Former star Jeff Bagwell among guest instructors at Astros camp

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jeff Bagwell played alongside fellow Hall of Famer Craig Biggio for years, helping plenty of Houston clubs reach the postseason.

Bags knows talented teams. And to him, this group of Astros is something special.

"They're a machine right now," Bagwell said. "Now when these guys step on the field, they know they are better than the team that they are playing against. That's a great feeling to have."

Inducted into the Hall in 2017, Bagwell is among a list of Houston guest instructors, along with Biggio and pitcher Nolan Ryan, scheduled to appear in camp during the coming weeks.

The former first baseman, 49, will work primarily with players at that position during his three days in camp with the World Series champions, a role that took on greater importance with Wednesday's news that starter Yuli Gurriel will miss the beginning of the season after undergoing hand surgery. Bagwell also work with baserunners.

"People forget he was a pretty good baserunner and stole double-digit bases virtually the majority of his career," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "Anything he wants to offer we'll take."

Drafted by Boston, Bagwell was in the minors when he was traded to Houston, where he played all 15 seasons during his career. He got to the World Series once, in 2005 when the Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Bagwell remains in awe about what the Astros accomplished last season.

"I don't know if you can be both, but I was jealous that I was not part of that because I never got the chance to feel that, but I was ecstatic because of these kids man, they are just great kids," Bagwell said. "They go about baseball the right way."

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