have heard theories that his mental makeup was not strong. It was hard to watch it unfold at the end, especially in his time with the Yankees and Padres his last 1.5 years.
Either way, Ensberg had a career 14.1 WAR in his time with the Astros with 6.2 of it coming from 2005. His final career stats with the Astros was .266/ 105 homers/ 335 RBI. One positive is that the Astros needed someone in 2005 to step up for Bagwell, Ensberg showed up strong that season.
Next: 19th All-Time Astros Hitter