We’re now in year seven of the Houston Astros‘ Golden Years with many players coming and going over that time, and a few that have lasted throughout the whole period of time. Owner Jim Crane noted that he only plans to retire the numbers of Hall of Famers, but there is a chance that some non-Hall-of-Famers could make this list after the tenure of Crane’s ownership is over.
Crane could also change his mind once the team starts losing. To help with this, I will be comparing each player’s statistics to an average Hall of Famer on Baseball-Reference, using their main four Hall of Fame tests: Black Ink, Gray Ink, Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standards.
Let’s talk about which Astros from this period should have their number retired with the first tier — locks.
There is no question whether or not No. 27 will be retired by the Astros in the future. Jose Altuve has been at the major-league level since 2011, and being an Astro at such a young age, he had to endure many dreadfully bad losing seasons, before finally reaching the pinnacle of the sport.
He’s a seven-time All-Star, an MVP winner and a three-time batting title winner. In the Hall of Fame tests on Baseball-Reference, he passes the Black Ink and Hall of Fame Monitor tests, but fails the Gray Ink and Hall of Fame Standards tests.
Personally, I think his stats make him a Hall of Famer, as he compares very similarly to Dustin Pedroia, who I think will be in the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. The only thing that could derail Altuve is how the committee views the cheating scandal, so it is important that the Astros get a clean ring, and Altuve performs well while doing so.
Regardless of Altuve’s Hall of Fame status, I believe his number will be retired due to his loyalty to the franchise and its system, as well as how he carries himself on and off the field. The story of how he got to Major League Baseball also helps his case significantly. If he is not a Hall of Famer, Astros fans will probably force Crane’s hand in the retirement of No. 27.