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Astros History: The 1992 Team

In terms of Baseball Reference WAR Steve Finley was the best player on the 1992 Houston Astros.
In terms of Baseball Reference WAR Steve Finley was the best player on the 1992 Houston Astros.

Coinciding with the Astros 31st game this season, today in Astros History we'll look at the Astros franchise's 31st season. A season not so dissimilar to the Astros current squad.

The average batter and pitcher age for the 1992 season was 26.4 and 27.1 respectively. The average batter and pitcher age for your 2012 Astros are 27.2 and 28.2 respectively.

In 1991 the Astros finished sixth in the division with a 65-97 record, which was tied for the worst record in franchise history with the 1975 squad, until last year's 56-106 record.

The manager of that team was Art Howe, who like Brad Mills had been with the team for a few years now.

There are some similarities to be drawn between the two teams, as the would also be a team in transition come 1993 when Drayton McLane bought the team.

But Back to 1992.

The '92 team finished the season 81-81 allowing more runs than they would score, 608-668, beating their Pythagorean win-loss record of 74-88 by seven games. Despite it being another four years before the Astros would return to the playoffs, the 1992 season set the tone for those four season with a .500 record in each of the season following the '92 season.

After the jump is a list of the interesting players on that 1992 team.

Jeff Bagwell: .273/.368/.444 - 135 OPS+ - .359 wOBA: The interesting thing about this season is that Bagwell, as a first basemen, was second on the team in triples, with six. He was also second on the team in homeruns, with 18, to Eric Anthony who had 19.

Steve Finley: .292/.355/.407 - 121 OPS+ - .354 wOBA: The leader in triples for the team was this guy, with 13. He also stole 44 bases, which lead the team and had the most hits, with 177. Did I mention he played a mean centerfield too? His 5.2 Baseball Reference WAR lead the team.

Craig Biggio: .277/.378/.369 - 118 OPS+ - .347 wOBA: Lead the team in walks with 94 which was one shy of his strikeout total 95. Second to Finley in stolen bases with 38.

Ken Caminiti: .294/.350/.441 - 128 OPS+ - .349 wOBA: Second to Bagwell in slugging percentage. He hit 31 doubles which was third on the team behind Bagwell and Biggio. He was also third in homeruns with 13. At 29 he was the oldest regular in the lineup.

Luis Gonzalez: .243/.289/.385 - 94 OPS+ - .298 wOBA: Struggled offensively, but posted a 1.3 dWAR which lead the team.

Mark Portugal: 6-3 2.66 ERA - 127 ERA+ - 3.70 FIP: Only pitched 101.1 innings for the Astros but was easily the best pitcher.

Pete Harnisch: 9-10 3.70 ERA - 91 ERA+ - 3.33 FIP: Pitched the most innings on the staff with 206.2 innings pitched.

Darryl Kile: 5-10 3.95 ERA - 86 ERA+ - 3.78 FIP: At 23 tied with Butch Henry for youngest pitcher on the staff. Made 22 starts for the team.

Brian Williams: 7-6 3.92 ERA - 86 ERA+ - 4.32 FIP: Picked 31st in the 1990 amateur draft by the Astros. This was his second year in the season, but it would be his last strictly starting. He would switch between the rotation and bullpen for four more years, before beginning a full-time reliever.

Back-end of the bullpen: Doug Jones (111.2 IP), Joe Boever (111.1 IP) and Xavier Hernandez (111 IP) were all absolutely dominate and looking at the innings pitched they picked up a lot of the rotation's slack. Their ERA+ in order 182, 135 and 160.

Finally the one and only Shane Reynolds made his Major League debut July 20, 1992. Of the eight games he appeared in he started five. His 7.11 ERA would eventually come down over his career.