Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. RBIs are a flawed statistic for a lot of reasons. But, if we accept that RBIs don't show us who the most talented players are and just show us who the most productive players were with runners on base in front of them, then we can look at it a little more objectively.
So, today, we're going to check on the players to put up seasons of at least 100 RBIs in Houston history. There have been 32 seasons of a Houston player hitting 100 or more RBIs, but only 14 players have done it. Of those 14, only six have put up multiple season of 100 or more RBIs.
Leading the way is Jeff Bagwell, who did it eight times. Lance Berkman follows with six seasons of it while Moises Alou and Carlos Lee each did it three times. Rounding out the list are Derek Bell and Bob Watson with two seasons each.
That means such luminaries in Houston history like Cesar Cedeno, Jeff Kent, Jimmy Wynn, Carl Everett, Morgan Ensberg, Glenn Davis, Richard Hidalgo and Lee May just barely made the list, while Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Joe Morgan, Rusty Staub, Bob Aspromonte, Bill Doran and Terry Puhl never even made it here.
This year, there's an outside chance that J.D. Martinez could get there, but with the offensive slump the team is in right now, that looks less and less likely. J.D. is currently sitting at 50 RBIs in 86 games, but he'd have to seriously up that pace if he wanted to get another 50 in the final 62 games.
The last time a Houston hitter got to 100 RBIs was in 2009, when Carlos Lee got there. The first Houston hitter to top the mark was Jimmy Wynn in 1967. Houston had a stretch from 1996 to 2009 where they had at least one 100 RBI hitter every season. Before that, there had only been seven seasons in team history with 100 RBIs.
The longest drought between seasons came from 1978 through 1993. In that 15 year span, only one player topped the mark (Glenn Davis, 1986). So, a three year absence like they're in right now is really no big deal.
Three times, Houston has had three hitters with 100 or more RBIs in the same season. The first happened in 1998, when Bagwell, Alou and Bell all topped the mark. Next came in 2000, when Hidalgo, Alou and Bagwell all got there. It happened again in 2001, when Bagwell and Alou repeating and Berkman replacing Hidalgo.
The longest streak of 100 RBI seasons was by Jeff Bagwell, who did it in six straight seasons from 1996 through 2001.