We have already talked about Jimmy Wynn once in this second tour of Astros history, but this time, lets focus on his first season as a regular, 1965. That year, the Toy Cannon started in center field and stole 43 bases. Why is that significant?
Well, it was the first time in franchise history that a player topped 40 steals. Wynn also added 22 home runs as part of that package in the Astrodome's first season, but it was the steals that stood out right away.
Only 19 Astros have posted seasons with as many or more steals as Wynn had that year an 12 of those came from 1965-77. Of course, nine of those 12 totals came from Cesar Cedeno or Joe Morgan. Still, Wynn was very good at stealing those bases at a high clip.
That's the other part that makes this such an incredible season. Wynn was only caught stealing four time. That means he was successful on 43 of 47 steal attempts that season. Its easily the least number of caught stealing totals on the list of this 19 best steal totals in team history. Gerald Young, who has the team record with 65, led the league with 27 CS.
Let's widen the net a bet. How many seasons have there been with players posting 40+ steals and four or less CS? Exactly 11. Wynn joins luminaries such as Davy Lopes, Carlos Beltran and Bobby Bonds. Of those players, he's got the third-highest OPS behind two Beltran seasons. He's also got on of the higher OBPs, which props up a less impressive .275 batting average.
Its an amazing offensive season from the 23-year old, as only Bonds showed the same power/speed combo at that age. His WAR total for that season is an equally impressive 7.0, even with a zero for his defensive value. That's despite 13 outffield assists. With some of the more advanced metrics now, can't you see Wynn easily getting bumped up to 8 or higher WAR? That would mean he's an easy MVP candidate...in his first season as a regular.
Jimmy Wynn was pretty amazing, but I bet you didn't realize how adept a base thief he was that year.