Two Astros, yes, two(!), were named AL Players of the Month for July.
Despite the recent negativity and disappointment, the Astros still remain as one of the best teams in baseball. Make sure to thank general manager Jeff Luhnow next time you see him.
One reason – a major reason – the Astros were successful in July was second baseman Jose Altuve. You should also thank former manager Tim Pupura for signing Altuve in the first place.
In turn, Major League Baseball chose to tab Altuve as the AL Player of the Month due to his unbelievable July performance.
The diminutive second baseman was simply the best out of all qualified AL batters in July.
Batting average: .485 (1st)
On-base percentage: .523 (1st)
Slugging percentage: .727 (1st)
wRC+: 242 (1st)
Hits: 48 (1st)
WAR: 2.3 (1st)
The only batters to best Altuve in any of the above categories belong with the NL. Quite impressive, right?
Well, this morphed into a short po…wait?!
I did mention a second Astros player came away with an AL Player of the Month award, didn’t I?
That’s right, I did.
Well, without further delay, let me introduce Yulieski Gurriel, the 33-year old first baseman, as the AL Rookie of the Month for July.
Beyond the fact that it is unusual to see a 33-year old rookie in the majors, Gurriel truly did have a productive month in July.
Batting average: .304
On-base percentage: .333
Slugging percentage: .565
Despite a low propensity for walks – 3.0% BB% in July – the Astros first baseman has been a stable force at a position of recent instability. His consistency, while unspectacular, has been a much-needed improvement for the position.
The Astros will need more of the same from Altuve and Gurriel as the team patiently awaits the return of Carlos Correa and George Springer from the DL.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**