Chad Michael Qualls
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 220 lb.
- School Los Angeles Harbor Community College, University of Nevada, Reno
- High School Narbonne High School
- Debut July 22, 2004
Pitcher Chad Qualls was selected by the Houston Astros in the second round of the 2000 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Gene Wellman and made his pro debut the following year with the Michigan Battle Cats of the Midwest League and led the circuit with 15 wins, striking out 125 batters in 26 starts. In 2002, he made 29 starts for the Round Rock Express of the Texas League and led the club with 142 strikeouts. He remained with Round Rock the next year, going 8-11 with a 3.85 ERA. He began 2004 with the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs and made his big league debut in midseason as a member of the Astros bullpen. He went 4-0 with a 3.55 ERA for the Astros and earned his first big league save on September 12th against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Qualls returned to Houston in 2005 and went 6-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 77 appearances out of the pen as the Astros won the wild card. In the NLCS, he did not allow an earned run in 4 games, and he earned the win in Game Four. He also pitched effectively in the World Series, giving up just 1 run in 3 appearances, but his club lost to the Chicago White Sox in four games.
Qualls remained a vital part of the Astros bullpen in 2006 (7-3, 3.76 ERA in 81 games) and 2007 (6-5, 3.05 ERA, 5 saves in 79 outings). After the 2007 campaign, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks with Juan Gutierrez and Chris Burke for Jose Valverde.