The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced the winners of their highest honorstonight, naming shortstop Carlos Correa the American League Most Outstanding Rookie, left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel the AL Most Outstanding Pitcher and second baseman Jose Altuve the Majestic “Always Game “award winner.
The Players Choice Awards, which have been in existence since 1992, are voted on by all Major League players. The players annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, and name a Player of the Year and Man of the Year award regardless of league.
Correa, who debuted on June 8 and was the youngest position player in the Majors this season, hit .279 (108x387) with 22 doubles, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, 14 stolen bases and an .857 OPS in his 99 games in 2015. Among AL rookies, Correa ranked first in home runs, slugging (.512) and OPS, while ranking second in RBI and on-base percentage (.345), and third in batting average (min. 400 PA). With 22 home runs this season, Correa set both the franchise rookie record for home runs and the franchise record for home runs by a shortstop.
Keuchel went 20-8 with three complete games and a 2.48 ERA (64ER/232IP) in 33 starts this season. He led all AL pitchers in wins, WAR (7.2), innings pitched (232.0) and groundball to flyball ratio (3.68), ranked second in ERA and opponent batting avg. (.217) and tied for third in complete games. A model of consistency throughout the season, he was the starting pitcher for the AL All-Star Team, earned three AL Pitcher of the Month Awards (April, May, August) and is a finalist for the Gold Glove at his position. In his two postseason starts, Keuchel went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1ER/13IP).
Altuve became the first player in club history to record multiple 200-hit seasons this year after leading the AL in hits (200) and steals (38). The “Always Game” award, which was created this year, is given to the player who – game in and game out – constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.
Correa becomes the second player in franchise history to win the MLBPA Most Outstanding Rookie of the Year, joining center fielder Willy Taveras, who won the award in 2005. Keuchel is also the second Astro to be named the Most Outstanding Pitcher, joining fellow left-handed pitcher Mike Hampton, who did so in 1999. Only five Astros players have ever won an MLBPA award as Jeff Bagwell joins the group with his 1994 NL Most Outstanding Player Award.
This announcement continues what could be a busy award season for the Astros as several announcements are scheduled for the coming weeks. The finalists for the BBWAA Awards will be announced tomorrow, including the Rookie of the Year (winner announced on Nov. 16), the Manager of the Year (Nov. 17) and the Cy Young (Nov. 18). Gold Glove winners will be announced tomorrow as well, for which the Astros have three finalists in Keuchel, second baseman Jose Altuve and catcherJason Castro, while Silver Sluggers will be announced on Thursday.