High Praise: Houston Baseball Writers Association Announce Annual Awards
Brian Barefield | 12/22/2017, 9:52 a.m.
The accolades just keep coming for 2017 Major League Baseball World Champions, Houston Astros. On December 19, 2017, the Houston Chapter of Baseball Writers Association of America announced their annual awards for the 2017 season. Amongst those winners were:
Co-pitchers of the year: LHP Dallas Keuchel and RHP Brad Peacock
Rookie of the Year: IF Yuli Gurriel
Astros Most Valuable Player: IF Jose Altuve
Houston dealt with a natural disaster at the latter part of the season in Hurricane Harvey that devastated the city and caused the team to rearrange a home series with in-state rival Texas Rangers. The Astros overcame that adversity and defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games giving the city of Houston its first championship in baseball.
The pitcher of the year award was the second for Keuchel, who also received the award in 2015. Although the left-handed pitcher dealt with some injuries that put him on the injured reserve list during the season, he still was named to the American League All-Star team. Keuchel ended his season with a 14 – 5 win/ loss record and his earned run average was 2.90.
Right hand pitcher Brad Peacock was an amazing surprise for the Astros this season. Fluctuating from the starting rotation and bullpen, proved to be huge in the postseason for Houston. Peacock had a 13-2 overall record and set a career high in strikeouts (161) and mound appearances (34). This was his first BBWAA Team Award.
Most 33-year-old men are not expected to have a breakout year in Major League Baseball, but Yuli Gurriel is no ordinary man. After defecting from Cuba in February 2016, Gurriel signed with the Astros. This was his first full season with the team and he did not disappoint. He set franchise rookie records for total bases (257), extra-base hits (62), doubles (43), and slugging percentage (.485). Besides being the third hardest players to strike out in the American League, the first baseman also led all rookies in the Major League in batting average.
What compliment can be given to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve that we have not heard already? The 2017 American League Most Valuable Player leads by example with hard work and dedication every time he takes the field. He earned his fifth All-Star selection and was named a starter for the third consecutive year. With (112) runs scored, (204) hits and a (.346) batting average during the 2017 regular season, the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the year (shared with fellow Houstonian and NFL player J.J. Watt) thrived once he got into the postseason. Altuve had 7 homeruns and 14 RBI in 18 games, to go along with a .310 batting average. Those seven homers were the fourth most in Major League Baseball. That postseason run, combined with an outstanding regular season brought more awards for the unofficial 2017, “Mr. Baseball.” He was named Sporting News Player of the Year, AL Hank Aaron Award, and Baseball America MLB Player of the Year. This was Altuve’s fourth Team MVP.