Houston Astros: All-time lineup contains plenty of firepower

(Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images)
(Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images) /

We compile the all-time best lineup for the Houston Astros.

Looking back through the history of the Houston Astros, there are plenty of talented and productive hitters who’ve come through. But surprisingly, for the most part, it was fairly easy to decide how to construct the franchise’s all-time best lineup.

There’s no shortage of power here, as everyone in this lineup has compiled at least three seasons of 20 or more homers in Houston. There’s plenty of speed at the top, plenty of guys who hit for average and get on base, and plenty of strong defenders. If you could get this lineup together for just one game, I’d shudder to think what would happen to opposing pitching.

1. Craig Biggio – C

Alright maybe I’m cheating a little bit here, but you can’t have an all-time Astros lineup without these top two guys, and Biggio did get his first All-Star selection as a catcher. He compiled 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 291 homers and 414 stolen bases in his Hall of Fame career and will forever be one of the all-time faces of the franchise. Having him as the leadoff man is a mere formality.

2. Jose Altuve – 2B

This list wouldn’t be complete without Altuve, a six-time All Star and the 2017 AL MVP. He’s won three batting titles, five Silver Sluggers and led the league in hits four times. He’s also had six seasons of 30 or more steals and three seasons of 24 or more homers, becoming one of the game’s best all-around hitters. Putting him in the top third of the lineup is an easy call.

3. Cesar Cedeno – CF

In his prime, Cedeno did it all — hit for average, hit for power, steal bases, play excellent defense. He was arguably the best all-around player the Astros have ever had, and his 1972 and 1973 seasons were the stuff of legend. He hit .320 with 35+ doubles, 22+ homers and 55+ steals in each of those campaigns, making the All-Star teams and winning a pair of Gold Gloves. Having three players at the top of the lineup who hit for average, steal bases and can clear the fences is a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

4. Jeff Bagwell – 1B

Who better to hit cleanup than the greatest slugger in team history? Bagwell launched 449 homers and 488 doubles, driving in 1,529 runs in his 15-year career. In fact, excluding his 2005 season, he had 1,510 RBIs in 14 seasons, averaging nearly 108 RBIs per season. He did it all — hitting for average and power, drawing walks, playing solid defense and even stealing 202 bases in his career. There’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame.

5. Lance Berkman – DH

One of the five best switch hitters to ever play, Berkman was an offensive force. He hit for both average and power and had one of the most keen batting eyes we’ve seen, resulting in a .296/.410/.549 batting line in 12 seasons with the Astros. He totaled 375 doubles and 326 homers in Houston while also drawing 134 intentional walks.

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6. Alex Bregman – 3B

Bregman doesn’t have a long track record yet, but he’s already vaulted himself into an MVP caliber player. His 2019 season saw him hit .296/.423/.592 with 37 doubles, 41 homers and 112 RBIs while leading the majors in walks. He’s also a strong defensive third baseman, making him an easy choice to be on this list and hit in the middle of the lineup.

7. Moises Alou – LF

With the 4-5-6 guys all capable of getting on base at better than a .400 clip, you need someone behind them who can drive them in. Who better than Alou? He only played three seasons with the Astros, but those three seasons were incredible. He hit a combined .331/.403/.585 with 93 doubles, 95 homers and 346 RBIs. His .355 average in 2000 would’ve won a batting title in most seasons. A guy who hits like that is the perfect person to hit behind our trio of Killer B’s.

8. George Springer – RF

I struggled with this pick, as part of me wanted to go with the late great Jimmy Wynn. In fact, Springer’s OPS+ of 131 is the same as Wynn’s was with the Astros. But Springer has him beat in the batting average and slugging categories, and he has the advantage of being the 2017 World Series MVP. He’s also a strong defender and one of the most important players on some of the best Astros teams in history.

9. Carlos Correa – SS

It’s crazy to think of someone as talented as Correa hitting ninth, but that’s where we are. He holds a .277/.356/.489 line for his career, and he has 30-plus homer power if he can stay healthy. He also plays excellent defense at one of the most important positions. He’s already established himself as the best shortstop in franchise history, and he’s not anywhere close to his ceiling.