Looking Back: First Half Awards for the Houston Astros
First Half Offensive MVP
May 15, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder
(4) and second baseman
(27) celebrate after Altuve hits a home run during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Last year’s offensive MVP was never in question. Jose Altuve stole the show with his record-setting season. However, this year Gigante has some competition. Luis Valbuena has hit a ton of HRs; George Springer clubs homers, steals bases, takes walks, and scores runs; and Colby Rasmus has been a boon to the offense. It’s no longer just one guy carrying the team, which is a great thing.
When it comes to the weekly awards, Jose Altuve leads the pack with four, and two a-piece went to Springer and Gattis. That’s not all that surprising, to be honest, because Altuve has been consistent most of the season. Gattis and Springer had slow starts to the season, too, which may explain why they haven’t earned more. In an objective sense, then, Altuve is the MVP.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Objectivity is not always the name of the game. What did our CTH staff have to say?
Issa Cook: “George Springer. Of course Jose Altuve will always be in this conversation, but in 2015 George Springer was definitely the most valuable player on this team. When the team wasn’t clicking, he was still on fire. When the team was on fire, he was right in the middle of it. His loss also helps show how valuable he truly is.”
Brandon del Castillo: “This is not even close. As evidenced by his absence, George Springer is the one indispensable offensive force and clearly the offensive MVP if this team. His .365 OBP and .822 OPS lead the team. He also adds 13 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He is the engine in the Astros offensive machine.”
Brian del Castillo: “The offensive MVP for the Astros is definitely George Springer. He is the catalyst for the ball club. His numbers look a lot different than what I had expected/predicted, but he was the main reason that the Astros offense was clicking before hitting the DL.”
Aric Cisneros: “George Springer (Highest OPS, 2nd SB, Impact when out of lineup)”
Larry Manch: “Altuve’s dynamic play on offense and defense gives him the MVP.”
Thomas O’Banion: “Super George Springer is the complete package at the plate. What can’t he do? His maturation at the dish is showing, like with taking more walks and not swinging out of his shoes on every pitch. And with his absence, he looks to be the glue that holds this team together.”
Eric Huysman: “Springer, while the obvious choice is Jose Altuve, you have to realize how big an impact that Springer has on the Astros since he’s been out. Whether it’s his offense, his defense, or his DJ of Club Astros work, he is the MVP. While Altuve has the better stats, Springer is the team leader for Crush City.”
So, the staff is nearly unanimous in its decision to go with Springer over Altuve. Altuve gets one staff vote from Larry. Guess we’ll need fan input for this one…Either way, though, there is no incorrect answer.
David A. Miniel: “While I’d like to give it to my boy, Luis Valbuena, I’ll have to roll with George Springer on this one. Not only is he great in the batter’s box, but I’d expect him to steal more bases during the second half of the season as this team looks to reclaim the top spot in the division. If Valbuena’s batting average wasn’t so low, he would be my pick. But for right now, I’ll settle with Springer.”
Next: First Half Best Rookie