Back in 1986, Glenn Davis was a young power hitter at the center of Houston's offense and his future was brighter than ever. He finished second in the MVP voting as a 25-year old, hitting 31 home runs with a line of .265/.344/.493.
But, his best season may have been three years later when he turned 28. That year, Davis set a career high with 34 home runs, hitting .269/.350/.492. That's an adjusted OPS+ of 142, considering he played in the very pitcher friendly Astrodome.
Davis did most of his damage against lefties that season, hitting 14 of the home runs in 171 plate appearances. He also had a huge home/road split, getting 19 of his home runs on the road but hitting .221/.297/435 in 78 road games.
The big numbers also vaulted the Astros to their best record in a eleven-year stretch from 1987 to 1997. At 86-76, the Astros finished third in the NL West behind the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres. Davis lost out on the MVP to Kevin Mitchell, who won the award ahead of teammate Will Clark.
It was the second all-star appearance for Davis, but the last time he'd play at least 150 games in a season. The next season, Houston flipped Davis to Baltimore for Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling. Back injuries submarined much of his career, and Davis only played for three more seasons.
Davis' most similar player, according to Baseball Reference, is Adam LaRoche. In that Age 28 season, that player was Eric Karros, two pretty good first basemen that never really reached the level of superstar. LaRoche has never placed in the MVP voting and the closest Karros got was fifth in 1995.
The 28-year old hit the most home runs in Astros history since Jimmy Wynn hit 37 in 1967. Only six people in team history other than Davis have topped 34 homers, including Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Moises Alou, Wynn, Richard Hidalgo and Morgan Ensberg.
Will Ensberg be remembered like Davis one day? A player who's career ended too soon because of injuries?