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Astros Crawfish Boil: November 16, 2023

The Boil is ready. Dig in!

Pat Listach

Welcome to the Thursday Boil.

Houston Astros News

‘It inspires me’: For Espada, family comes first

Houston Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr. to host 2024 Houston Sports Awards (Yahoo)

MLB insiders projecting seismic Houston Astros roster shakeup (SportsMap)

AL West News

MLB team owners set to vote Thursday on proposed relocation of Athletics to Las Vegas (Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

Diamond Sports Group Could Drop Guardians, Rangers Broadcasts (MLB Trade Rumors)

Seattle Mariners Add Former Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach Brant Brown to Coaching Staff (BVM Sports)

Washington’s goal with Angels? ‘Hit the ground and make it happen’

MLB News

Cole wins 1st Cy unanimously; Snell grabs his 2nd

Ohtani Watch

Ohtani? Belli? Snell? This team is ‘going big’ in free agency

The case for each 2023 MVP Award finalist

Who’s in on Yamamoto? Big-name suitors lining up

Ranking the top 10 free-agents

Houston Astros Birthdays

C Juan Centeno (34)

IF Julio Lugo (1975-2021)

LHP Rob Mallicoat (59)

RHP Dwight Gooden (59)

RHP Luis Vega (22)

These articles were built with facts culled from,,,, and No copyright infringement is intended.

Everystros Countdown: Chapter XXIII

Today’s article features players in the fourth bracket. That includes all players with between 101 and 500 PA/BF while with the Houston franchise. Today’s chapter includs players between negative-0.0086 and negative-0.0067 bWAR per PA/BF.

663. Lee Thomas was a six-foot-two lefty batting and righty throwing corner outfielder/first basman from Peoria. IL. Born on February 5, 1936, Thomas started his professional career as a member of the Owensboro Oilers, a D-level team in the New York Yankees system in 1954. He reached the majors with the Yankees in 1961, for two games, going one-for-two. It seems like a joke, but Thomas, who had worked for seven years to get to the Yankees, and probably dreamed about it every night, was quickly traded to the brand-new Los Angeles Angels.

I’d say it probably worked out in Thomas’ favor, as he probably would have ridden pine as a primary position on the Bombers. For the Angels, he was a starter for the next three-and-a-half years, mostly at first base and in right field. He slashed a line of .265/.336/.417 in 486 games, with 61 homers and 253 RBI and making the All-Star Team in 1962. Before making his way to the Astros in 1968, Thomas also played with the Boston Red Sox (258 games, .265/.343/.441, 35 HR, 117 RBI), the Atlanta Braves (39 games, .198/.261/.365, six HR, 15 RBI) and the Chicago Cubs (152 games, .229/.300/.285, three home runs, 32 RBI).

Thomas got traded prior to 1968 Spring Training, to Houston for minor leaguers Lee Brown and Tommy Murray. Although neither of those two ever played in the majors, the Cubs probably still got the better of the deal. Thomas accrued negative-1.9 bWAR in just 90 games for the Astros. He went 39-for-201, with four doubles and a single home run, with 11 RBI, 14 runs scored, and two stolen bases in three attempts. He also drew 14 walks and struck out 22 times.

Still, Thomas’ stay with the Astros wasn’t without highlights. He had seven multi-hit games in his time with the club, including May 19 in a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. In that one, Thomas hit an RBI-single with two outs in the bottom of the first off Mudcat Grant for a 1-0 lead that Houston would not relinquish. Leading off the top of the fourth, Thomas drilled his only home run of the season off Mike Kekich for a 2-0 lead.

After Thomas’ final major league season, he spent a year in the NPB and another in the minors with the St. Louis Cardinals. He later became a coach for the Redbirds, and eventually was hired as the Philadelphia Phillies general manager for 10 years. In 1993, he was named the Sporting News Executive of the Year, after putting together a team that went from last place to the pennant in one season. Thomas passed away last year at the age of 86. SABR Bio

662. Mitch Williams, also known affectionately (and unaffectionately by some) as “Wild Thing,” is a six-foot-three left-handed pitcher from Santa Ana, CA. Born on November 17, 1964, Williams was an eight-round choice of the San Diego Padres in 1982, out of West Linn HS in Oregon.

Prior to his major league debut, Williams was taken by the Texas Rangers in the 1984 rule 5 draft. To avoid sending Williams back and at the same time wanting to send him to the minors, the Rangers returned him on paper, and traded with the Padres for Randy Asadoor on the same day in April, 1985.

Williams made it to the bigs in 1986 with the Rangers, and led the American League that season with 80 pitching appearances. In three seasons for the Mall Cops, he was 18-19 with 32 saves and 280 strikeouts in 274 23 innings. Before getting to the Astros, Williams also pitched for the Chicago Cubs for two seasons (5-12, 52 saves, 3.28, 7.4 K/9, 1989 All-Star Selection) and the Philadelphia Phillies for three (20-20, 102 saves, 3.11, 8.5 K/9).

Although Williams had a lot of highlights while he was with the Phillies, he’ll always be remembered as the guy who gave up the championship-clinching walk-off home run to Joe Carter in Game Six of the 1993 World Series.

After the 1993 season was in the books, the Phils traded Williams to the Astros for Doug Jones and Jeff Juden. By most accounts, Williams was a pretty good dude to hang out with before the game. That changed during his time with Houston:

The life was gone from his eyes, and he rarely smiled. Two months with the Astros, he said, “sucked out of me the desire to pitch. I swear to god, all I wanted to do when I got to the ballpark was sleep.” — Mitch Williams, quoted by Tim Kurkjian, SI

Williams pitched 20 innings for the Astros through the first two months of the season, over 25 appearances in total. He walked 24 and struck out 21, which equaled an unsightly 2.250 WHIP and a 7.65 ERA. Williams earned six saves and blew two, going 1-4 in his time with Houston. Not wanting to take two weeks to “get settled” in Triple-A, Williams drove home to his ranch immediately after being released.

WIlliams swore off baseball for the remainder of the 1994 campaign, and was true to his word. He later pitched for the California Angels in 1995 (1-2, 6.75, 21 walks and nine strikeouts in 10 23 innings) and in 1997 for the Kansas City Royals (0-1, 10.80, seven walks, 10 strikeouts in 6 23 innings. Over a seven season MLB career, Williams saved 192 games and walked 7.1 batters per nine innings.

661. Larry Hardy is a five-foot-10 right-handed pitcher from Goose Creek, TX. Born on January 10, 1948, Hardy was initially chosen by the New York Yankees in the 25th round of the 1969 draft out of the University of Texas at Austin. He instead spent another season in college, and the following draft was taken in the 23rd round by the San Diego Padres.

Hardy reached the majors with the Padres in 1974, and played parts of two seasons with the team, including a National League-second 76 appearances in his first look. For San Diego overall, Hardy was 9-4 with a 4.92 ERA and a pair of saves. He collected 60 strikeouts in 104 13 innings, along with a 1.754 WHIP.

After spending most of the 1975 season for the Padres at their Triple-A affiliate in Hawaii (the Islanders, to wit), going 6-4 with a 3.62 ERA, San Diego traded Hardy with Joe McIntosh to the Astros for Doug Rader.

Hardy made his home with Houston’s parent club for the first six weeks of the 1976 season, but it started bad when he allowed four runs in 1 23 innings in his debut, a 13-7 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on April 10. On April 14, Hardy pitched two shutout innings with two strikeouts for his first save with the team, in a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants, but his less-than-desirable outings far outnumbered his good ones. In 10 of his outings he allowed more baserunners than he totaled innings pitched, finishing with a 2.031 WHIP and a 7.06 ERA, with 10 K’s and 10 walks in 21 23 innings.

Later, Hardy went into coaching, originally as Houston’s Triple-A pitching coach with the Charleston Charlies. Eventually, he reached the majors as part of the San Francisco Giants coaching staff from 1995 through 2001.

660. Chris Coste is a six-foot-one right-handed catcher and first baseman from Fargo, ND. Born on February 4, 1973, Coste went undrafted and played unaffiliated ball for five seasons before gaining someone’s notice. In four seasons for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks he hit .325 with 44 home runs in 255 games.

In 2000, Coste signed with the Cleveland Indians through free agency, but didn’t reach the majors with them. He also came and went into and out of several other major league systems without denting anyone’s major league roster. He spent time on the farm for the Boston Red Sox, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Philadelphia Phillies, for over a season each.

In 2006, at the age of 33, Coste reached the major league with the Phillies. You have to expect it was a dream come true, and Coste had determination enough to stick with the parent club for the better part of four seasons. In 256 games he hit .282/.339/.440 with 23 home runs and 98 RBI.

On July 10, 2009, the Astros claimed Coste off waivers from Philadelphia. Considering he played catcher most of the time for Houston, perhaps we can forgive his .204 batting average in 43 games with the team. After all, we’ve tolerated much worse for a lot longer. He also got into more than his share of games at first base, due to a Lance Berkman injury.

Sorry, almost blew into a side-tangent rant there. Coste had four multiple-hit games for the Astros through the last four months of the season. On July 22, Coste collected a pair of hits, including a game-tying double in the bottom of the ninth against the St. Louis Cardinals for an eventual 3-2 walkoff victory for the Astros. That was his highest WPA of the season. His second highest came just two days later. He hit a fifth-inning two-run go-ahead double in an eventual 5-4 win over the New York Mets.

Overall, Coste was 21-for-103 with five doubles and 10 RBI. He scored three runs and drew eight walks versus 28 strikeouts. In 141 innings behind the plate, he handled 121 chances without an error, but threw out zero of seven runners trying to steal. In 115 23 innings at first base, he handled 125-of-126 chances cleanly.

Coste bumped around the minors for a minute afterward, but required Tommy John Surgery in 2010. He retired from the game after that, and published a pair of autobiographies, “Hey, I’m Just the Catcher,” and “The 33-Year-Old-Rookie.” He later went into broadcasting with the Phillies team, and is currently the manager for the RedHawks, where he started it all.

659. César Gerónimo, known also as simply, “The Chief,” is a six-foot left-handed centerfielder from El Seibo, DR. Born on March 11, 1948, Gerónimo started his professional career as a farmhand in the New York Yankees system in 1967. After the 1968 campaign, the Astros drafted him in rule 5 following the season.

In 1969, Gerónimo remained with Houston for most of the season, getting his first hit on April 21 in his second career plate appearance, a double in an 11-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In total he was two-for-eight in 28 games for Houston, used mostly as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement. He handled one chance in 12 outfield defensive innings. He also hit .297 in 33 games with the Astros in the Rookie-level Florida Instructional League North.

In 1970, Gerónimo appeared in 74 games with the Columbus Astros in the Double-A Southern League, where he hit .269. In mid-June, he joined Houston for the balance of the season. On August 15, he had his first two-hit day with a pair of singles and an RBI in a 7-3 win against the Montreal Expos. Gerónimo hit nine-for-37 overall, with no extra-base hits and two walks. He struck out five times and scored five runs, with two RBI. He made two errors in 25 chances over 81 defensive innings in the outfield, split across all three positions.

Gerónimo remained with the Astros at their parent club level in 1971, appearing in 91 games, collecting multiple hits in four of them. On April 28, Gerónimo entered in the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies as a pinch-runner, then remained in left field. The move paid off when Gerónimo blessed a faithful Astrodome crowd of 8.576 with a walk-off RBI-triple, driving home Jim Wynn for a 4-3 win. Gerónimo went 18-for-82 with two doubles, two triples, and a home run with six RBI. He drew five walks, scored 13 runs, and struck out 31 times. Defensively, he made one error in 218 13 innings.

After the 1971 season, the Astros traded Gerónimo with Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Denis Menke, and Joe Morgan to the Reds for Tommy Helms, Lee May, and Jimmy Stewart. Gerónimo was a starter for the Reds in centerfield for nine seasons, winning four National League Gold Gloves during that time. He hit .261/.330/.371 with 44 home runs, 72 stolen bases, and 344 RBI. He later played three seasons for the Kansas City Royals (150 games, .244/.289/.361, six homers, 40 RBI). SABR Bio

658. Pat Listach is a five-foot-nine utility fielder from Natchitoches, LA. Born on September 12, 1967, Listach was a 23rd-round choice in 1987 by the Seattle Mariners, out of McLennan Community College. After going unsigned, the Milwaukee Brewers chose him in the fifth round the following season out of Arizona State University.

Listach reached the majors with the Crew in 1992, and hit .290/.352/.349 with 47 RBI. He stole 54 bases in 72 opportunities and took home the American League Rookie of the Year Award. He played five seasons in all for Milwaukee, hitting .256/.322/316 with five home runs and 137 RBI.

After the 1996 season, the Astros signed Listach through the free-agent market for $750K. In an 81-game tenure with the club, Listach appeared in 52 games, starting 33 times — 28 times at shortstop, four times in center field, and once in left field. In all those starts, Listach only totaled more than one hit in two of them. He hit 24-for-132 for a .182 average, with two doubles, two triples, and six RBI. He drew 11 walks, scored 13 runs, stole four bases in six attempts, and struck out 24 times.

Houston released Listach on July 1, after what basically amounted to a half-season. He played another season in the minors between the Buffalo Bisons (CLE) and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (PHI). Since leaving baseball as a player, Listach has joined the ranks of baseball coaches in a number of organizations, including the Astros as first base coach for the 2014 season. In 2023, he managed the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (PHI).

657. Art Gardner is a five-foot-11 left-handed outfielder from Madden, MS. Born on September 21, 1952, he was a second-round selection of the Astros in 1971 out of South Leake HS. He reported to the Rookie-level Covington Astros in the Appalachian League, and hit .303 in 68 games, with 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts.

By 1975, Gardner was playing at the Triple-A level with the Iowa Oaks in the American Association, hitting .263 in 135 games, along with seven jacks and 19 stolen bases. In September, he got to join the Astros at the parent club level for the first time, and appeared in 13 of Houston’s final 23 games of the season. On September 22, he was two-for-three with a walk and a run in a 5-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds.

For his first look, Gardner went six-for-31 with three runs scored and two RBI, with one walk, eight strikeouts, and one stolen base in one attempt. In 1976 he remained at the Triple-A level with the Memphis Blues in the International League, Houston’s new affiliate at the level. He appeared in 118 games and hit .284 with eight home runs and 34 stolen bases.

In 1977, Gardner spent the entire season with the Astros, getting into 66 games in total. Somehow, he only collected 10 hits through the entire campaign, including a pair on April 15 in a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He was 10-for-65 overall, with no extra base hits, seven runs scored and three RBI. He drew three walks and struck out 15 times, and did not attempt a stolen base.

After the completion of the 1977 season, the San Francisco Giants purchased Gardner’s contract. In 1978, he was 0-for-3 in seven games for the Giants in what was his final major league exposure.

656. Anthony Bass is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Dearborn, MI. Born on November 1, 1987, he was a fifth-round choice of the San Diego Padres in 2008 out of Wayne State University.

By 2011, Bass was pitching with the Padres in the majors. In three seasons for the Friars, he was 4-8 with one save and a 4.08 ERA in 187 13 innings. He appeared as a starter 18 times during his first two seasons, then appeared exclusively as a reliever with one exception to the present date (a 2021 start for the Marlins). Bass struck out 135 and walked 80 for San Diego.

After the 2013 season, the Padres traded Bass with cash to the Astros for PTBNL Patrick Schuster. During Houston’s first 37 games of the season, Bass appeared in 15 of them. On April 17, he pitched the final three innings, striking one batter out and allowing zero baserunners in a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. On May 2, he racked up his only victory of the season, pitching the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a baserunner, and again striking out one batter in a 5-4, 11-inning win against the Seattle Mariners. On May 14, he went on the 15-day DL with a right intercostal strain.

After a two-week rehab stint with the Quad Cities River Bandits, Bass returned to the Astros near the start of July, and pitched in another six games. After an encouraging start, Bass allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in nine innings, with three strikeouts and three home runs allowed. The 1.087 opposing OPS wasn’t really what Houston had signed on for, and so Bass was sent to the Triple-A level with the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

Bass posted a 3.31 ERA in 16 13 innings through the remainder of the season with OKC. After refusing an assignment to the minors, the Astros released Bass to free agency. Since his time with Houston, he has played with the Texas Rangers (35 games, 46 strikeouts in 69 23 innings, 5.30 ERA), the Chicago Cubs (14 K’s in 15 13 IP, 2.93 ERA), the Seattle Mariners (2-4, 3.56, 43 K’s in 48 IP), the Toronto Blue Jays (4-3, 3.28, 68 K’s in 71 13 IP), and the Miami Marlins (5-12, 2.80, 103 K’s in 106 IP).

After a viral post on Twitter made Bass an antihero in some circles in April, and an Instagram post endorsing boycotts of several products in May for...reasons (no politics here), the Blue Jays released him to free agency. Later, GM Ross Atkins admitted to People that Bass had created too much of a distraction in the clubhouse, leading to his dismissal.

655. Dave Clark is a six-foot-two left-handed hitting, righty throwing outfielder from Tupelo, MS. Born on September 3, 1962, Clark was a first-round choice of the Cleveland Indians in 1983 out of Jackson State University.

Clark reached the majors with the Tribe in 1986, and played parts of four seasons with them (212 games, .244/.312/.379, 17 home runs, 68 RBI). He then recorded games with the Chicago Cubs (84 games, .275/.304/.409, five home runs, 20 RBI), the Kansas City Royals (11 games, .200/.273/.200, one RBI), the Pittsburgh PIrates (388 games, .278/.358/.443, 35 home runs, 158 RBI), the Los Angeles Dodgers (15 games, .200/.333/.200, one RBI) and the Cubs again (102 games, .301/.386/.462, five home runs, 32 RBI).

After the 1997 season came to a close, the Astros signed Clark through free agency for $700K. He remained at the parent club level with Houston throughout the season, getting into a total of 93 games. On April 16, he had his only multi-hit game of the season, collecting a pair of singles in a 7-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

Clark went 27-for-131 from the plate for the Astros for a .206 batting average. He hit seven doubles and drew 14 walks, with four RBI and 12 runs scored. Clark struck out 45 timea and was one-for-two in stolen bases. Defensively, he played 130 innings at either right or left field, making three errors in total for an .885 fielding percentage.

Clark went into coaching after retirement, and in 2009 actually served as an interim manager for the Astros, going 4-9 through the last 13 games of the season.

654. Robel García is a six-foot switch-hitting infielder from Las Matas de Farfan, DR. Born on March 28, 1993, García initially signed with the Cleveland Indians, spending four seasons in their system between 2010 and 2013. For five years following, he was out of baseball entirely, signing with the Chicago Cubs in 2019.

García played in 31 games for the Cubbies that season, hitting .208 with five home runs and 11 RBI. Before the delayed 2020 season got underway, he was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds, then after the season was claimed by the New York Mets. Before the next season got underway, he was claimed by the Los Angeles Angels, then three weeks later was claimed by the Astros. If you’re counting, he was waived four times in seven months before getting back to the majors.

García started the 2021 season with the Astros in the majors, appearing in 45 of their first 109 games. Twenty-five of those were starts — ten times at third base, eight times at shortstop, six times at second base, and once at designated hitter.

On April 23, García pinched in for Chas McCormick in the bottom of the 10th, and walked off the Los Angeles Angels with an RBI-single for a 5-4 win. On June 12, he hit his only home run of the season in a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins. On July 23, he reached base four times with three singles and a walk, also scoring a run in a 7-3 victory over the Texas Rangers.

In total, García went 16-for-106, a .151 batting average. He hit three doubles and one home run for eight RBI, drawing eight walks, scoring eight runs, and striking out 42 times. He also allowed four runs in one inning of pitching, in a 13-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on June 29. On the defensive side of the ball, García had one error in 102 innings at third base, one error in 81 innings at shortstop, no errors in 59 innings at second base, and two clean innings at first base.

García has since appeared in the KBO with the LG Twins, then in the Mexican League with Leones de Yucatán. Since May 30, he’s been a free agent.

653. Jim Beauchamp was a six-foot-two right-handed first baseman and outfielder from Vinita, OK. Born on August 21, 1939, he came up through the minors with the St. Louis Cardinals starting in 1958 and culminating in a four-game look in the show in 1963. Beauchamp went 0-for-three.

Beauchamp was traded to the Colt .45s just before 1964 Spring Training with Chuck Taylor for Carl Warwick. He started the season on Houston’s parent club-level roster, and appeared in 13 of their first 19 contests. On April 21, he hit a single and a double with an RBI in a 10-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Four days later, he drove in a run in the ninth inning on a pinch-single, later in the inning scoring the go-ahead run in a 4-2 win against the Cardinals.

Sent to the minors in early May, Beauchamp played in 128 games for the Oklahoma City 89ers through the season, hitting .285/.360/.605 with 34 home runs and 83 RBI. He rejoined the Colts for the final three weeks of the season, and appeared in 10 of their final 17 games. On September 29, he hit a single and a home run in an eventual 5-4 11-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Although Beauchamp was a rockstar for the Colts in Triple-A ball, for Houston he was just nine-for-55 with six runs, two doubles, two homers, four RBI, and five walks versus 16 strikeouts. Defensively, he handled five innings at first base without incident, but made a pair of errors in 115 innings in the outfield.

In 1965, Beauchamp appeared in 24 of Houston’s first 38 games for Houston. On April 14, he hit two singles with an RBI in a 7-6 win against the New York Mets. On May 1, he hit a single and a double in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Beauchamp hit .189 for Houston with one double and four RBI, making one error in 33 innings at first and none in 80 13 innings in the outfield. On May 23, Houston traded Beauchamp with Ken Johnson to the Milwaukee Braves for Lee Maye.

Beauchamp went 0-for-3 in the majors for the Braves in 1965, then in his next appearance, went 0-for-3 for the 1967 Atlanta Braves. Later, he played for the Cincinnati Reds (74 games, .256/.307/.359, three homers, 22 RBI). On December 16, 1969, the Reds traded Beauchamp back to Houston for Pat House and Dooley Womack.

In Beauchamp’s first game of the season, on April 8, he hit a pinch-solo-home run in a 5-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. On April 24, he drew a walk and hit two singles in a 6-3 loss to the Cubs. In 31 games for Houston the second time around, he was five-for-26 with three runs, one homer, four RBI, three walks and seven strikeouts. He handled 40 outfield innings without incident.

On June 13, the Astros traded Beauchamp with Leon McFadden to the St. Louis Cardinals for George Culver. Beauchamp played two seasons with the Cards (125 games, .238/.289/.350) and two with the Mets (108 games, .254/.303/.359).

Starting in 1975, Beauchamp managed 16 seasons in the minor leagues, later serving as the bench coach for the Braves from 1991 through 2001. He passed away on December 25, 2007 after losing the fight against cronic myelogenous leukemia. SABR Bio

652. Leon McFadden is a six-foot-two shortstop and rightfielder from Little Rock, AR. Born on April 26, 1944, McFadden joined Houston in their minors in 1963, and reached them at the major league level in 1968.

For his first tour with Houston, McFadden appeared in 16 of their final 21 games of the 1968 campaign. On September 7, he hit a single and a double in a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Overall he was 13-for-47 with a run, a double, one RBI, six walks and 10 strikeouts. He made a pair of errors in 127 innings for Houston at shortstop.

In 1969, McFadden joined the Astros on two separate occasions after spending the first month with the team then getting sent down. He started 10 games in right field, six games at shortstop, and once in left field for Houston, making one error at each position. On June 21, he hit a single and a double with an RBI in a 4-0 win against the San Diego Padres. Seven days later, he totaled three singles in a 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

McFadden hit just .176/.218/.203 in 44 games for the Astros in 1969, with two doubles, three runs, three RBI, four walks and nine strikeouts. He also stole one base in three attempts. In 1970, he appeared in two games for Houston at the major league level, but did not get a plate appearance.

McFadden played with the Hanshin Tigers in 1972 in the NPB, and didn’t appear in affiliated ball again. Much later, McFadden’s son, also named Leon, played cornerback in the NFL between the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers, the New York football Giants, and the Dallas Cowboys.

651. AJ Reed is a six-foot-four first baseman from Terre Haute, IN. Born on May 10, 1993, he was a 25th-round choice in 2011 by the New York Mets out of high school. Electing not to sign right away, Reed matriculated to the University of Kentucky. Three years later, the Astros spent a second-round selection on him.

Reed reached the majors with the Astros in 2016, and appeared in 45 games in total. On August 17 and 18, he collected multiple hits in consecutive games, including a double and a home run with three RBI. That was undoubtedly a seasonal highlight for Reed, who went just 20-for-122 with three doubles, three homers, and eight RBI. He scored 11 times, drew 18 walks, and struck out 48 times.

Reed spent most of the next two seasons back in Houston’s minors, making a total of three appearances back in the major leagues and going 0-for-9. On July 8, 2019, the Chicago White Sox claimed Reed off waivers from Houston. Reed went six-for-44 in 14 contests for the Pale Hose. Reed retired from baseball in 2020.

If you’re keeping count, that’s 325 down and 650 to go. For you mathematicians in the house, that’s one-third of the Astros. Most days, these articles will feature players who are ever-so-slightly-better than the players from the day before. Tomorrow’s grouping will be from the fourth bracket, between 101 and 500 BF/PA, and from negative-0.0066 through negative-0.0052 bWAR per BF/PA.

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