HOUSTON -

When strangers approach Chris Carter, he's ready for the question. He reply is usually something like: "No, I don't play for the Houston Texans."

Carter is the 6-foot-4, 250-pound designated hitter for the Astros. He has moved past early-season struggles to hit 33 homers and could become one of the most anonymous players in years to win the home run title.

Aside from Jose Altuve, who leads the majors with 189 hits, Carter has put together one of the best seasons of any Astro. Most of the team toils in relative obscurity after years of losing, but Carter is little known even by Houston standards.