Correa, Keuchel, Hinch up for BBWAA Awards
As expected, manager A.J. Hinch, starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel and shortstop Carlos Correa were named finalists on Tuesday night for awards to be handed out by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Hinch is a finalist for American League Manager of the Year, Keuchel is a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award and Correa is a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year. The winners will be announced on MLB Network next week -- the Rookie of the Year on Monday, the Manager of the Year on Tuesday and the Cy Young on Nov. 18.
"It's great," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "They deserve the accolades, and we're glad that some of the Houston Astros players and staff are getting national recognition. It's big for us."
Hinch guided the Astros to an 86-76 finish and a place in the AL Division Series in what was his first year managing the club. The record was a 16-win improvement from 2014, the largest jump by a first-year manager in franchise history.
Joining Hinch as finalists are Jeff Banister of the Rangers and Paul Molitor of the Twins.
Keuchel went 20-8 with three complete games and a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts. He led all AL pitchers in wins, WAR (7.2), innings pitched (23) and ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio (3.68), ranked second in ERA and opponent batting average (.217) and tied for third in complete games.
He was the starting pitcher for the AL in the All-Star Game, earned three AL Pitcher of the Month Awards (April, May and August) and on Monday was given the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Pitcher in the AL.
Asked if he is anxious to find out if he won the Cy Young, Keuchel replied, "Honestly, not really, because winning the Players Choice for Outstanding Pitcher was more than I could ask for. To be well respected and recognized by my peers, who I compete against every fifth day, means absolutely the world to me. It's something I never expected.
"I really won't be [anticipating winning the Cy Young]. My family will probably let me know if I win the award or not, because it's already icing on the cake with the Players Choice."
Joining Keuchel as finalists are A's right-hander Sonny Gray and Blue Jays left-hander David Price.
Correa, 21, who made his Major League debut on June 8 and was the youngest position player in the Majors this season, hit .279 with 22 doubles, 22 home runs, 68 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a .857 OPS in 99 games. He led all AL rookies in home runs, slugging (.512) and OPS while ranking second in RBIs and on-base percentage (.345), and third in batting average.
Correa set both the franchise rookie record for home runs and the franchise record for home runs by a shortstop. He was named the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year last month and on Monday won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Rookie in the AL.
Joining Correa as finalists are Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano.
In franchise history, the Astros have only had one BBWAA Rookie of the Year (Jeff Bagwell in 1991), two Cy Young winners (Mike Scott in 1986, Roger Clemens in 2004) and three BBWAA Manager of the Year winners (Bill Virdon in 1980, Hal Lanier in 1986, Larry Dierker in 1998). The last time any team had three individuals win three of the four BBWAA Awards in a single season was in 1993, when the White Sox were represented by Gene Lamont (Manager), Jack McDowell (Cy Young) and Frank Thomas (MVP).