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Everystros LXXVII

It’s chapter 77 of Everystros.

Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals
Jake, from State Farm
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Everystros LXXVII

150. Hal Brown (Bagwell score 31.90) was a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Greensboro, NC. Born on December 11, 1924, he reached the major leagues for the first time in 1951 with the Chicago White Sox (2-3, 4.78, 81 IP, 35 K), later also pitching for the Boston Red Sox (13-14, 4.40, 288 13 IP, 130 K), the Baltimore Orioles (62-48, 3.61, 1030 23 IP, and the New York Yankees (0-1, 6.75, 6 23 IP, two K). On April 21, 1963, the Houston Colt .45s purchased his contract from the Bombers.

Brown joined Houston’s rotation after his acquisition, joining the bullpen for a spell before rejoining the rotation for the rest of the year on June 9. He was 5-11 with a 3.31 ERA, with eight walks and 68 strikeouts in 141 13 innings. Let me back up for a second here — eight walks in 141 13 innings. Yeah. He had a 1.026 WHIP and held opponents to a .257/.266/.397 slashline. He was four-for-43 with two runs and two RBI at the plate, and perfect in 18 chances in the field.

On June 9, Brown struck out six and held San Francisco to one hit and no walks in 6 13 innings of relief to earn a 3-0 win over the Giants. On June 30, he pitched a seven-hitter, walking one and striking out six to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 1-0. On July 25, he struck out five against zero walks, giving up four hits in a complete game 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. On August 24, he pitched a four-hitter, striking out seven and again walking zero in a 4-0 win against St. Louis.

In 1964, Brown remained with Houston for another full season, his last in the majors. He started 21 games and appeared in another six in relief, going 3-15 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.364 WHIP, He drew 26 walks and struck out 53 and held opponents to a .292/.326/.461 line. He was five-for-39 with two runs as a hitter, and handled 24 chances without an error on defense.

On July 24, he had his best outing of the season, keeping the Chicago Cubs scoreless over six innings to earn a 1-0 victory. That was despite striking out zero and allowing eight hits and four walks for an in-game 2.000 WHIP. Closing on his 40th birthday as the season came to an end, After turning down a job coaching with Brown retired from playing baseball. SABR Bio

149. Jake Meyers (Bagwell score 58.66) is a six-foot right-handed batting and lefty-throwing centerfielder from Omaha, NE. BOrn on June 18, 1996, he was a 13th-round selection by the Astros in 2017 out of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Of the three players from the round to reach the majors (so far), Meyers leads with 3.3 bWAR. Taken 391st overall, Meyers paces that particular eight-man brotherhood with his bWAR total.

Meyers first reached the majors for Houston in 2021, hitting .260/.323/.438 in 49 games. He started 31 times in center (293 13 innings, .987), thrice in right field (24 innings, no errors) and twice in left (16 13 innings, no errors). He was 38-for-146, hitting eight doubles, six homers, and stealing three bases without getting caught. He drew 10 walks and struck out 50 times, scoring 22 runs, driving in 28, and 11 multi-hit games. On August 14, he hit two home runs for five RBI in an 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In the ALDS following the season, he was three-for-eight with two RBI in four appearances against the Chicago White Sox. He didn’t appear in the ALCS or the World Series.

In 2022, Meyers was 34-for-150 with six doubles, two triples, one home run, and two stolen bases in three attempts. He drew seven walks against 54 strikeouts, scoring 13 runs with 15 RBI and nine multi-hit games with a .227/.269/.313 slashline. Defensively, he started 44 times in centerfield, fielding at .983 over 402 23 innings. He appeared in two games in the ALDS versus the Seattle Mariners, going 0-for-2 and scoring a run.

In 2023, Meyers was 70-for-309 with 16 doubles, one triples, 10 home runs, and five stolen bases in seven attempts. He slashed .227/.296/.382 and drew 26 walks against 88 strikeouts, scoring 42 runs with 33 RBI and 15 multiple-hit games. As a defender, he started 87 games in centerfield (803 13 innings, .984), also playing four innings in left (no errors).

On June 5, Meyers collected a season-high four hits, including a home run with two RBI in an 11-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. On July 29, he hit a double and a pair of singles, walking twice and scoring twice in a 17-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. On August 6, he went deep twice for six RBI in a 9-7 triumph over the New York Yankees.

Over his three seasons with the Astros, Meyers has nearly the same value (by bWAR) on offense and on defense (with 1.9 oWAR and 1.8 dWAR). The 2024 season should see Meyers with enough playing time to make it or break it as a major league starter.

148. Chris Holt (Bagwell score 14.63) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Dallas, TX. Born on September 18, 1971, he was a third-round pick of the Astros in 1992 out of Navarro College. One-of-13 to reach the majors from the round, Holt ranks third in the group with 3.5 career bWAR. Roger Bailey leads with 5.2. Taken with the 69th overall selection, he ranks seventh-of-26, behind Tim Salmon (40.6), Bronson Arroyo (23.4) and others.

Holt reached the bigs for the first time with Houston in 1996, allowing five hits and three walks in 4 23 innings. In 1997, he had a full complement of starts, with 32 in his 33 overall appearances. As a hitter, he was six-for-67 with 33 strikeouts. He had nine sacrifice hits.

Holt started the season as Houston’s number four starter. On April 26, he struck out seven over eight four-hit innings, walking two and giving up two runs in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants. On May 5, he held the Phillies to one run on five hits and no walks over seven innings, in a 9-2 win against Philadelphia. On July 12, he earned no decision after pitching 7 23 shutout innings, allowing five hits and a walk in a 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Holt was 8-12 over the full season, walking 61 and striking out 95 in 209 23 innings. He had a 3.52 ERA, a 1.297 WHIP, and a .263/.320/.384 opposing slashline.

Holt missed the 1998 season after undergoing right shoulder surgery. He rejoined the rotation in 1999, going 5-13 with a 4.66 ERA, a 1.524 WHIP, and 57 walks versus 115 strikeouts in 164 innings. Opponents hit .303/.363/.417 overall with 15 Quality Starts.

On July 9, in a rare relief appearance, Holt entered with one out in the bottom of the ninth, with the bases loaded and protecting a one-run lead. Mike Sweeney hit the first pitch Holt threw, straight to Craig Biggio for a 4-6-3 game-ending double play. On July 19, he struck out six over seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits in a 3-2 win against the Cleveland Indians. On August 14, he earned the victory in a 7-1 win against the Pirates, striking out six and allowing five hits and no runs over 7 23 innings. He was three-for-45 with two RBI as a hitter, along with seven sacrifice hits.

In 2000, Holt went 8-16 with a 5.35 ERA, a 1.556 WHIP, and a .304/.364/.458 opposing line. He struck out 136 and walked 75 in 207 innings, and totaled 12 Quality Starts.

On April 28, Holt pitched probably the best game of his career, a one-hit 7-0 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. On June 3, he gave up one run on eight hits and two walks in eight innings, with five strikeouts in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. On July 6, he struck out seven Diamondbacks in eight innings, and gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk in a 2-1 loss to Arizona.

On August 14, he pitched a complete game in a 16-2 win over the Pirates, giving up two runs on four walks and five hits, while striking out five. On August 25, he struck out four and allowed one run on seven hits in 7 13 innings of a 3-1 win over the Montreal Expos. On October 1, in Houston’s final game of the season, he allowed only an unearned run in seven innings, on five hits and two walks, also striking out five in a 6-1 victory against the Crew.

In his final season with Houston, he was six-for-60 with a double, his first ever extra-base hit, and three RBI with five sacrifice hits. On December 11, 2000, the Astros traded Holt with Roger Cedeño and Mitch Meluskey to the Detroit Tigers for Nelson Cruz, Doug Brocail, and Brad Ausmus. The past three seasons, he’s been a pitching coach with the Baltimore Orioles.

147. Zack Greinke (Bagwell score 32.84) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Orlando, FL. Born on October 21, 1963, he was a first-round choice of the Kansas City Royals in 2002 out of Apopka High School. The first round in 2002 produced 27 future major leaguers, a group that Greinke easily leads with a 77.5 career bWAR. Cole Hamels was next, with 59 bWAR. Taken sixth-overall, Greinke is one-of-44 to advance after being picked at the spot. He ranks second out of that group, led by Barry Bonds (164.8).

Greinke reached the bigs with the Royals in 2004, and pitched his first seven seasons with them (60-67, 3.82, 1108 IP, 931 K). He followed with a season-and-a-half with the Milwaukee Brewers (25-9, 3.67, 294 23 IP, 323 K), part of a season with the Los Angeles Angels (6-2, 3.53, 89 13 IP, 78 K), three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers (51-15, 2.30, 602 23 IP, 555 K), and three-and-a-half seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks (55-29, 3.40, 714 23 IP, 683 K). On July 31, 2019, the Snakes sent Greinke to Houston for Seth Beer, J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin, and Josh Rojas.

Greinke went 8-1 down the stretch for Houston, with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.069 WHIP. He walked nine and struck out 52 in 62 23 innings, with a .246/.275/.369 opposing slashline with seven Quality Starts in 10 turns. His best start was inarguably his last, on September 25, when he struck out nine and gave up two hits and one walk over 8 13 shutout innings in a 3-0 win against the Seattle Mariners. In five postseason starts, he was 0-2 with 25 strikeouts and 10 walks in 25 innings, with a 1.360 WHIP.

In 2020, Greinke got the ball every five days as Houston‘s number three starter, and totaled 12 starts over the 60 game season. On August 7, he struck out five over six shutout innings, with five hits and one walk given up in a 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics. On August 18, he struck out seven over eight shutout innings, allowing three hits in a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rockies.

Greinke was 3-3 with a 4.03 ERA, with nine walks and 67 K’s in 67 innings. He had a 1.134 WHIP and a .256/.282/.405 opposing slashline. In three starts through the postseason, he was 1-0 with a 4.30 ERA.

Greinke played a third season with Houston in 2021, going 11-6 in 29 starts (and one relief appearance). He had a 4.16 ERA and struck out 120 in 171 innings, walking 36. He had a 1.170 WHIP and a .252/.291/.434 opposing slashline, pitching 15 Quality Starts.

With Justin Verlander recovering from TJS, Greinke was Houston’s opening day starter in 2021. On April 1, he struck out four over six three-hit innings, keeping the A’s scoreless in an 8-1 win over Oakland. On April 17, he struck out six and allowed no runs on four hits over eight innings, in a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. On May 19, he struck out eight and gave up one run on four hits and no walks in another 8-1 win against the A’s.

On June 4, he struck out three and allowed one run on six hits and a walk in a complete game, 13-1 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. On June 22, he struck out five Orioles over 7 13 innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk in a 3-1 victory over Baltimore. On August 13, he struck out seven and kept the Angels scoreless on two hits and no walks over seven frames in a 4-1 win over Los Angeles.

Greinke left via free agency following the 2021 season, and rejoined the Royals for the 2022 and 2023 seasons (6-24, 4.38, 279 13 IP, 170 K).

146. Jed Lowrie (Bagwell score 61.74) is a six-foot switch-hitting infielder from Salem, OR. Born on April 17, 1984, he was a first-round selection of the Boston Red Sox in 2005 out of Stanford University. Lowrie is one-of-37 to make the majors out of the round, led by Andrew McCutchen (48.6 bWAR) and Ryan Braun (47.1 bWAR). After being drafted 45th overall, 24 have reached the majors, led by Trevor Story (30.1). Lowrie is second of those.

Lowrie made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 2008, and played four seasons at the top level with them (256 games, .252/.324/.408, 19 home runs, 117 RBI). On December 14, 2011, the Red Sox traded Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to Houston for Mark Melancon.

Lowrie slashed .244/.331/.438 in 97 games for Houston in 2012. He was 83-for-340 with 18 doubles, 16 homers, and two stolen bases without getting caught. He drew 43 walks and 65 strikeouts, with 43 runs, 42 RBI, and 19 multi-hit games. Defensively, he appeared exclusively at shortstop, starting 90 games (773 13 innings, .980).

On April 29, Lowrie hit a first-inning RBI-single against the Reds, and added a two-run fifth-inning go-ahead homer in an eventual 6-5 loss to Cincinnati. On May 21, he collected three hits, including a solo home run in an 8-4 win against the Chicago Cubs. On June 8, he hit a double and a home run with three RBI in an 8-3 win against the Chicago White Sox. On September 13, Lowrie entered in the eighth with two outs and two on, trailing the Phillies, 4-3, then hit a two-run double to put Houston in front. The Astros eventually won, 6-4 over Philadelphia.

On February 4, 2013, Houston traded Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez Jr. to Oakland for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock, and Max Stassi. Lowrie played two seasons with the A’s (290 games, .272/.334/.405, 21 home runs, 125 RBI). On December 15, 2014, Lowrie signed a deal to return to Houston.

Lowrie appeared in 69 games for the 2015 Astros, going 51-for-230 with 14 doubles and nine home runs. He slashed .222/.312/.400, drawing 28 walks with 43 strikeouts, scoring 24 runs with 30 RBI and collecting multiple hits in 13 contests.

On April 15, Lowrie hit a double and a home run for three RBI in a 6-1 win against the A’s. On April 27, he opened the scoring with a fourth-inning solo home run, then added a leadoff double in the sixth, then drew a walk and scored in the eighth inning of a 9-4 victory against the San Diego Padres. On August 6, he hit a first-inning sacrifice fly, drew a walk and scored in the eighth, and hit a go-ahead 10th-inning RBI-double in a 5-4 victory over Oakland.

On August 19, Lowrie hit a first-inning single, drew a walk in the sixth, hit a double and scored the game-tying run in the ninth in an eventual 3-2, 13-inning win against the Tampa Bay Rays. On September 6, he hit a go-ahead seventh-inning grand slam against the Twins in an 8-5 victory over Minnesota. On September 13, he hit a come-from-behind, go-ahead, three-run two-out ninth-inning home run in a 5-3 win against the Angels.

On November 25, 2015, the Astros traded Lowrie to the A’s for Brendan McCurry. Lowrie played three seasons in his second hitch with Oakland (397 games, .270/.347/.420, 39 home runs, 195 RBI), played a small part of 2019 with the New York Mets (0-for-7), then returned to the A’s in 2021 for two seasons (189 games, .228/.299/.362, 17 home runs, 85 RBI). He officially retired preceding the 2023 season.

145. Mark Lemongello (Bagwell score 19.82) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Jersey City, NJ. Born on July 21, 1955, he reached the major leagues for the first time with the Astros in 1976, making four starts in the final month of the season. On September 19, he allowed two unearned runs on six hits and three walks over a complete game 3-2 win against the San Diego Padres.

Lemongello went 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA in the short look, with seven walks and nine strikeouts in 29 innings. He had a 1.138 WHIP and opponents hit .236/.282/.355 when facing him. He was 0-for-8 as a hitter, with one walk and one sacrifice hit.

In 1977, Lemongello started a full spread of 30 games, also appearing four times in relief. He was 9-14 with a 3.48 ERA, 52 walks and 83 strikeouts in 214 23 innings, a 1.346 WHIP, and a .282/.324/.403 opposing line. On May 13, he came within one out of a complete game, holding the Pirates scoreless on seven hits and three walks, striking out four in a 3-0 win against Pittsburgh. On July 13, he pitched the first 10 innings of an eventual 13-inning 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lemongello gave up two runs on six hits and a walk, striking out two and collecting 30 outs.

On July 27, Lemongello earned no decision in a 3-2 loss to the Pirates, despite holding them to one run on eight hits and no walks in 7 23 innings. On August 1, he pitched a complete game victory, lasting all 11 innings and holding the Bucs to three runs (two earned) on 14 hits and four walks, with seven K’s. I don’t have a pitch count for that but I bet it was closer to 200 than 100. I hope he had ice.

On September 5, Lemongello pitched another complete game, earning a win over the Reds by allowing just one run on six hits and a walk, striking out four in a 5-1 victory over Cincinnati. Five days later, he held the Giants scoreless on two hits and two walks over seven innings in a 2-0 victory over San Francisco. On September 28, in his final start of the season he struck out three and held the Braves to one run on six hits and a walk in a 2-1 triumph against Atlanta. As a hitter, he was six-for-69 with a triple, an RBI, no walks, five sacrifice hits and 25 strikeouts.

In 1978, Lemongello duplicated his 9-14 record from the season just past, again starting 30 games. He had a 3.94 ERA and struck out 77 in 210 13 innings, walking 66. He posted a 1.284 ERA and let opponents slash .259/.318/.398, collecting 15 Quality Starts.

On April 15, Lemongello threw a three-hitter, striking out four in a 6-1 victory against Cincinnati. On May 31, he pitched a shutout seven-hitter, defeating the Giants, 1-0. On August 22, he went the distance, giving up one run on seven hits in a 2-1 win against the Cubs. He had his most accomplished season as a hitter, going 11-for-64 with a double and three RBI, with six sacrifice hits, four walks, and 22 strikeouts. Overall, he made seven errors in 119 chances in the field, for a mark of .941.

On November 27, 1978, the Astros sent Lemongello with Joe Cannon and Pete Hernández to the Toronto Blue Jays for Alan Ashby. Lemongello played one season with the Jays (1-9, 6.29 ERA, 83 IP, 40 K). SABR Bio

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