Debuts of other Astros prospects

The Astros are finally calling up George Springer, who will join the team today. With the way the offense has been struggling and the way Springer has been swinging the bat at Triple-A, it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. His debut will be the most anticipated for an Astros player since perhaps Hunter Pence. With that in mind, here’s how some other Astros players performed in their Major League debuts for the club:

Ken Caminiti

Date: July 16, 1987.

Age: 24.

Result: He started at third base and went 2-for-3 with a homer and a triple in a 2-1 win over the Phillies in the Astrodome.

Notable: Danny Darwin pitched a complete game for the Astros, allowing four hits and one run.

Aftermath: Caminti was one of the most beloved players in Astros history, playing 10 of his 15 seasons in two stints in Houston. He won the NL MVP with the Padres after hitting 40 homers in 1996 and died unexpectedly in 2001 at 38 years old.

Craig Biggio

Date: June 26, 1988.

Age: 22.

Result: He started at catcher and went 0-for-2 with a run scored, a walk and a strikeout in a 6-0 win over the Giants in the Astrodome.

Notable: Jim Deshaies started and won the game for Houston.

Aftermath: Biggio went on to play 20 seasons with the Astros and had a club-record 3,060 hits, as well as establishing franchise records in games played, runs, doubles, at-bats and total bases. He’ll likely reach the Hall of Fame next year.

Jeff Bagwell

Date: April 8, 1991.

Age: 22.

Result: He went 0-for-3 with a walk while starting at first base in the Astros’ 6-2 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati.

Notable: Darryl Kile pitched one inning of relief for the Astros.

Aftermath: Bagwell played 15 seasons with the Astros and retired following the 2005 season as the club’s all-time leader in home runs (449) and RBIs (1,529). He was the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year and 1994 NL MVP.

Lance Berkman

Date: July 16, 1999.

Age: 23.

Result: He grounded into double play as a pinch-hitter in a 2-1 win over the Tigers in the Astrodome.

Notable: Craig Biggio scored Glen Barker with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

Aftermath: Berkman went on to become one of the most dominant offensive players in team history, playing 12 of 15 years in Houston and hitting 326 homers with the Astros. He was traded to the Yankees midway through the 2010 season and recently retired.

Hunter Pence

Date: April 28, 2007.

Age: 24.

Result: He started in center field and went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a strikeout in a 10-1 win over the Brewers at Minute Maid Park.

Notable: Craig Biggio, in his final season, tripled and homered in this game.

Aftermath: Pence finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in ’07, hitting .322 with 17 homers and 69 RBIs. He made the NL All-Star team in 2009 and 2011 before being traded to the Phillies midway through 2011 season for Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid and Domingo Santana.

Jason Castro

Date: June 22, 2010.

Age: 23

Result: He started at catcher and went 1-for-4 with a run scored in a 3-1 loss to the Giants at Minute Maid Park.

Notable: Seven of the eight players in the starting lineup with Castro for his debut were traded away within two years.

Aftermath: Castro missed the entire 2011 season following ACL surgery, but he had a breakout season in 2013 and was the Astros’ first AL All-Star.

Jose Altuve

Date: July 20, 2011.

Age: 21.

Result: He started at second base and went 1-for-5 in a 3-2 win over the Nationals at Minute Maid Park.

Notable: Altuve’s first hit was a ninth-inning single off Tyler Clippard.

Aftermath: Altuve has blossomed into a cornerstone player for the Astros, with a career .284 batting average in his first 370 Major League games.

2 Comments

Wow, great info! Hoping George has a great debut tonight!

Finally the Astros have come to see what everyone else thought that King Georgr belonged on the 25 man roster.

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