Houston Astros: Top five RBI leaders in franchise history

Former Houston Astros Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell (Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images)
Former Houston Astros Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell (Photo by SPX/Ron Vesely Photography via Getty Images) /

Who constitutes the top five RBI leaders in Houston Astros history? Surprise your coworkers with the best social distancing-friendly trivia free of charge.

Here we are, let’s start with a red-letter date that rings true with Houston Astros’ faithful.  Yes, May 8 represents one month to the day since the anniversary of Henry “Hank” Aaron slugging his 715th career home run in 1974—a game that Houston Astros’ legend, Milo Hamilton, called while working in the broadcast booth for the Atlanta Braves.

Aaron capped off his illustrious career as the all-time leader in several key offensive categories: total bases, home runs, runs batted in, and extra-base hits. Of course—Bonds surpassed his home run totals, but other than that, Hammerin’ Hank still holds down the leaderboard.

Earlier articles in this series highlighted the top five Houston Astros’ hitters in the categories of total bases as well as home run production with respect to Aaron’s accomplishments. However, you might be wondering—who represents the Astros’ top five hitters in runs batted in? 

Have no fear—the House has you covered. And for good measure, we’ll divulge trivia you will never lose within an Astrothon: the top five extra-base hit leaders in franchise history.

For the purposes of the categories below, only hitters’ regular-season production totals while playing for the Astros, or Colt .45s, are tallied. Let’s dig in.

Astros RBI leaders

Aaron notched a major league-record 2,297 RBIs during his career. Only four other players have eclipsed the 2,000 RBI threshold: Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Cap Anson.

In Houston, however, it should come as no surprise as to who plated the most runners with his swing: Jeffrey Robert Bagwell. Bagwell’s 1,529 RBIs ranks 52nd all-time in major league history. Next up, fellow Hall-of-Famer, Craig Biggio, secured 1,175 RBIs. In third place, Lance Berkman represents the only other player to secure north of 1,000 RBIs for the Astros with his contribution of 1,090.

While José Cruz spent most of his career in Houston, he played his first five seasons with St. Louis, as well as his last year with the Yankees. Nevertheless, in his 13 years as an Astro, Cruz tallied 942 RBIs, good for fourth all-time in team history. In fifth place, former first baseman and corner outfielder, Bob Watson, spent the bulk of his first 14 seasons with the ‘Stros, amassing 782 RBIs in Houston gear.

Concerning the active Astros, Jose Altuve ranks as the tenth most accomplished RBI leader in franchise history having accrued 538. However, Altuve’s total still falls nearly 250 runs batted in short of surpassing Watson’s fifth-place ranking.

Astros extra-base hit leaders

The statistic known as extra-base hits offers a unique category that tallies all of a players’ home

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runs, triples, and doubles together. When Aaron called it a career, he achieved a mark of 1,477. The only active player even within 200 extra-base hits of Aaron’s all-time record is Albert Pujols, who features 1,333 over his 19-year run.

In first place for the Astros in the category of extra-base hits, Craig Biggio represents the only player in Houston Astros‘ history to have eclipsed 1,000, finalizing his Hall-of-Fame career with 1,014. Coming in second, Jeff Bagwell, the Astros’ career home run leader, finished with 969, himself.

Third place features Lance Berkman, who accumulated 727 extra-base hits as an Astro. In fourth place, César Cedeño hit 561. Cedeño, whose primary positions included first base and center field, stands alone as the 27th most accomplished base stealer in major league history.

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José Cruz represents the fifth most accomplished extra-base hitter in franchise history via securing 553 as an Astro. Cruz’s fifth-place ranking in franchise history still beats out the leading active Astro in this category, Jose Altuve, by nearly 100 extra-base hits. Assuming Altuve remains an Astro, he should be in the top five extra-base hits in franchise history discussion within the next two to three seasons.