Astros History: Curt Blefary

Acquired by the Houston Astros from the Baltimore Orioles December 4, 1968, along with John Mason for Elijah Johnson, Mike Cuellar and Enzo Hernandez, Curt Blefary would play for the Astros for only one year. In 155 games, he would post a .253/.347/.393 line, which is why we'll be discussing him today.

One could almost say the Blefary was the center piece for the Houston Astros in this trade, I mean you're giving up 16 game winner Mike Cuellar who two seasons ago had posted a 2.22 ERA in 227.1 innings. With the Baltimore Orioles he posted an OPS+ of 123 in 567 games. He won Rookie of the Year in 1964, and at 25 he was just reaching his peak years and could play any of the outfield positions or first base.

Blefary got 632 plate appearances with the Houston Astros and posted a 109 OPS+, which isn't great but better than the 89 OPS+ he posted with Baltimore the season prior to his trade.

Defensively he was below average. With the Orioles he got time in the outfield, first base and even catcher. With Houston he saw most of his time at first base, and one game in the outfield and was considered below average according to Baseball References defensive WAR (-1). As a first basemen a 109 OPS+ wasn't going to cut it as an outfielder maybe.

Regardless he was traded on exactly the same day he was traded a year earlier, this time to the New York Yankees for Joe Pepitone. Blefary would go on to be a below average hitter and for the most part defender the rest of the time in the big leagues. Pepitone would spend 75 games with Houston before being purchased by the Chicago Cubs.

Curt Blefary is a good example of a kid who showed some talent but failed to cash in on that talent heading into his prime years. This might be something we want to keep in mind with the current Astros club.

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