Astros: Three franchise records unlikely to be broken

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 05: Former Player Craig Biggio looks on during batting practice prior to game two of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 05: Former Player Craig Biggio looks on during batting practice prior to game two of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Here are three Houston Astros franchise records that aren’t likely to be broken.

There are some impressive stats put up by former Houston Astros players. With all the talent that’s come through this organization over the past five decades, some incredible players still hold many of the team’s career franchise records.

Some of these records could be broken if the right player comes along, but some are just a little more out of reach than that. For various reasons, here are three Astros career records that are unlikely to fall any time soon.

Craig Biggio: 668 doubles

For the time being, Biggio has the most career doubles by a right-handed hitter in major league history. Albert Pujols will likely pass him sometime in 2020, knocking Biggio out of the all-time top five, but no one is going to pass him on the Astros leaderboard anytime soon.

Second on the team’s list is Jeff Bagwell with 488 — a full 180 doubles short. The closest active player is Jose Altuve with 299, which means he’s not even halfway to Biggio’s mark. Now that he’s on the wrong side of 30, it would take a gargantuan effort for him to get there. Biggio was simply a doubles machine for most of his career, and no one is likely to match him in that respect.

Larry Dierker: 106 complete games

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This is largely a product of the fact that times have changed. The complete game becomes more rare with each passing year, even for throwback-type workhorses like Justin Verlander, who’s thrown just three complete games in an Astros uniform and 26 for his career.

When healthy, Dierker was absolutely a workhorse, going the distance in more than half of his starts in 1969. Most everyone else at the top of the team’s leaderboard in this stat haven’t pitched in two decades or more, so Dierker’s mark is about as safe as they come.

Cesar Cedeno: 487 stolen bases

This one’s also a product of changing times. Teams just don’t steal bases as much as they used to, and the Astros are a prime example. For one, nobody wants to risk running into an out when so many players are geared up to hit home runs these days. What’s more, stealing bases is tough on the body and puts players at greater risk of injury.

Just look at Altuve, who is the team’s active leader with 254. He had six straight seasons of 30 or more steals, but stole only 17 in 2018 and just six in 2019. Part of that is due to injuries he’s battled, but part of that is his changing role. He’s no longer the speedy leadoff guy. He’s a middle of the order threat, and his health and his bat are more valuable than his legs.

Guys like Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines and Kenny Lofton are few and far between these days. Even getting to Cedeno’s total of 487 requires consistency at the plate, success on the basepaths and a long track record of health. This is a record that could theoretically be broken by the right player, but there are a number of factors that have to align for that to happen.

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