How the AL-winning Astros were built

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The Houston Astros will be playing in their second consecutive World Series and their fourth since 2017. The Astros are built to win, racking up 106 regular season wins while remaining undefeated in the playoffs thus far.

Here’s how Houston built the roster that will face the Philadelphia Phillies in the Fall Classic.

Method Players
Terroir 13
Swap 9
Free agent 3
Rule 5 Project 1

*Based on Houston’s active roster for the American League Championship Series. The date in parentheses indicates the acquisition of the team.

Terroir

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Jose Altuve (March 6, 2007): The Astros’ heartbeat rolled back time to have their best season since their 2017 AL MVP campaign. Altuve, who spent his entire 12-year career with Houston, went deep 28 times with a .921 OPS and 6.6 fWAR during the regular season. He came alive with three hits in the last two ALCS games after an uncharacteristic 0-for-25 slip.

Jeremy Pena (June 4, 2018): Carlos Correa who? Pena earned ALCS MVP honors after a strong rookie campaign that saw him replace Correa as the club’s starting shortstop. The Astros found the 25-year-old in the third round.

Jose Urquidy (March 2, 2015): The Astros have added Urquidy as an international free agent. Houston’s immense throwing depth has kept the right-hander from making a playoff appearance despite a career 3.74 ERA and three World Series wins in four years.

Christian Javier (March 18, 2015): Houston has returned to the international free agent market to sign Javier. The right-hander had a breakout campaign in 2022, racking up a 2.54 ERA with 194 strikeouts in 148 2/3 innings (25 starts). He also held the New York Yankees to one hit in 5 1/3 innings in Game 3 of the ALCS.

Framber Valdez (March 18, 2015): The left-handed All-Star has joined the Astros as an international free agent. The 28-year-old posted a 2.82 ERA while recording a season-high 201 1/3 innings. He also set an MLB single-season record with 25 consecutive quality starts.

Alex Bregman (June 8, 2015): Bregman was one of the cornerstones of an Astros team on the verge of a dynasty. The 2015 No. 2 overall pick is heading to his fourth World Series and finished in the top five in AL MVP voting twice during his seven-year career.

Kyle Tucker (June 8, 2015): Houston scored another high draft pick in Tucker, who became an All-Star slugger after consecutive 30 homer seasons. Only four MLB outfielders have racked up a higher fWAR than Tucker in the past two years.

Lance McCullers Jr. (June 4, 2012): McCullers returned from injury to author a 2.27 ERA in eight starts in 2022. The former first-rounder has been sensational in the playoffs throughout his career, amassing an ERA 2.77 with 75 strikeouts in 68 1/3 in the playoffs. sleeves.

Chas McCormick (June 13, 2017): Selected by Houston in the 21st round of the 2017 draft, McCormick has provided some big moments this playoff. He hit a pair of home runs with an .898 OPS and provided solid defense in center field.

Luis Garcia (July 2, 2017): The Astros have signed Garcia as an international free agent. He went 15-8 with a 3.72 ERA this season after finishing as an AL Rookie of the Year finalist in 2021. Houston has only used him once during these playoffs, and he pitched five shutout innings in relief against the Seattle Mariners.

Bryan Abreu (November 2013): Another gem discovered in international free agency, Abreu became a serious bullpen weapon in his campaign at age 25, posting a 1.94 ERA with 13.1 K/9s on 55 appearances.

hunter brown (June 4, 2019): Houston’s No. 1 prospect made an immediate impact after a September call. The right-hander has allowed just two earned runs in 24 combined innings between the regular season and the playoffs. The Astros caught him in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.

David Hensley (June 6, 2018): The rookie has seen limited action in the majors this year and has just two board appearances in the playoffs. The Astros drafted him in the 26th round in 2018.

Professions

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Yordan Alvarez (August 1, 2016): The Astros acquired Alvarez from the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Josh Fields. The deal worked like a charm, with the AL MVP candidate posting a .296/.384/.590 slash line with 98 home runs and 283 RBIs in 368 games for Houston.

Justin Verlander (August 31, 2017): Verlander has been a beast since the Astros acquired him from the Detroit Tigers. He’s 61-19 with a 2.26 ERA in a Houston uniform and is expected to win his third AL Cy Young — second since joining the Astros. He also has eight playoff wins under his belt since joining the Lone Star State.

Ryan Pressley (July 27, 2018): Pressly has become one of the best — and most underrated — relievers in baseball since the Astros acquired him from the Minnesota Twins for two players. He has a 2.39 ERA, 2.28 FIP and 11.9 K/9s with 76 saves in 211 innings for Houston.

Martin Maldonado (July 31, 2019): The Astros love Maldonado so much they traded him twice, with the last deal involving the Chicago Cubs and Tony Kemp three years ago. Maldonado is a rock behind the plate, earning praise from Verlander for his management of pitching staff while eliminating 32% of base stealers since 2020.

Trey Mancini (August 1, 2022): Mancini got off to a torrid start with the Astros, hitting three home runs in his first four games after Houston picked him up from the Baltimore Orioles. It’s been downhill since, however, as Mancini posted a .622 OPS in the regular season and has no hits in the playoffs.

Christian Vazquez (Aug. 1, 2022): Vazquez hasn’t had the same kind of numbers with the Astros as he has with the Boston Red Sox, but he’s been a capable veteran replacement for Maldonado. He also performed well in Game 3 of the ALCS, making two runs against the Yankees.

Raphael Montero (July 27, 2021): What a find Montero has been for Houston. The team acquired him from the Mariners when he had an ERA above seven. It’s 2.18 since joining the Astros, a drastic improvement to go along with a 2.63 FIP and 9.4 K /9.

Mauricio Dubon (May 14, 2022): Houston has picked up Dubon in a minor deal from the San Francisco Giants. He can play multiple positions but doesn’t provide much with the bat. The Astros mostly used him as a late-game defensive backup.

Aledmys Diaz (November 17, 2018): Diaz has been a useful piece for the Astros since acquiring him from the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s a versatile defender with a bit of pop, and Houston deployed him in various roles throughout the playoffs.

Free Agents

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Yuli Gurriel (July 16, 2016): Gurriel has come a long way since joining the Astros at age 32. He’s won a batting title and a Gold Glove and is an integral part of the Houston clubhouse. The Cuban is on fire in the playoffs (two home runs, .934 OPS) after a lackluster regular season.

Ryne Stanek (January 7, 2021): Stanek — who originally signed a $1.1 million contract with the Astros in 2021 before moving up for $2.1 million ahead of this season — has been terrific for Houston. The hard-throwing right-hander has a 2.41 ERA with 145 strikeouts in 123 innings with the team.

Hector Neris (November 27, 2021): Neris has been solid for the Astros after signing a two-year contract. He posted a FIP of 2.35 and 10.9 K/9 for manager Dusty Baker, who frequently puts him in high leverage situations.

Rule 5 Project

Seth Martinez (December 10, 2020): Houston picked up Martinez from the Oakland Athletics in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft. He boasts a 2.09 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 38 2/3 innings for Houston.

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