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Bregman, Verlander honored by local writers

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Third baseman Alex Bregman and veteran pitcher Justin Verlander were named the Astros' Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, for 2018 in voting by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In addition, Astros catcher Max Stassi was named the Astros' Rookie of the Year, and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton was voted as the winner of the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award for work in the community and character off the field.

HOUSTON -- Third baseman Alex Bregman and veteran pitcher Justin Verlander were named the Astros' Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, for 2018 in voting by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In addition, Astros catcher Max Stassi was named the Astros' Rookie of the Year, and right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton was voted as the winner of the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award for work in the community and character off the field.

Long-time Astros groundskeeper Willie Berry was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award, and Arizona D-backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt won his fifth -- fourth in a row -- Houston-area (non-Astros) Player of the Year. Goldschmidt attended The Woodlands High School, just north of Houston.

Bregman, who was named MVP of the All-Star Game this year, led the Astros in runs (105), hits (170), doubles (51), homers (31), RBIs (103), walks (96), on-base percentage (.394) and OPS (.926), and at 24 years old became the youngest player in Astros history with a 30-homer season. This is his first Astros MVP honor.

Verlander, who was acquired by the Astros on Aug. 31, 2017, went 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA and 290 strikeouts in 34 starts, posting career-highs in strikeouts (290) and WHIP (0.90), which was the third-lowest WHIP for an AL starter in last 50 seasons (minimum 175 innings).

Stassi was still categorized as a rookie despite being up and down with the big league club since 2013. In his first extended look in the Majors, he started 64 games at catcher and hit .226 with eight homers and 27 RBIs.

Morton, who went 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA this year, has said he tries to be involved in some way with every player in the clubhouse. His grandfathers -- Charles Morton Jr. and Bob Pfeilsticker -- fought in World War II, and the pitcher has hosted military families at Minute Maid Park several times.

Berry's career with the Astros started in the early 1970s, when he started working for the Astros at the Astrodome as a janitor. The longest-tenured groundskeeper on the Astros staff, Berry has worked for the Astros for more than 45 years and is best known for his meticulous maintenance of the Astros pitcher's mound.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander