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March Madness Top 8: Day 1

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Bagwell vs Biggio

The 2 faces of the Astros go head to head in our first battle today, and this is probably going to be one of the most contended battles in the entire tournament. Bagwell holds a hefty lead in production, but this is favorite Astro of all time, not just who performed the best. Let’s take a look at each of the contestants.

Jeff Bagwell

Major League Baseball 2005 Photo by Joe Rogate/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

.297/.408/.540 with 449 HR, 1,529 RBI and 202 SB

MVP (4 other top 7 finishes, and 4 more top 20), 4x All-Star, Gold Glove, and ROY

The All-Time WAR leader for the Astros comes in with one of the quirkiest stances ever to exist in baseball. Bagwell, although one of the big home run producers in the 90’s was one of the most well rounded players, using intelligence and good reads for excellent results on the base paths.

Bagwell went through some tumultuous times outside of baseball, but has come back as an asset in the booth and continuing to work with the Astros.

Craig Biggio

Astros Craig Biggio Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

.281/.363/.433 with 291 HR, 1,175 RBI and 414 SB for 65.5 WAR

7x All-Star, 5x Top 15 MVP, 4 Gold Gloves

Biggio is the reason I’m an Astros fan. I met him as a kid, and there’s something magical about the scrappiness of his play. He went all out on every play. His helmet covered in Pine Tar to a near disgusting extent. He’s the first Astro to ever go into the Hall of Fame, hit over 3,000 hits, and holds the all time HBP record. He never missed time with the Astros other than a brutal slide from Preston Wilson. There’s one other aspect that gets missed, Biggio started his career as a Catcher and after earning an All-Star nod, he moved to 2nd base, and later in his career, moved to the outfield to accomodate Jeff Kent. Biggio never had Bagwell’s power but he played more difficult positions and consistently did whatever was best for the team.

Outside of Baseball Biggio seems like a super star as well with his Sunshine Kids still gaining traction from his efforts.

Poll

Clash of the titans

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Jeff Bagwell
    (83 votes)
  • 53%
    Craig Biggio
    (97 votes)
180 votes total Vote Now

Springer vs Berkman

This should be an interesting match up. It may be telling that Verlander actually surpassed Berkman on the twitter vote, and we haven’t had a split decision not be cleaned up by the next round.

In this iteration, we have 2 of our most famous outfielders going head to head.

George Springer

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

.270/.361/.488 with 160 HR, 426 RBI, and 47 SB for 25.4 WAR

3x All-Star, 2x Top 15 in MVP voting, 8th place in ROY

Our outfielders earn their value in very different ways. Although he’s no slouch with the bat, he’s definitely not in Berkman’s league from both a counting and a rate stat perspective. The difference is that Springer is truly a difference maker in every aspect of his game. Nicknamed Super Springer, George has developed a reputation for some stunning diving catches playing a solid CF especially when compared to the Big Puma. Longevity is a challenge as Berkman was with the Astros for twice as long as Springer,

Springer has a strong community relationship presence, both with his work with SAY (Stuttering Association for the Youth), and even in donating money to the MMP workers who are out of work right now. Both players did extremely well in the play-offs, but you could argue that George Springers World Series MVP is more important than almost any other award.

“George is the heart and soul of this team,” second baseman Jose Altuve said recently. “We feed off what he brings.”

(definitely worth turning the sound on to hear Kalas’ call)

Lance Berkman

Bob Levey

.296/.410/.549 with 326 HR, 1,090 RBI, and 82 SB for 52 WAR

5 All-Star selections, 5x Top 7 MVP finishes

Lance Berkman edges out Bagwell from a rate stat perspective by the narrowest of margins but was with the Astros for 12 vs Bagwell’s 15. Berkman was one of the greatest switch hitters of all time. His Hall of Fame snub was personally appalling to me, but Berkman stepped into some big shoes with him and Oswalt taking over as the face for the Astros as the Biggio/Bagwell team rode off into the sunset.

Berkman definitely speaks his mind, which leaves mixed reviews from a fan perspective, both in the booth and on some of the other areas of the life.

Poll

Legendary Outfielders face off

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    George Springer
    (77 votes)
  • 56%
    Lance Berkman
    (102 votes)
179 votes total Vote Now