June 17, 2021

The Astros Reached Their Apogee in 2019 (FanGraphs)

The Astros should still be good, but the team — and the organization — faces pressing questions heading into 2020. (Photo: Ian D’Andrea)

“Clunk! Clang!” – Anonymous Garbage Can

In terms of winning baseball games, the Astros executed a model rebuild. When Jeff Luhnow took over after the 2011 season, Houston was a craggy mess. The team hired Ed Wade after the 2007 season to help transition from the Killer B’s era squads, but Wade’s drafts didn’t bear fruit for a long time, and at the major league level, his imagination appeared to find its limit at signing a lot of declining veterans. Luhnow’s task was to tear the team down to the foundation, and then build it back up into something that looked like a modern roster led by a modern front office. That task, he accomplished.

The Setup

Flags fly forever, and Houston secured their first World Series victory in 2017. That 2017 World Series was one of the more entertaining ones in recent memory, the perfect topper to the second 100-win season in team history. As importantly, the Astros were determined not to fall into the complacency trap that tends to snare the champs. Once a team wins baseball’s…

Read “The Astros Reached Their Apogee in 2019” at FanGraphs