Top 5 reasons 2014 will be better
1. George Springer will be freed.
2. The bullpen will be better.
3. Chris Carter in his prime.
4. Carlos Rodon. Period.
5. Again, George Springer will be freed.
Top 5 most productive TCB writers
1. Tim De Block- 408 posts.
2. Ryan Dunsmore - 262 posts.
3. Anthony Boyer - 145 posts.
4. Subber10 - 138 posts.
5. Kyuss93 - 63 posts.
Top 5 most-read TCB articles
1. Profile on 2B Gosuke Katoh - It was huge in Japan.
2.Anatomy of a One-Pitch Strikeout - Thanks, Deadspin!
3. TCB's Mock Draft, Take 1 - It was a big draft season for us.
4. My Astros Fandom has been cancelled - Tim's poignant take after the Houston's Women Center controversy
5. Carlos Rodon, Prize of the 2014 draft - I'm guessing this means our 2014 draft coverage will also be huge.
Top 5 podcasts of 2013
Top 5 lists in this post
1. Top 5 funniest writers
2. Top 5 productive writers
3. Top 5 pitching performances
4. Top 5 games of the year
5. Top 5 stories I wish I'd written
Top 5 forgotten stories of 2013 (h/t to Brisbee)
1. The Astros are an affront to baseball - Remember the hand-wringing about Houston's low payroll being a slap in the face of competitive balance? How'd that work out?
2. The league switch will be brutal - Remember all the hand-wringing over how tough the AL would be? Turns out it was no tougher than the NL in 2012.
3. Jim Crane is out of money - Remember when everyone thought the low payroll was because Crane was broke and he'd never spend money? Even spending money didn't stop this one.
5. Why are all the Astros pitchers getting hurt? Remember when four or five went down in April and we wondered whether Houston had problems evaluating pitchers? Much ado about nothing.
Top 5 funniest SB Nation writers
1. Grant Brisbee
2. Grant Brisbee
3. Grant Brisbee
4. Grant Brisbee
Top 5 baseball sites right now
1. Baseball Prospectus - Really crushing it, despite all the defections to the majors.
2. FanGraphs - A must-read most days in my RSS feed.
3. Astros County - Consistently funny and generally great.
4. MLB Trade Rumors - A must-read as well for breaking news and rumors.
5. Beyond the Box Score - Going through a really solid period of analysis and even saw a trio of writers get poached by MLB recently.
Top 5 Astros of 2013
1. Jason Castro
2. Chris Carter
4. Jose Altuve
Top 5 Games of the Year
2. Matt Domingues beats the White Sox - A late home run steals this game for Houston and is the single biggest WPA swing of 2013 for the Astros.
3. Jarred Cosart's debut - We'll talk about it again later, but Cosart taking that no-hitter into the late innings was the most electrifying a pitcher has been in a while.
4. Astros finally beat Oakland - It took a three-spot in the bottom of the ninth, but when Jonathan Villar scampered home on a throwing error by the catcher, it gave Houston a one-run victory over the A's.
5. Houston gets to Darvish - In July, the Astros scored five runs late to beat Darvish and the Rangers, erasing that pesky near-perfect game.
Top 5 Astros pitching performances
1. Brett Oberholtzer on Sept. 1 - Twirled a four-hit shutout with five Ks and a team-leading Game Score of 83.
2. Erik Bedard on Sept. 29 - His last start as an Astro produced a Game Score of 80.
3. Jordan Lyles on June 12 - The newest Rockie struck out 10 against Seattle.
4. Jarred Cosart on July 12 - The highly-touted prospect didn't disappoint with his sterling debut.
5. Brett Oberholtzer on July 31 - Seven shutout innings and six strikeouts gave him a Game Score of 77.
Top 5 Astros hitting performances
1. Brandon Barnes' ties the Twins in the bottom of the ninth - Barnes' 3-run home run gave him the most Win Probability Added of an Astros batter in any game last season at .590. Of course Houston still lost.
2. Brandon Barnes hits for the cycle - Not a lot of WPA here, but a pretty cool accomplishment.
3. Jason Castro picks up 11 total bases - Two homers, a double and a single means Castro just missed a cycle of his own.
4. Carter mashes the Mariners - Two home runs and two singles gave Carter 10 total bases in a 16-9 victory.
5. Brett Wallace ties it late - A three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth sent this game into extra innings. Of course, Houston lost again.
Top 5 Astros prospects
2. George Springer
3. Mark Appel
4. Jonathan SIngleton
5. Tyler Heineman
Top 5 graphics made by Ryan
1. The Luhnow Code
2. Astros Community
3. Draft fight
4. Best Beard award
5.Mark Appel Card
Top 5 favorite posts from 2013
1. The Luhnow Code - Just a great, fun way to wrap up the draft stuff.
2. Anatomy of a one-pitch strikeout - It's already been mentioned, but this was a great look at a weird play.
3. Being an Astros fan - I was proud of how the Astros blogosphere handled the Women's Shelter controversy, especially Tim's passionate explanation of the outrage. I rarely take myself seriously, so I don't expect others to do so. But, with this piece, I tried to be earnest and make a difference. Don't know if we did, but I'm glad we tried.
4. Springer's K rate not the whole story - Chris does a great job of tackling why Springer's strikeout rate really isn't worrisome. You can guess why it's one of my favorites.
5. Philip Humber and empathy - No analysis. No excuses. Just enjoyed how this one turned out, expressing emotions about a player who will probably be forgotten in three years.
Top 5 members of Houston's front office
1. Mike Fast - We're easy to bribe. Just show up in the comments from time to time.
2. Kevin Goldstein - The hat plays.
3. Colin Wyers - Anyone who can improve Houston's defense is a plus.
4. Jeff Luhnow - Does he actually do anything, besides troll us on Twitter?
5. Reid Ryan - Narrowly edging out Sig thanks to his fan-friendly beginning.
Top 5 stories I wish I'd written
1. How I kept myself from killing anyone: A conversation with Bo Porter
2. The Astrodome: An oral history
3. Carriage agreements reached for CSN Houston
4. Brad Peacock and his mysterious slider
5. From worst to first: How Houston shocked the world and won the pennant
- Best of 2013 TCB community discussion: Tell us about the best original artwork (photoshops/GIFs/MS Paints) this year
- Best of 2013 TCB community discussion: Tell us about your favorite article of the year
- Best of 2013 TCB community discussion: Talk to us about your favorite non-Astros baseball site
- Best of 2013 TCB community discussion: Tell us about your favorite podcast episode
- Best of 2013 TCB community discussion: Tell us about your favorite debate this year