What’s surprising about this is Cedeno isn’t already in the Astros Hall of Fame. He won five straight Gold Glove awards from 1972-1976, was a four-time All Star and received MVP consideration five times.
He posted six straight seasons of 50 or more stolen bases and is the franchise’s all-time leader in steals with 487. He’s fourth in club history in doubles and had a higher OPS than Biggio and Cruz. He’s also the only player in team history to post an OPS greater than .900 while also stealing 55 or more bases — and he did it two years in a row while playing top notch defense in center field.
In short, he was a star for several years and deserves to be in the team’s Hall of Fame. Any list of the Astros’ greatest players should include Cedeno.
At best, Rader was a slightly above average offensive player. He is eighth on the club’s all-time RBI list, 11th in games played and 12th in home runs. But his primary value came in his glove.
Rader won five straight Gold Gloves at third base from 1970-1974. This helped him accumulate 24.4 career WAR despite a career batting average of just .250. He was a reliable presence on the field for several seasons, providing a decent bat and plus defense.
Watson was a regular in the Astros lineup for most of the 1970s, playing primarily first base. He sits fifth on the club’s all-time RBI list, seventh in doubles and ninth in walks. He’s tied with Bagwell for second in franchise history with a .297 batting average and posted a higher OPS than Cedeno and Wynn.
Watson was a two-time All Star and received MVP votes in three seasons. He wasn’t the type of player to set the world on fire, only hitting 20 homers in a season once, but he always hit for a solid average and drove in runs, and he did it for a long time. That counts for something.