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Everystros LXXXIII

Everystros 83 features Jerry Mumphrey, and four other players from Astros-past.

New York Yankees v Houston Astros
Luis Valbuena
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Getting up to the players who had more than minimal success with the Astros, we have a corner infielder, a right-handed pitcher, a catcher, a switch-hitting outfielder, and Luis Valbuena.

115. Ray Knight (Bagwell score 36.03) is a six-foot-one right-handed corner infielder from Albany, GA. Born on December 28, 1952, he was chosen in the 10th-round of the 1970 draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Dougherty High School. Knight led the five eventual major leaguers selected in that round with 13.2 career bWAR. Taken 238th overall, Knight is the second-of-11 to reach the majors after a selection at that draft position. It’s a fraternity led by Al Bumbry (24.5 bWAR), with Knight as second chair.

Knight reached the majors with the Reds in 1974, and spent parts of six seasons with the team (595 games, .277/.325/.410, 32 home runs, 210 RBI, 1980 All-Star). On December 18, 1981 the Reds sent him to Houston in a straight-up trade for César Cedeño.

Knight turned in an All-Star performance his first season with Houston. In 1982, he slashed .294/.344/.402, going 179-for-609 with 36 doubles, six triples, six home runs, and two stolen bases in seven attempts. He drew 48 walks and struck out 58 times, scoring 72 runs with 70 RBI and 53 multiple-hit games, including 12 three-hit games but zero with four.

On June 4, Knight hit a fourth-inning two-run double and an eighth-inning two-run single, later scoring on a Jose Cruz home run in an 8-3 Houston victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. As a fielder, he started 93 times at first base (829 23 innings, .990) and 65 times at third base (564 13 innings, .964).

In 1983, Knight played in 145 games for Houston, hitting .304/.355/.444 by going 154-for-507 with 36 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, and went 0-for-three in stolen bases. He drew 42 walks and struck out 62 times, scoring 43 runs with 70 RBI and 39 multiple-hit games. On May 31, he hit three singles and a double with a pair of RBI in a 12-10 win over the Chicago Cubs.

On June 4, Knight hit four singles with one RBI in a 13-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. On June 21, he hit two singles and two doubles, driving in one in a 5-0 triumph against the Atlanta Braves. On August 23, he singled in the sixth and hit a come-from-behind two-out two-run go-ahead ninth-inning single, the eventual game-winning hit in a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the field, he appeared exclusively at first base, starting 141 games (1182 23 IP, .993).

In 1984 campaign started with Knight mostly playing third base for Houston (48 starts, 433 innings, .946), also starting 21 games at first base (202 innings, no errors). He appeared in 88 games in total, hitting .223/.259/.281, going 62-for-278 with 10 doubles, two homers, and three unsuccessful stolen base attempts. He drew 14 walks and struck out 30 times, scoring 15 times with 29 RBI and 15 multiple-hit games.

On August 28, 1984, the Astros sent Knight to the New York Mets for PTBNLs Gerald Young, Manuel Lee, and Mitch Cook. Knight played three seasons with the Mets (254 games, .271/.319/.386, 18 home runs, 118 RBI), one with the Baltimore Orioles (150 games, .256/.310/.373, 14 home runs, 65 RBI), and one with the Detroit Tigers (105 games, .217/.271/.301, three home runs, 33 RBI). SABR Bio

114. Bill Dawley (Bagwell score 52.27) is a six-foot-five right-handed pitcher from Norwich, CT. Born on February 6, 1958, he was a seventh-round choice of the Cincinnati Reds in 1976 out of Griswold High School. He was one-of-eight to reach the big leagues out of the round, including Hall-of-Famers Wade Boggs (91.4 bWAR) and Ozzie Smith (76.9 bWAR). Chosen 167th overall, he was the third-of-eight to make the majors out of the spot, led by Willie Randolph (65.9 bWAR).

Dawley spent many moons in Cincinnati’s system without sniffing the majors. On March 31, 1983, the Reds traded him with Tony Walker to the Astros for Alan Knicely.

For Dawley, you have to think it was worth the wait. He earned an invitation to the All-Star Team as a rookie, appearing in 48 games and being used in high leverage, with a 1.46 aLI. He pitched 79 23 innings, going 6-6 with 14 saves, a 2.82 ERA, and a 0.916 WHIP. He drew 22 walks and struck out 60 times, holding opponents to a .185/.248/.315 slashline. On April 15, he held the Expos to one walk over three innings, to earn the victory in a 7-6, 10-inning win against Montreal. On May 27, Dawley pitched three perfect innings in extra time, striking out three between the 10th and the 12th innings in a 3-1, 18-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

On June 14, Dawley struck out one over three perfect innings in a 3-2 win against the San Francisco Giants. On August 10, he pitched four innings, keeping the Padres to three hits and no runs over four innings, pitching from the 10th through the 13th in a 14-inning, 4-3 loss to San Diego. On August 23, in the second half of a double-header, he held Pittsburgh to a hit and struck one batter out, pitching the final three innings and collecting the final nine outs for a save against the Pirates, in a 2-1 Houston victory.

In 1984, Dawley appeared in 60 games in relief for Houston, drawing 35 walks and striking out 47 times in 98 innings. He held opponents to a .234/.299/.336 opposing slashline, pitching with a 1.43 aLI. He was 11-4 with five saves, a 1.93 ERA and a 1.194 WHIP.

On June 6, Dawley held the Padres scoreless over three innings, allowing two hits in an eventual 4-3 loss to San Diego. On July 15, he kept the Phillies to no runs on one hit and one walk in a 3-2 win against Philadelphia. On August 10, in the first half of a doubleheader, he struck out two over 1 23 hitless innings of relief, in a game the Reds eventually won over Houston, 5-4.

On August 15, in a 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs, he pitched 1 23 innings of scoreless relief. Four days later, he earned his third save of the season, entering the ninth inning with one out and two runners on base, then stranding both of them and collecting the final two outs for a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 22, he pitched three hitless and scoreless innings allowing one walk and striking out two in a 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1985, he went 5-3 with two saves, a 3.56 ERA in 49 relief appearances. He issued 37 walks, struck out 48 in 81 innings, and finished the season with a 1.395 WHIP. Opponents slashed .259/.338/.372 as Dawley pitched with a 1.08 aLI. On April 1, 1986, the Astros released him.

Dawley later played one season each with the Chicago White Sox (0-7, 3.32, two saves, 97 23 IP, 66 K), the St. Louis Cardinals (5-8, two saves, 4.47, 96 23 IP, 65 K), the Philadelphia Phillies (0-2, 13.50 ERA, 8 23 IP, three K), and the Oakland Athletics (0-0, 4.00, nine innings, three K).

113. Johnny Edwards (Bagwell score 26.09) is a six-foot-four left-handed batting and right-handed throwing catcher from Columbus, OH. Born on June 10, 1938, he attended The Ohio State University, and made his major league debut in 1961 with the Cincinnati Reds (I’m sensing a theme in today’s Everystros).

Edwards played his first seven seasons for the Reds (751 games, .246/.314/.370, 53 home runs, 296 RBI, three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner), then spent 1968 with the St. Louis Cardinals (85 games, .239/.287/.326, three home runs, 29 RBI). On October 11, 1968, the Cardinals traded Edwards with Tommy Smith to the Astros for Dave Adlesh and Dave Giusti.

Edwards joined Houston for the 1969 season, and played six seasons in total with the team. In 634 games, he hit .237/.310/.336, with 25 home runs, 199 RBI, and eight stolen bases in 15 attempts. He hit 82 doubles, 19 triples, drew 210 walks, struck out 244 times, and scored 181 runs. Only once during Edwards stay with the Astros did he post an OPS above “average,” in 1972, when he put up a mark of 111, hitting .268/.358/.373.

On May 8, 1969, Edwards singled in the sixth then hit a go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning with the eventual game-winner, for a 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. On June 7, he singled and scored in the second, hit a fourth-inning lead-off home run, and added a go-ahead two-run seventh-inning single in a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 2, he hit a double and three singles with one RBI and three runs scored in an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-2.

On July 28, 1970, Edwards hit three singles and a home run with three RBI in a 10-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. on April 15, 1971, he hit a game-tying RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Astros to extras against the Giants, in a game that San Francisco won, 4-3 in the 10th. On May 25, he got the Astros on the board with a three-run go-ahead seventh-inning home run, in a 3-2 win against the San Diego Padres.

On July 10, 1971, Edwards hit a go-ahead RBI-single in the fourth inning, a sixth-inning single, and an eighth-inning game-tying RBI-single, in an eventual 6-5 loss to the Cardinals. On July 20, he hit a game-tying RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth, in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Montreal Expos. On April 24, 1972, he hit a walk-off 11th-inning home run to defeat the Cubs, 3-2. On April 11, 1973, he hit a go-ahead sixth-inning solo home run, then hit a go-ahead eighth-inning RBI-single in a 5-4 loss to San Francisco. On April 22, he entered the sixth as a pinch hitter, and hit a two-run game-tying triple, later scoring the go-ahead run against the Padres in a 4-3 Houston victory.

Over his six seasons with Houston, Edwards started 557 games behind the plate, fielding at .993 and throwing out 171-of-452 runners trying to steal, a 37.8 percent cutdown rate. SABR Bio

112. Jerry Mumphrey (Bagwell score 46.61) is a six-foot-two switch-hitting outfielder from Tyler, TX. Born on September 9, 1952, he was a fourth-round choice of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971 out of Chapel Hill High School. Mumphrey easily leads the three players from the round to make the majors (22.3 bWAR). Taken with the 81st overall choice, he also leads the 16 players to reach the bigs after being selected at that point.

Mumphrey reached the majors with the Cardinals in 1974, and played six seasons with them (522 games, .276/.336/.358, eight home runs, 134 RBI). He also played with the San Diego Padres (160 games, .298/.352/.372, four home runs, 59 RBI), and the New York Yankees (286 games, .293/.351/.434, 22 home runs 136 RBI). On August 10, 1983, the Yankees traded Mumphrey to the Astros for Omar Moreno.

Mumphrey finished out the 1983 campaign with the Astros, hitting .336/.425/.455, going 48-for-143 with 10 doubles, two triples one homer, and five stolen bases in as many attempts. He drew 22 walks, struck out 23 times, scored 17 runs, and drove 17 in. Defensively, he started 43 times in centerfield and fielded at .990 over 354 23 innings.

In 1984, Mumphrey made the All-Star Team for the first and only time in his career. He hit .290/.355/.391 in 151 games, going 152-for-524 with 20 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 15 stolen bases in 22 attempts. He drew 56 walks and struck out 79 times, with 66 runs and 83 RBI and 41 multiple-hit games. He started 136 games in centerfield (1181 innings, .988).

On July 1, Mumphrey hit a single and two home runs for six RBI in a 13-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 19, he hit a sixth-inning go-ahead sacrifice fly, driving in Denny Walling against Montreal. He drove in another go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning, with an RBI-single driving in Craig Reynolds for a 3-2 victory over the Expos.

In 1985, Mumphrey appeared in 130 games and hit .277/.329/.396 by going 123-for-444 with 25 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, and six stolen bases in 13 attempts. He drew 37 walks, struck out 57 times, scored 52 runs, and drove in 61. He started 56 games in right field (518 innings, .970) and 57 games in center field (485 innings, .970).

Mumphrey authored 30 multi-hit games in 1985. On May 13, he entered a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 10th and drove Terry Puhl home with a walk-off single for a 3-2 win against the Expos. On September 4, he hit a double and a home run with five RBI in a 11-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs. On September 22, he drew an intentional walk and scored in the first, and hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fifth in an eventual 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

On December 16, 1985, the Astros traded Mumphrey to the Cubs for Billy Hatcher and PTBNL Steve Engel. He played three seasons with the Cubs (292 games, .301/.362/.439, 18 home runs, 85 RBI). SABR Bio

111. Luis Valbuena (Bagwell score 69.27) was a five-foot-10 lefty-batting righty-throwing infielder from Caja Seca, VZ. Born on November 30, 1985, he reached the majors with the Seattle Mariners in 2008 (18 games, .245/.315/.347, one RBI), later playing with the Cleveland Indians (211 games, .224/.283/.344, 13 home runs, 56 RBI), and the Chicago Cubs (347 games, .232/.330/.394, 32 home runs, 116 RBI). On January 19, 2015, the Cubs sent him with Dan Straily to Houston for Dexter Fowler.

In 2015, Valbuena slashed .224/.310/.438, going 97-for-434 with 18 doubles, 25 home runs, and one stolen base in one attempt. He drew 50 walks and struck out 106 times, scoring 62 runs and driving 56 in. Defensively, Valbuena started 93 games at third base (835 innings, .974) and 27 at first base (217 innings, .995). He had 23 multiple-hit games through his first season with the Astros. On April 20, he hit two home runs for three RBI in a 7-5 win over the Mariners.

On June 16, he hit two homers for four RBI in an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies. On June 23, he hit a single and a pair of home runs for three RBI in a 13-3 win against the Los Angeles Angels. On July 19, he hit three singles with one double for four RBI in a 10-0 win against the Texas Rangers.

In 2016, Valbuena hit .260/.357/.459 in 90 games, going 76-for-292 with 17. doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, and one stolen base in two attempts. He drew 44 walks and struck out 81, with 38 runs and 40 RBI. He started 77 games at third base (683 innings, .970), seven at first base (60 innings, no errors), and two innings at second base without an error. On May 7, he led off the ninth inning with a game-tying home run, but the Seattle Mariners eventually won, 3-2 in 10 innings.

On May 15, Valbuena hit a double and a home run for five RBI in a 10-9 loss to the Boston Red Sox. On May 24, he hit a go-ahead fifth-inning two-run homer, then singled in the 10th inning of a 3-2 13-inning triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. On July 8, he hit a fifth-inning RBI-single, led off the eighth with a single, later scoring a run, then, trailing 9-7 with one out in the bottom of the ninth, he hit a three-run walk-off home run to defeat the Oakland Athletics, 10-9 for a truly holy-shit amazing ending. He was granted free agency following the season.

Valbuena followed his time with the Astros with two seasons with the Angels (213 games, .199/.277/.390, 31 home runs, 98 RBI). He was released near the end of the 2018 season. Tragically, his life came to an end on December 6, 2018 in a botched robbery attempt and subsequent car crash, in Venezuela.

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