Stance, swing, and choice of bat are all important, but let’s face it: it’s the walkup song that most determines a hitter’s success or failure at the plate. If batters take great care in their choice of entrance music, and they do, it follows that a close examination of a player’s playlist could offer crucial insights into his personality, not to mention musical taste. Herewith, then, a musico-psychological inquiry into the walkup songs of some of your favorite Astros.
The impresario behind Club Astro—the team’s notorious locker room disco—parties at the plate in this trio of tunes. To the accompaniment of heavy drumbeats pounding on the Minute Maid sound system, Springer strides confidently to the batter’s box, an A-lister who’s never met a bouncer that would refuse him entry. Sometimes the joint will be jumpin’, sometimes dead, but either way he’ll find a way to score, often repeatedly.
- “Kygo” by Firestone
Rather like the star second baseman’s on-field persona, this is music that’s fun, playful, melodic. But make no mistake: Altuve’s mild, unthreatening Tropical House walkup is a carefully devised stratagem to lull pitchers into letting down their guard, whereupon they discover all too late that Altuve is the deadliest batter in baseball.
- “Woooooo” (unknown)
- "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss
Reddick may well be the only player in the majors to employ both sound effects and classical music in his walkup, but his approach is no stranger to the WWE. Indeed, the combination was first used to great effect by the now-68-year-old retired wrestler Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair. To some ears, Reddick’s tune may sound like a parody of the power player’s walkup, but we find the theatricality perfect for a man prone to dramatics in the box.
- “Te Busco” by Cosculluela with Nicky Jam
The first words of this song by the popular Puerto Rican rapper might be loosely translated as “you have a bad routine,” which seems fitting for an all-star shortstop who’s been on the disabled list for much of the summer. But there are happier parallels. Correa too came to prominence without forgetting where he came from (Coscu still records for his old label, Rottweilas Inc., natch), and Nicky Jam’s career path of early success and later resilience is one that Correa himself will no doubt want to follow.
- “Chillax” by Farruko, featuring Ky-Mani Marley
Earlier this year, when Farruko played before a crowd of NY Cosmos fans, the soccer team advertised him as having “an impressive musical repertoire full of remarkable fusions that highlight his deep musical knowledge and diverse sounds.” In other words, the Puerto Rican singer is the perfect aural doppelganger of Gonzalez, aka the guy who’s played every Astros position but pitcher and catcher.
- “Baba O'Riley” by The Who
Out here in the fields, A-Breg has been fighting for his meals all right, and dining out on the mistakes served up by pitchers all over the American League. It’s worth noting too that the 21-year-old rising star and double- and triple-hitting impresario was once the USA Baseball Player of the Year, the first teen ever named to the honor. It is therefore to be expected that Albuquerque, from which Bregman hails, has its share of ballfields qualifying for teenage wasteland status.
- “Amanecer Borincano” by Gilberto Santa Rosa
Some might bristle at the thought of a 40-year-old baseball player choosing a walkup tune that begins “I am the light of the morning,” but we feel it’s entirely appropriate. Not only has Beltran looked plenty youthful on the base paths this season, he truly has been “the fruit of the future” and “the seed of tomorrow” for this young team, dispensing fatherly wisdom that’s contributed mightily to the Astros’ remarkable rise.
- “Visionary” by Farruko
“Many tried but they could not stop me,” begins this tune by the Astros’ other Farruko fan. We can’t imagine a lyric more apropos for this former member of the Cuban national baseball team who defected, along with his brother, in 2016. And not unlike La Pina’s hair, the tune is wild and unruly, with a take-no-prisoners attitude that’s prefaced many a base-clearing swat by Gurriel during his rookie season.
- “Dead But Rising” by Volbeat
Like the singer-narrator of this hard-rock tune, we like to believe that Gregerson is the chosen one, if only because he’s been chosen, time and again, to hit the mound and save the Astros from marauding invaders hell-bent on chipping into the team’s lead. To “raise the fist with power and fate” is pretty much the definition of a star reliever’s unenviable role, though why a Danish heavy metal band would care about relief pitching is anyone’s guess.
- “That's What I Like” by Bruno Mars
Other than the part about renting a beach house in Miami, where Marisnick was a Marlin before coming to Houston, we’re not sure what makes this the perfect walk-up tune. But hey, it works for Jake, and that’s all that matters. Besides, Bruno’s sole wish in the song is for his girl to “pop-pop it,” and that’s certainly our sole wish when Marisnick comes to bat. The man’s an ever-present threat to pop something out of the park every time he comes to the plate.
- "Freedom” by Richie Havens
Everyone’s favorite catcher-DH was a mere minus-17 years old when Richie Havens delivered his legendary riff on an old spiritual in 1969 at Woodstock. The Wikipedia page of El Oso Blanco is stunningly and uncommonly revelatory, stating that the Texas native “never processed his parents’ divorce,” which occurred when he was 8, a break-up that started him on a downward spiral from which he has returned in triumph. Whatever the truth of that page, or the source of Gattis’s attraction to Havens’ paean to a motherless child, Gattis is nothing if not a beloved, Bobble-head-bedecked member of the Astros family.