How the AL champion Astros were built
The Houston Astros will play in the World Series for the third time in the last five seasons. General manager James Click and his front office had a strong core return but also showed trust in young talent and made timely midseason trades to help them win the AL pennant.
Here's how Houston constructed its roster ahead of its matchup with the Atlanta Braves in the Fall Classic.
This is based on Houston's active roster during the ALCS
Jose Altuve (March 6, 2007): The Astros' longest-serving member has been through really good - and really bad - times since Houston signed him as an amateur free agent. The 2017 AL MVP overcame an awful 2020 to finish second on his team in fWAR this season. He's also a stud in the playoffs, hitting 21 career postseason homers while posting a .947 OPS.
Carlos Correa (June 4, 2012): The Astros drafted the shortstop first overall in 2012, and he's lived up to the pick. The two-time All-Star and 2015 Rookie of the Year owns a .837 career OPS with 133 homers. His 55 postseason RBIs rank sixth on the all-time list despite being just 27 years old.
Jose Urquidy (March 2, 2015): Houston signed the right-hander as an international free agent. He's been solid for the team, posting an 11-5 record with a 3.55 ERA across 34 career appearances - 32 starts.
Cristian Javier (March 18, 2015): Javier is another great find on the international free-agent market. The 24-year-old has performed well in his two seasons in Houston, striking out 10.6 hitters per nine innings and finishing third in 2020 AL Rookie of the Year voting.
Framber Valdez (March 18, 2015): Valdez signed as an international free agent and turned into a reliable front-of-the-rotation starter. The southpaw led the majors in groundball percentage among starters with 130 innings pitched, according to FanGraphs.
Alex Bregman (June 8, 2015): The second overall pick in the 2015 draft has been a force since debuting the following year. Bregman has twice finished in the top five for the AL MVP, and his 140 wRC+ leads all third basemen over the past five years.
Kyle Tucker (June 8, 2015): The Astros selected Tucker fifth overall, and he's since become a stalwart in their starting lineup. His 2021 campaign has been his best so far, setting career highs in homers (30), doubles (37), RBIs (92), steals (14), and OPS (.917).
Chas McCormick (June 13, 2017): Houston picked McCormick in the 21st round of the 2017 draft. He provided the club with versatility in its outfield this season. He also belted 14 homers and added 50 RBIs during his rookie 2021 campaign.
Jake Meyers (June 13, 2017): Like McCormick, Meyers is another late-round find who made his MLB debut this season. The 13th-round selection played all three outfield spots and posted an above-league average 107 OPS+.
Luis Garcia (July 2, 2017): The Astros signed Garcia as an international free agent. The Venezuelan appeared in five games last season but stood out this year thanks to an impressive rookie campaign that included a terrific postseason performance in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Yordan Alvarez (Aug. 1, 2016): The Astros scored big when they acquired Alvarez from the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Josh Fields. The slugger has recorded 61 homers, 186 RBIs, and a .577 slugging percentage across 233 games for Houston. He was recently named ALCS MVP.
Aledmys Diaz (Nov. 17, 2018): Houston acquired Diaz from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-hander Trent Thornton. He's posted a .762 OPS with 91 RBIs over three seasons while playing six different positions.
Ryan Pressly (July 27, 2018): Pressly has been quite the find for Houston after it traded two minor-leaguers to the Minnesota Twins for him. The righty has struck out 214 hitters across 162 2/3 innings and looked impressive during his first season as the team's closer - 2.25 ERA, 26 saves.
Zack Greinke (July 31, 2019): The Astros acquired Greinke in a blockbuster deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the 2019 trade deadline. Since joining Houston, the former Cy Young winner has recorded a 22-10 record with a 3.89 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while logging some important playoff innings.
Martin Maldonado (July 31, 2019): The Astros acquired Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs for his second tour of duty with the club. Houston picked up the experienced leader and tremendous game-caller in exchange for Tony Kemp.
Blake Taylor (Dec. 5, 2019): Taylor was one of two players the Astros received in a trade with the New York Mets for Jake Marisnick. The southpaw has been solid out of Houston's bullpen, authoring a 2.84 ERA over 73 outings.
Brooks Raley (Aug. 10, 2020): Houston acquired Raley from the Cincinnati Reds for minor-leaguer Fredy Medina. He's recorded a 4.57 ERA over 65 innings since joining the Astros.
Kendall Graveman (July 27, 2021): Graveman came from the Mariners in a trade involving Abraham Toro. He's been a rock in high-leverage situations, anchoring the middle-to-late innings. The 30-year-old allowed just one earned run over seven playoff innings in 2021.
Yimi Garcia (July 28, 2021): Garcia is another bullpen addition by Click's front office prior to this year's trade deadline. The veteran righty struggled in the regular season (5.48 ERA) and hasn't pitched much better in the playoffs (eight hits and seven earned runs allowed over five innings).
Phil Maton (July 30, 2021): The Astros gave up everyday center fielder Myles Straw to acquire Maton from Cleveland. Maton has been sharp since coming to Houston, striking out nearly a hitter an inning in the regular season and allowing just two hits over 6 2/3 innings in the playoffs.
Yuli Gurriel (July 16, 2016): Houston signed the Cuban sensation to a five-year, $47.5-million contract. He's been terrific for the team, winning a batting title while driving in 382 runs over 655 games.
Michael Brantley (Dec. 19, 2018): Brantley has been one of the steadiest sticks in the lineup since the Astros first signed him in 2018. He's hit over .300 in three straight years and has compiled more hits (376) than games played (315).
Jose Siri (Dec. 23, 2020): It's been a small sample size, but Siri has played well after signing a minor-league deal. He owns a .956 OPS over 21 games, which led to some postseason playing time.
Ryne Stanek (Jan. 7, 2021): The hard-thrower has pitched well after agreeing to a one-year, $1.1-million deal. He recorded a 3.42 ERA across 68 1/3 innings this past regular season and has allowed just one run in 6 2/3 playoff innings.
Jason Castro (Jan. 22, 2021): Like Maldonado, Castro is a catcher in his second tour with the Astros. Houston signed the veteran backstop to a two-year, $7-million deal. He posted a .799 OPS over 66 games and had a big hit for the Astros in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Jake Odorizzi (March 8, 2021): Odorizzi's first season in Houston has been pretty average (4.21 ERA, 4.48 FIP). The Astros probably expected more when they signed the former All-Star to a two-year, $23.5-million contract.