Another memorable postseason concluded with another epic World Series. The seven-game 2017 Fall Classic more than lived up to that billing, with the Houston Astros prevailing in Game 7 over the team with the Majors' best regular-season record, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to cap an incredible month of playoff baseball.•
Another memorable postseason concluded with another epic World Series. The seven-game 2017 Fall Classic more than lived up to that billing, with the Houston Astros prevailing in Game 7 over the team with the Majors' best regular-season record, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to cap an incredible month of playoff baseball.
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Now that the parade is over and the rest of Major League Baseball has begun outlining its plan to take down the Astros, who won the World Series for the first time in franchise history, it's time to look back and recognize greatness on the field. There are five deserving nominees for the Esurance MLB Award for Best Major Leaguer, Postseason, and it's not surprising that all five represent the two clubs that advanced all the way to that spectacular Series we all just witnessed.
The Astros went all the way through a brutally tough October and prevailed in the end. They would not have succeeded without contributions from all over their star-studded roster, which explains why four Houston players are nominated: World Series MVP George Springer, American League Championship Series MVP Justin Verlander and infield stalwarts Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. The Dodgers' best hitter from October, veteran third baseman Justin Turner, was the lone nomination for Los Angeles.
Springer took top individual honors in the Fall Classic by hitting five home runs, including pivotal ones in Game 2 and Game 7, plus hitting three doubles, driving in seven runs, slashing .379/.471/1.000 and making several highlight-reel plays in the outfield. He also had an excellent AL Division Series against the Red Sox, batting .412, hitting a homer and driving in two runs while also hitting two doubles.
Verlander was Houston's unquestioned ace throughout October. He notched two wins -- one in relief -- in the Division Series, won both his starts and logged a minuscule 0.56 ERA en route to MVP honors in the seven-game ALCS thriller over the Yankees. He finished it off by striking out 14 batters in 12 innings in the World Series.
Altuve caught fire during the ALDS, slashing .533/.632/1.133 with three homers and four RBIs. Then he hit two more homers in the ALCS, driving in another four runs while slashing .320/.414/.560. He didn't continue the hitting tear in the World Series from a batting-average standpoint, but he did hit two more homers and drive in another six runs and score four runs.
Correa homered in each series, with two long balls in the ALDS, one in the ALCS and two more in the World Series. Overall, Correa drove in 14 runs in the postseason, with five RBIs in the World Series. He also scorred 10 runs in the postseason.
Turner will forever be remembered for his walk-off homer in Game 2 of the NLCS on the 29th anniversary of Kirk Gibson's famed homer to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Turner won co-MVP honors in the NLCS with teammate Chris Taylor and accounted for four homers, 16 hits and 14 RBIs overall in the playoffs in 2017.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled nominees for Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment following the Fall Classic's final out. The ninth inning of voting will begin around BBWAA Awards week, which opens when the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners are unveiled Monday, Nov. 13. Voting for the final five categories will begin at 7 p.m. ET on the following dates:
• Best Executive: Thursday, Nov. 9
• Best Rookie: Monday, Nov. 13
• Best Manager: Tuesday, Nov. 14
• Best Pitcher: Wednesday, Nov. 15
• Best Major Leaguer: Thursday, Nov. 16
MLB Awards season will culminate Friday, Nov. 17, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.