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Astros History: Joe Morgan's Offensive WAR

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Joe Cool
Joe Cool

Coinciding with game number 33 on the season we'll be looking at Joe Morgan's offensive contributions to the Houston Astros in his 10 years with the club.

Going by Baseball References offensive WAR (oWAR), Morgan posted 33.1 WAR in his time with Houston. Breaking that down, that's a .261/.374/.393 line and a 120 OPS+. The fascinating thing about about his numbers when you go even deeper is that he walked more than he struck-out. In 10 years with Houston, Morgan walked 678 times and struck out only 415. I love that.

Every year he walked more than he struck-out, the one year he didn't do it he only received 43 plate appearances at the age of 20. The next year, his first full year in the league he lead the league in walks with 97, posted a .271/.373/.418 line and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. He lost the award to Jim Lefebvre, a Los Angeles Dodger player, despite outpacing him in WAR (5.4 to 4.2), OPS+ (131 to 106), hits (163 to 136), homeruns (14 to 12), stolen bases (20 to 3) and obviously walks (97 to 71).

The one thing Lefebvre got Morgan on was runs batted in (69 to 49) and it's easy to see why. Morgan batted at the top of the lineup while Lefebvre batted towards the middle or back of the lineup. I call shenanigans!

The rest of the story you know, Morgan goes on to be good but not great for Houston, then is traded to Cincinnati, wins championships, goes to the Hall of Fame, becomes a broadcaster, get's a sabermetrics website named after him and makes it into today's Astros History.

May the force be with you Mr. Morgan.