For the 2021 Houston Astros, they won’t be represented at the All-Star Game, unless you count Orbit, who is catching the heat in Colorado. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Ryan Pressly all backed out due to their respective situations, but they also aren’t traveling to the game unlike some of their peers.
No matter if you watch the game or not, it is a sign of normalcy to see *most* of the stars all together in Colorado. Not only just Astros players ditched the festivities, but since they wear orange, they will take the most slack, even though other players aren’t totally bothered by the absences.
With the All-Star Game on Tuesday, five former Astros are in Denver, so let’s rank them based on Houston likeness and overall contribution.
1. Gerrit Cole
The former Houston hurler profited off two All-Star years with the Astros. Everyone anticipated Gerrit Cole to break the bank after the 2019 season, and while in New York now, the Yankee won’t be participating in the All-Star Game.
After a recent start and illness, Cole won’t be pitching on Tuesday, although in attendance. While being an ultimate steal of a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the right-hander was everything the team needed for 2018 and 2019 but fell short against the Washington Nationals. In 18 starts this season, Cole has posted a 2.68 ERA with a league-leading 147 strikeouts.
2. Teoscar Hernandez
While Cole was the best contributor of these five, Teoscar Hernandez was one of the biggest misses for the franchise. Hernandez was traded away in 2017 with Nori Aoki for Francisco Liriano. Well, the Blue Jays outfielder is now a starter in the All-Star Game at 28-years-old.
The Astros might not have had a lot of room for him at the time, but looking at the outfield now, Hernandez, Brantley and Kyle Tucker is top five in baseball in offensive production. The right-hander is slashing .297/.341/.473 with 11 home runs this year, which can be seen as slightly below average for a starter.
3. J.D. Martinez
Everyone knows this story, but if you don’t, J.D. Martinez was released by the Astros in 2014 for underperforming or was it the development? Since then, the right-hander has been selected to four All-Star Games and collected three Silver Sluggers.
This season, Martinez is slashing .299/.371/.556 with 18 home runs. While you could blame coaching or some strange click, the designated hitter has turned around his career in a huge way.
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4. Mark Melancon
While not remembered as an Astros, Mark Melancon’s journey through MLB had a quick stop for coffee in Houston. He and Jimmy Paredes were traded to Houston from the Yankees for Lance Berkman in 2010. Melancon was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland, the following year.
This season, the Astros had his number, but Melancon has posted a 2.04 ERA this season. The right-hander also leads MLB in saves (27).
5. Josh Hader
Although never known to be an Astro, Josh Hader was among the farm hands until 2015, when he was packaged for Mike Fiers and Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers. This was one of the worst trades for the franchise on many different levels. Hader is now a three-time All-Star and has a 15.6 strikeout per nine in 2021.