Houston Astros players receive MVP, Cy Young votes in seasonal awards

Dusty Baker Jr. #12 of the Houston Astros looks on prior to the start of their game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on August 09, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dusty Baker Jr. #12 of the Houston Astros looks on prior to the start of their game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on August 09, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros finished the regular season under .500, but that didn’t stop BBWAA writers from voting for them for seasonal awards.

The Houston Astros were plagued by injury and a sign stealing scandal. They finished the year 29-31, but finished one game shy of making a World Series appearance. Despite votes being casted before the postseason, the Astros players and staff caught the eyes of baseball writers.

AL Manager of the Year

After firing manager AJ Hinch, the Astros turned to the veteran Dusty Baker. Baker has been managing since 1993 and has won three NL Manager of the Year awards. Although finishing below .500 in a shortened season, his team had momentum to compete for first place in the AL West. Baker is seen as an old-school manager, and we saw that this year. It was a drastic difference from Hinch, who relies heavily on analytics. There were reports of Baker looking into his pitcher’s eyes to see if they were too rattled to stay in, and we saw Baker hug players and act as a father figure to Jose Altuve after errant throws in the postseason. The Astros picked up his option, and he will be the manager for the 2021 season. Baker finished 6th place in voting.

AL Rookie of the Year

I wrote an article about the impact of Cristian Javier this season, along with him placing third in AL ROY voting. Javier was thrown in a tough spot for a pitcher who had never pitched in a major league game and immediately stood out. While splitting time in the bullpen and rotation, Javier posted a 3.48 ERA along with a 2.89 ERA in the postseason. He fell behind the unanimous winner, Kyle Lewis, and Luis Robert in voting. Depending on the Astros offseason moves, Javier could be a long reliever or 5th starter for a young pitching core. Javier finished in 3rd with 11 points from voting.

AL Cy Young

Houston is known for having a dominant top-of-the-rotation, most recently having Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel. In a shortened season, they turned to their young pitchers, and Framber Valdez is someone who stood out. He had an interesting story to how he became an unknown name to an ace of the future. Valdez played his first full season for the Astros in 2020 and was undoubtedly their ace. The left-hander showed poise in both the regular and postseasons. Along with Javier, they are both on pre-arbitration deals until 2023. Framber finished in 11th with one point from votes.

AL MVP

This doesn’t come as a shocker, but the most valuable Astro in 2020, also received votes in the AL MVP voting. George Springer received two ninth place votes and finished 15th in all voting. Springer is now a free agent after declining the option offered by Houston and it’s unclear how general manager James Click will replace the slugger. Possible solutions or replacements can be found on the free-agent or trade markets, but the Astros will most likely have to settle for a player below the caliber of Springer.

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