Local Houston writers’ have issued their 2016 Astros awards.
Now that the Houston Astros season is over, all we can do is watch the Rangers crumble to the Blue Jays and wait to see what national awards players win. In a season that many thought that Tyler White or A.J. Reed would win the Rookie of the Year Awards. While White got off to a hot start, he cooled off and was sent down. Reed has struggled in his first cup of coffee but still shows promise.
Instead, up from nowhere in the eyes of most fans rose Chris Devenski. While people on Twitter call him Devo, his nickname is Dragon among his friends and teammates. Either way, when hitters came into face Devenski, they felt like they were facing a great pitcher. No, he doesn’t throw 98 mph, but he knows how to pitch.
Despite not starting the 2016 season on the 25-man roster, he got there as soon as he could. Michael Feliz struggled in the second game of the season following Collin McHugh‘s rough first start of the season. The Astros desperately needed another arm quickly, and Devenski pitched well in a late Spring start in Mexico City. Devenski came up and never looked back, pitching out of the bullpen as well as making five starts.
Devenski wins the Houston Chapter of BBWAA Rookie of the Year for the Astros. He was 4-4 with a 2.16 ERA in 48 games. He was a workhorse in 2016 out of the bullpen, striking out 104 hitters in 108 1/3 innings. While his future role is unclear, the Astros success relied a lot on the right-handed arm of Devenski.
He had a knack of getting the Astros’ starting pitchers out of jams this year. Some would say he was the MVP of the team. However, there was someone who rose to that role this year. Entering the 2016 season, most people thought that Carlos Correa would be the team’s MVP. Instead, Jose Altuve was the man this season as he has a chance to be the AL MVP.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
- Alex Bregman goes off in August, leads Astros
The only thing standing in Altuve’s way is the team did not reach the postseason, but neither did Mike Trout or Robinson Cano. Everyone knew that Altuve was a special player, but the developing power over the last two seasons has been a good surprise. He has become one of the top players in the league after hitting .338 with 24 home runs and 96 RBI’s while stealing 30 bases.
A deeper look into how much Altuve’s stats increased between 2015 and 2016 is astounding. He increased his RBI’s by 46%, a 60% increase in homers, and a 26% increase in runs scored. Looking at the numbers, it is clear that Altuve was the best player on the team. The Houston sportswriters voted him as the 2016 team MVP. Whether the National writers agree, we will see later what they decide.
In honor of the late Darryl Kile, the Houston area writers name a good guy at the end of every season. McHugh was appointed as the Good Guy Award recipient this year. While McHugh didn’t have the best season, he was the ace of the staff down the stretch. Congrats to this year’s group of awardees, but Altuve will be the only one in the race for National awards.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***