Houston Astros “Stars of the Month” for April


The first month of baseball is in the books, and the Houston Astros could not have gotten off to a better start this season. Well, I guess they technically could have, but when you think about that 15-7 record and sole possession of first place in the AL West, it would be hard to nitpick considering all we endured through the lean years of 2011-14.

When looking at the stats for the entire month of April, the contributions have come from several players, on the mound, in the batter’s box, and on the field. However, two players shine above all the rest. Here I present to you the Houston Astros “Stars of the Month” for April (you won’t be surprised):

Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel has been, in a word, phenomenal. There is just no other way to describe his performances thus far. We all thought there was a star in the making after his 2014 campaign, where he went 12-9 with a 2.93 ERA/1.18 WHIP/3.21 FIP in 200 innings, and he continues his ascent into baseball stardom.

He started the 2015 season right where he left off from last year. In the five starts Keuchel made in the first month of baseball, he’s posted a stellar 3-0 record, 0.73 ERA/2.89 FIP/0.73 WHIP with 22 strikeouts and 0 home runs over 37 innings. He’s given up only three earned runs on 16 hits, and had a nine-inning shutout on April 24 that went as a no-decision for him. And one more thing: in each of DK’s starts, the Houston Astros have won the game.

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Here at Climbing Tal’s Hill, editor Jason Burke made an argument that Keuchel should be the AL Pitcher of the Month. But Astros fans and media aren’t the only ones who’ve taken notice of The Beard. The former Arkansas Razorback is turning heads outside of Beltway 8 – David Schoenfield of ESPN is now calling Keuchel an ace.

That reminds me of some lyrics from George Strait: You’ve got to have an ace in the hole/A little secret that nobody knows.

The Astros’ secret may be out: Keuchel’s not bluffing; he’s got a winning hand.

Batter: Jose Altuve

What more can be said about Jose Altuve? He has quickly captivated his hometown fan base with his larger-than-life play and, like Keuchel, he has picked up where he left off in 2014 after winning the AL Batting Crown.

While I’ll tell you honestly that Jake Marisnick got a look (week one player of the week), and so did Jed Lowrie (week three player of the week), no batter on the team deserves this more than Gigante. Here are his stats from April:

.367/.400/.500 with 36 hits (leads MLB), seven doubles, two home runs, 16 RBI, six BB/two IBB, nine stolen bases.

Not to mention that he had 12 multi-hit games (out of 22), including ending the month on an eight-game streak of multi-hit games (which he carried over into May). And in case you missed it, he had the walk-off hit in the tenth inning of the April 30 game against Seattle. Check it out below.

Altuve’s so exciting and so dependable that we have almost come to expect nothing less from our “biggest” player.

So, there’s your Houston Astros Stars of the Month from CTH. You weren’t really surprised, were you?

Did anyone else deserve the nomination? Was there a key stat that I missed? Sound off in the comment section below.

Next: Jose Altuve is Unbelievable

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