HOUSTON -- A star-studded 2019 Astros team that produced the American League Cy Young Award winner and runner-up, the AL Rookie of the Year Award winner and the AL Most Valuable Player Award runner-up leads the way with 10 players on the ballot for the inaugural All-MLB Team, revealed Monday.
The Astros have a league-high 10 players on the ballot -- first baseman Yuli Gurriel, second baseman José Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman, outfielders Michael Brantley and George Springer, designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, starting pitchers Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke and reliever Roberto Osuna.
Verlander edged Cole in AL Cy Young Award voting, and Alvarez was the unanimous AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. Bregman finished a close second to the Angels’ Mike Trout in the AL MVP Award race.
At age 36, Verlander had one of the best seasons of his career, perhaps trailing the 2011 season in which he won his first AL Cy Young Award as well as the AL Most Valuable Player Award. In 34 starts this season, he went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA with 300 strikeouts, a 0.80 WHIP in 223 innings. His WHIP was the second-lowest in the past 100 years.
Cole overcame a slow start to blossom into an unstoppable force, going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, 326 strikeouts and a 0.89 WHIP in 212 1/3 innings. After starting the year by going 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA in his first 11 starts, Cole went 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his final 22 starts in the regular season.
“I have never seen a run like that,” Verlander said. “Pretty incredible to be a part of it and witness it. Really, we just kind of pushed one another. It wasn’t ever competitive in the sense that it got overly competitive. We always kind of competed against one another, but in a friendly way.”
Bregman, who hit .296, led all AL players in WAR (8.4, per Baseball Reference) and walks (119), ranked second in on-base percentage (.423), third in slugging percentage (.592) and OPS (1.015), tied for third in homers (41), fourth in runs (122) and fifth in RBIs (112). Bregman also started 59 games at shortstop in addition to his 91 starts at third base.
Alvarez made his debut on June 9, and he hit .313 with 27 homers, 78 RBIs and set a Major League rookie record with a 1.067 OPS in 87 games, winning the AL Rookie of the Month Award in each of his first three months in the big leagues.
“What an incredible year and recognition for Alvarez,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “He did everything we could have asked and more. His dynamic presence on our team is undeniable. I’m proud of how he handled his transition to the big leagues, his immediate success, all the attention and ultimately his actions as a teammate. A great and well-deserved honor.”
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team began Monday, and it runs through 4 p.m. CT on Dec. 3, with 50 percent of the vote coming from fans and 50 percent coming from a panel of experts.
Fans can vote here, and they may do so once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends next Tuesday. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There will be a first team and second team All-MLB, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.