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Bregman, Verlander headline Astros awards

@brianmctaggart
October 1, 2019

HOUSTON -- For the second year in a row, infielder Alex Bregman and pitcher Justin Verlander were named the Astros 2019 Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Bregman was named Astros MVP after hitting .296 and

HOUSTON -- For the second year in a row, infielder Alex Bregman and pitcher Justin Verlander were named the Astros 2019 Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Bregman was named Astros MVP after hitting .296 and leading the team in OPS (1.015), home runs (41), runs (122), RBIs (112), walks (119), on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.592). Bregman started 91 games at third base and 59 at shortstop.

Verlander had one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, going 21-6 in 34 starts with a 2.58 ERA and a career-high 300 strikeouts. In addition to strikeouts, Verlander also set career bests in WHIP (0.80), opponents’ batting avg. (.172) and opponents’ on-base-pct. (.219). He threw his third career no-hitter on Sept. 1 at Toronto and reached 3,000 career strikeouts in his final start on Saturday in Anaheim.

Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, who made his debut on June 9, was named the club’s Rookie of the Year. He hit .313 in 87 games with 26 doubles, 27 homers, 78 RBIs and 52 walks. Alvarez’s 1.067 OPS is the best for a rookie in Major League history (minimum 350 plate appearances), eclipsing the 1.058 posted by Shoeless Joe Jackson during his 1911 rookie campaign. Alvarez also led all AL rookies in extra-base hits (53), OPS, OBP (.412) and slugging (.655) and was second in homers and RBIs.

Veteran relief pitcher Will Harris was named the winner of the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award, which is given to the player who exhibits character and decency toward teammates, media and the fans. On the field, Harris posted a career-best 1.50 ERA in 68 appearances this season.

Meanwhile, longtime Astros public address announcer Bob Ford was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award. This season is Ford’s 26th as the Astros’ public address announcer, a job he began in 1994 in the Astrodome.

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