4 Astros Players You Would've Never Guessed Led the Team in WAR for a Full Season

Jason Castro
Former Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro had one great year with the team. | Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros have built a powerhouse team thanks to great scouting and player development. Having an owner who is willing to spend also hasn't hurt. Homegrown star Alex Bregman has led the team in WAR each of the past two seasons and was closely followed by the likes of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

The stars obviously sit atop the Astros WAR leaderboards in recent years. Yet there were some surprising names who had individual great seasons for the team throughout its history. Let's look at a few players fans may have forgotten about who led the team in WAR in the past.

4. Lucas Harrell

Lucas Harrell
Former Houston Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell had one standout season. | Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Astros were a total disaster in 2012. The team finished 55-107 and it is easy to forget that pitcher Lucas Harrell led the team in WAR. All it took was a mark of 3.2 to lead the team as Harrell went 11-11 with a 3.76 ERA. Jed Lowrie and Justin Maxwell were the closest position players that year, each finishing with a 2.2 WAR. Third was a young man named Jose Altuve. Harrell went on to lead the league in losses in 2013 and is a remnant of a tough past that ended up paying off for the Astros.

3. Michael Bourn

Michael Bourn
Former Houston Astros OF Michael Bourn had a solid stretch in town. | Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Astros fell into a pit of mediocrity after losing in the 2005 World Series. One player who stood out during the following decade was Michael Bourn. He led the team in WAR in both 2009 (5.0) and 2010 (5.5). He won a Gold Glove in both years and made the All-Star Game in 2010. The speedy outfielder led the league in stolen bases both years as well. Unfortunately, the Astros never won much with Bourn in town and he was sent to Atlanta when the true rebuild began.

2. Richard Hidalgo

Richard Hidalgo
Former Houston Astros OF Richard Hidalgo had two great seasons. | Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Richard Hidalgo never made an All-Star Game during his eight seasons in Houston. That is a shame because he led the team in WAR twice. Hidalgo had a mark of 6.3 in 2000 and 5.7 in 2003. Those seasons landed him top-20 in MVP voting, with the only problem being the team missed the postseason both times. Hidalgo's next-best WAR was a total of 2.0 in 1998 and he just couldn't replicate his success throughout his entire career.

1. Jason Castro

Jason Castro
Former Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro was a part of some terrible teams. | Brad Mangin/Getty Images

Jason Castro held down the catcher position during a tough time in Astros history. His best season came in 2013 when he made the All-Star Game during a 51-111 season. Castro led the team in WAR with a respectable mark of 4.2 in 120 games that season. Pitcher Jarred Cosart was the next-closest player at 2.6. Castro signed with the Minnesota Twins following the 2016 season and thus missed out on a World Series title. However, he left with his good name before any scandal took place.