An Astros player has not reached 100 runs scored since 2008 and multiple players to do so has not happened since 2004.
With the good old days of the Houston Astros offense, we were used to Craig Biggio scoring 100 runs year in a year out. One would think that Jose Altuve would have scored 100 plus runs in the past two seasons, but instead, George Springer beat him by scored his 100th run yesterday. According to Jake Kaplan, this is the first time an Astros player has done it since 2008. It was actually the Big Puma, also known as Lance Berkman.
When you think of players who normally score 100 runs, you tend to think that the player was the leadoff hitter. Berkman was not the leadoff hitter in 2008, but Springer is in 2016. He started the season batting second in between Altuve and Carlos Correa, but A.J. Hinch moved Springer to the leadoff spot. While Jeremy Booth of Program 15 believes that Springer is more of a fifth or sixth hitter, he has shown a better approach at the plate leading off.
Springer, the leadoff star.
Springer has also hit seven leadoff homers this year leading off, including yesterday versus Astros’ tamer Yu Darvish. Altuve has six leadoff homers as well in 2016, making the Astros have 13 for the season. Biggio had 53 leadoff homers in his career, would Springer be the leadoff hitter long enough to catch up to Biggio?
With that homer versus Darvish, it gave Springer the 100th run of the season. He later scored 101 as well. He is on pace to score 120 runs in 2016, and the Astros could need Springer to score more to remain in competition for the wild card. Biggio scored 146 runs in 1997, so it would take a big push to get to that point.
Last Astro to reach 100 runs
In 2008, Berkman had 114 runs scored that season. This total is a reachable number that Springer is likely to surpass this season with his projected 120 runs. Not only does he lead the Astros in runs, but he also leads them in homers with 26. This player we see this year is the real Springer who has stayed healthy so far. Whether Springer is a leadoff hitter long-term is a different story.
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On last night’s Talking Stros, Booth stuck to his stance saying that Jose Altuve needs to go back to the leadoff spot. Springer could go to the third spot in the batting order, where he would increase his RBI numbers, but the runs would drop off.
I am still shocked how Altuve has not scored 100 runs in any of his seasons. This elusive number should change this season with his increase in OPS this season from .812 in 2015 to .966 in 2016. He now sits at 95 runs so that he will reach 100 runs for the first time in his career. The increased power, 22 homers, and better on-base percentage .409 has finally given him the chance to reach 100 runs.
The last time the Astros had multiple players score 100 runs was back in 2004.
Jeff Bagwell -104 runs
Berkman – 104 runs
Biggio – 100 runs
That was the season where the Astros traded for Carlos Beltran but fell short in the playoffs. It doesn’t take multiple players reaching 100 runs scored to make the playoffs, but it couldn’t hurt. Good luck to Springer and Altuve to continue setting the plate for the Astros hitters to drive them in.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***