HOUSTON -- Just because the Astros struggled in their first season in the American League doesn't mean there weren't some very memorable moments.
From the breakout season of All-Star catcher Jason Castro to rookie outfielder Brandon Barnes hitting for the cycle to outfielder Robbie Grossman's game-saving catch in Oakland, the 2013 Astros produced a few memories worthy of considering for a GIBBY Award.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2013 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment and postseason moment, from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past five years, fans have cast more than 50 million votes across the various GIBBY categories, none of which was restricted to individual League affiliation. Fans can vote through Sunday, December 1.
Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Castro, finally healthy to start the year after missing all of 2011 following major knee surgery, had a season worthy of nomination as breakout hitter, along with Baltimore's Chris Davis, Boston's Daniel Nava, Cleveland's Jason Kipnis, Oakland's Josh Donaldson, Atlanta's Chris Johnson, Philadelphia's Domonic Brown and St. Louis' Matt Carpenter.
Castro set career highs in nearly every offensive category, hitting .276 with 35 doubles, 18 homers and 56 RBIs before a cyst in his knee caused him to miss the three weeks of the season.
Barnes earned a GIBBY nomination for hitting performance after hitting for the cycle July 19. The center fielder barely beat out a double in the eighth inning, putting an historic tint to a night in which he went 5-for-5, scored three runs and drove in two vs. Seattle.
His competition for the award includes Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies hitting three homers in a game, the six-hit game by Milwaukee's Jean Segura and Washington's Ryan Zimmerman hitting three homers against Baltimore's Chris Tillman.
Grossman is up for the GIBBY for top play for his leaping grab at the wall in Oakland on Aug. 14 that robbed Chris Young of a potential game-winning homer in the 10th inning. In disbelief and with his hands on his head, Young asked Grossman to show him the ball as the outfielder raced back to the dugout.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.