Thanks to the efforts of Yuli Gurriel, Gerrit Cole, and Yordan Alvarez, the Astros won all three awards for being best of the month in the American League.
The Astros sweep the monthly honors for top players in July, a franchise first. Player of the Month goes to Gurriel, Cole takes Pitcher of the Month, and Alvarez completes the trifecta by being named Rookie of the Month.
Does this not just sum it up for the year? The Astros are the first team in the American League to reach 70 wins on the season, and sweeping these three awards in the American League is just an example of the talent on this team.
As I mentioned in my article yesterday, Gerrit Cole has been on a tear, shutting down opposing teams one right after the other. He’s not only putting himself in hot contention with Justin Verlander for the Cy Young Award, but Cole is also racking up the monthly awards on his way, with this being his second straight Pitcher of the Month Award.
Cole pitched in five games in July winning four of those games. His ERA for July was 1.85, just eclipsing the 1.82 he had in June. Cole struck out 51 batters while walking only nine and had a 13.5 SO/9IP ratio and had a season-low 0.882 WHIP.
Yuli Gurriel also had a torrid month in July and was a key player responsible for the Astros record of 16-8 for the month. This is Gurriel’s first time in his four-year career winning the Player of the Month Award and was well deserved.
He had an incredible slash line of .398/.427/.837 with an OPS of 1.264. Gurriel was responsible for knocking in 31 of the 140 runs the Astros had in July and he crossed the plate 18 times himself. In the 24 games he appeared in, Gurriel had 12 home runs and seven doubles. He was one of Houston’s instrumental players when there were so many out with injuries.
Then there is Yordan Alvarez. What else can be said about this young man that hasn’t already been said? Like Cole, this is the second consecutive month being honored as Rookie of the Month. He is well on his way to add the Rookie of the Year Award to his trophy case.
Alvarez simply did what he’s been doing since his Major League debut. He slashed .333/.419/.627 and had a 1.045 OPS for the month of July. Alvarez contributed 15 RBIs and 10 runs, including five homers and seven doubles. His BAbip (batting average on balls in play) skyrocketed to .455 for the month.
These three players had a great month of July and they were rewarded for their performances. But if you ask any of them how they felt about these awards, I’d be willing to bet they would credit the whole team and not take credit for just themselves. They would also probably tell you this is just a monthly award, only a step in the direction of the ultimate reward, that Championship Ring.