Houston BBWAA chapter honors five Astros

October 5th, 2020

Astros center fielder George Springer was named the Astros’ Most Valuable Player for 2020, and pitcher Framber Valdez was voted as the Astros’ Pitcher of the Year in voting released Monday by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Both are first-time winners.

The Houston chapter of the BBWAA also named right-handed pitcher Cristian Javier as the club’s Rookie of the Year for 2020

Springer, 31, hit .265/.359/.540 with 14 home runs, 32 RBIs and 24 walks for the season, including a big September in which he batted .316/.380/.653 with nine homers and 15 RBIs in 25 games. He also hit .367 over a 12-game hitting streak during the month that was the longest on the club in 2020.

Valdez, 26, had a breakout season in which he went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 11 games (10 starts), leading the club and American League left-handers in innings pitched (70 2/3) and strikeouts (76) while issuing only 16 walks.

“I feel really proud of the accomplishment of winning that,” said Valdez, who will start Game 2 of the AL Division Series on Tuesday against the A’s. A's at Dodger Stadium. “But not just for myself, but also everyone I worked with in the Dominican Republic back home. Thanks to them, I was able to have the success I was able to this year. It makes me really happy, and I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to do recently here with the team. It feels really good, and I just want to continue like that.”

Javier, 23, went 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 appearances (10 starts) this season. His 3.48 ERA, .188 opponents’ batting average and 0.99 WHIP were tops on the staff among starters (minimum 10 games started). Additionally, Javier's opponents’ batting average ranked fourth among all AL starters, and his WHIP ranked sixth.

Other Astros award winners for 2020 as voted on by the BBWAA were veteran pitcher Brad Peacock for the Darryl Kile Good Guys of the Year, which is presented annually to the player who exhibits good character and decency towards teammates, fans and media.

Longtime Astros clubhouse manager Carl Schneider was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball Award. Schneider has been with the Astros since 1989, when he joined the organization as a bat boy. He was named clubhouse manager in 2011. Schneider has worked 11 Astros playoff runs, four All-Star games and three World Series.

“The role of villain was given to us. It’s not something we took on, even though most of it was probably merited. Hey man, I’ve been the villain most of my life, so I might as well join the group.” -- Astros manager Dusty Baker, when asked about how they have dealt with the fallout of the sign-stealing scandal.