Conger, Ryan and Houston native Goldschmidt also honored
By Brian McTaggart
HOUSTON -- Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was named the team's Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year for 2015 on Wednesday in voting by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Keuchel is the first pitcher to win team MVP since reliever Doug Jones in 1992.
Shortstop Carlos Correa was named Astros Rookie of the Year, catcher Hank Conger won the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award and executive advisor Nolan Ryan was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award. D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was named the Houston-area Player of the Year.
Keuchel, a front-runner for the American League Cy Young Award, is the first to win the team Pitcher of the Year Award in back-to-back seasons since right-hander Roy Oswalt (2006-07). In 33 starts, Keuchel was 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and led the AL win wins, innings pitched (232) and quality starts (27), and he was second in ERA and opponents' batting average (.217).
Keuchel earned AL Pitcher of the Month honors three times (April, May and August), and he became the fourth Astros pitcher to start an All-Star Game. He set a franchise record for strikeouts by a lefty with 216, and he went 15-0 at home in the regular season.
Correa, who was named The Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year on Monday, set several franchise and Major League records. He led AL rookies in home runs (22), slugging percentage (.512) and OPS (.857) while ranking second in RBIs (68) and extra-base hits (45). He led all AL shortstops in homers despite playing only 99 games.
Goldschmidt, who played at The Woodlands High School north of Houston, hit .321 in 2015 with 38 doubles, 33 homers, 110 RBIs and 118 walks while posting a 1.005 OPS, which ranked second in the Majors.
The Darryl Kile Award is presented to the player considered to be the most affable with teammates, fans and the media.
Ryan, who rejoined the Astros a year ago, has been in the game as a player and executive since 1965. The Hartman award is in memory of the late Baytown newspaper man who covered the franchise from its infancy in '62 until his death in '91.