Five Astros Named to American League All-Star Team
Altuve, Correa, Springer elected as starters while Keuchel and McCullers Jr. get in via player vote
Style Magazine Newswire | 7/3/2017, 8:49 a.m.
After finishing third in the AL MVP voting in 2016, Altuve has carried his MVP-caliber production into 2017. The 27-year-old entered today leading the American League in batting (.327) and ranking second in hits (100) and on-base percentage (.399), third in WAR (3.8), tied for fourth in doubles (23), fifth in stolen bases (16), tied for seventh in runs (53) and ninth in OPS (.922). He currently leads all AL second basemen in batting, hits, OBP and OPS.
Correa has been one of the American League’s best players this season, as he entered today among the top 10 AL players in on-base percentage (4th, .388), RBI (7th, 55), batting (8th, .311), OPS (8th, .931), hits (10th, 91) and homers (T-10th, 17). The 22-year-old was leading all Major League shortstops in home runs and RBI, and leading all AL shortstops in OPS and on-base percentage prior to today’s games. He was named the AL Player of the Month for May after leading the circuit in batting (.386) and RBI (26), while hitting seven home runs and posting a 1.130 OPS. Correa will become the first 22-year-old shortstop to start for the AL in the All-Star Game since Alex Rodriguez in 1998.
Springer has elevated his game to another level in 2017 after an All-Star worthy 2016. The 27-year-old has hit 24 home runs, tied for the second-most in the Majors, including a Major League-best and single-season franchise-record nine leadoff home runs. Springer’s nine leadoff homers are the most by an AL player since Alfonso Soriano set a Major League record with 13 in 2003. The center fielder has batted .287 this season, and entered the day ranking among the top five AL players in runs (2nd, 63), total bases (3rd, 175) and OPS (4th, .936).
Keuchel, 29, has been virtually unhittable this season in what has been a return to the elite level of performance he showed during his 2015 AL Cy Young-winning campaign. In 11 starts, Keuchel has gone 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA (14ER/75.2IP), 69 strikeouts and a .183 opponent batting average (48x262). The Astros have gone 10-1 in his 11 starts, while his nine-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the American League. This season, Keuchel joined RHP Roger Clemens (2004) as the only pitchers in club history to start a season with a 9-0 record. In April, he took home his fourth-career monthly award when he was named the AL Pitcher of the Month after leading the Majors in wins (5) while posting a 1.21 ERA.
McCullers Jr. has put himself in position to be a strong AL Cy Young contender this season, going 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA (26ER/87IP) and 103 strikeouts in 15 first-half starts. The 23-year-old entered today ranked third in the American League in ERA behind fellow All-Stars LHP Jason Vargas (2.22) and LHP Chris Sale (2.61), while also ranking in the top 10 in groundball rate (1st, 64.4%), opponent batting average (5th, .212), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (4th, 10.66), strikeouts (T-7th, 103) and strikeout to walk ratio (7th, 4.12). In May, he was named the AL Pitcher of the Month after leading the AL in ERA (0.99) and posting a 22.0-inning scoreless streak, tying him for the second-longest scoreless innings streak in the AL this season. He is the second-youngest pitcher in club history to make an All-Star Team, behind only RHP Larry Dierker (22 in 1969).
The 88th MLB All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla.