Astros: Best individual seasons in club history – catcher

We rank the five best seasons in Houston Astros history by a catcher.

What to do when we’re all quarantined and bored? Well we figured it’s a good time to do some sifting through history to find the best individual seasons by Houston Astros players at each position. In this first part, we focus on the catchers.

The criteria is largely based on Baseball-Reference’s WAR figure, since it takes into account both offensive and defensive value. To make the list, the player must have primarily played catcher (sorry, Evan Gattis), and each player can only appear on the list once. So without further ado, here are our top five individual seasons by Astros catchers.

5. Alan Ashby – 1987

Ashby put together his finest season at age 35 in 1987. The longtime Astro hit .288/.367/438 with 14 homers. His defensive metrics were nothing special, but it was still good enough for him to compile 2.4 WAR for the season.

4. Milt May – 1974

May only spent two seasons in Houston in the mid ’70s, and only one was a good one. But he posted a .289/.349/.402 line at the plate in 1974 and an above-average caught stealing rate, leading to a total of 3.0 WAR.

3. Robinson Chirinos – 2019

He only spent one year with the Astros, but it was a good one. He combined above-average offensive production (22 doubles and 17 homers) with strong defensive totals as well. All told, he compiled 3.8 WAR for the season.

2. Jason Castro – 2013

Most everyone remembers this year. When Castro made the All-Star team, it looked like he would be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. While that unfortunately didn’t happen, he did total a .276/.350/.485 line with 35 doubles and 18 homers. His total production graded out to 4.2 WAR.

1. Joe Ferguson – 1977

Who? Ferguson might be easy to forget considering he only played a season and a half with the Astros. But his 1977 campaign saw him post a .257/.379/.435 line with 21 doubles, 16 homers and more walks than strikeouts. He was better than average at throwing out baserunners as well, leading to him totaling 4.7 WAR for the season.