We continue with our series ranking the best individual seasons in Houston Astros history.
Now that we’re moving into the outfield in our rankings of the best individual seasons in Houston Astros history, I had to decide whether to rank each outfield position separately or simply combine them. In the end, I’ve combined them all.
Part of the difficulty in separating them would’ve stemmed from players appearing in multiple outfield positions or switching positions from one year to the next. So to make it easier, I’ve ranked the top 15 individual seasons by outfielders in franchise history. Again, each player can only appear on the list once.
15. Rusty Staub – 1967
Staub broke into the majors with the Colt .45s as a 19-year-old, and then broke out in ’67 with his first All-Star nod. He hit .333/.398/.473 with 10 homers, 74 RBIs and a league-leading 44 doubles. His 5.1 WAR was his best in Houston, but his three years in Montreal were all better.
14. Luis Gonzalez – 1993
Gonzalez had his best years with the Diamondbacks in his 30s, but he started his career in Houston. His best year with the Astros came at age 25 when he hit .300/.361/.457 with 34 doubles, 15 homers, 72 RBIs and 20 steals, good enough for 5.3 WAR.
13. Kevin Bass – 1986
Bass was a solid hitter for the club in the mid-1980s. This season was his best, and it earned him a seventh-place MVP finish and his only All-Star selection. He hit .311/.357/.486 with 33 doubles, 20 homers, 79 RBIs and 22 stolen bases, racking up 5.3 WAR.
12. Derek Bell – 1998
Bell came from San Diego in the Ken Caminiti trade, and he put up a few good seasons. This was his best, when he hit .314/.364/.490 with 41 doubles, 22 homers, 108 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. This was good for 5.4 WAR, though his production would crater the next year.
11. Michael Bourn – 2010
I was surprised to see Bourn make this list, but his 2010 season was buoyed by a really high WAR mark defensively. He was terrific in the field, winning his second straight Gold Glove, and also led the league in steals for the second straight season. He swiped 52 bags and hit .265/.341/.346 to total 5.5 WAR.