The award for the 2013 Astros most valuable player was an easy decision for me. Jason Castro was a shining star in a sea of despair.
The Astros catcher established career highs in every offensive category except triples. Castro led the team in on-base percentage (.350) and slugging (.485). Unfortunately, a knee injury cut his season short and Castro didn’t play in a game after September 7th. Still, he appeared in 33 more games than last season. But Jason will need to be in the lineup for more than 120 games next season to shake his “injury prone” label.
Castro’s value became increasingly evident after the injury. With their all-star out of the lineup, the Astros offense practically disappeared. During their 15-game losing streak to end the season the ‘Stros averaged only 1.5 runs per game.
Despite playing in only 120 games Castro amassed a 4.5 WAR, far and away the highest on the club. He showed marked improvement both offensively and defensively, surpassing just about everyone’s expectations.
Castro had minor surgery earlier this month to remove the cyst from his right knee and his offseason workout schedule shouldn’t be interrupted. I guess we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Castro’s breakout season was the best thing to happen for the 2013 Astros — at least at the major league level. Now, if only Brett Wallace and J.D. Martinez can breakout in 2014… that is, assuming they are both still in Houston.