Houston BBWAA announces annual local awards

Keuchel, Correa Among Recipients

The Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America has announced their annual awards for the 2015 season. These awards recognize the top Astros performers as well as a Major League player that is a native of the Houston area: 

Astros MVP: LHP Dallas Keuchel

Astros Pitcher of the Year: LHP Dallas Keuchel

Astros Rookie of the Year: SS Carlos Correa

Darryl Kile Good Guy Award: C Hank Conger

Houston Area (non Astro) Player of the Year: 1B Paul Goldschmidt

Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award: Nolan Ryan, Astros Executive Advisor, HOF pitcher

Additionally, the chapter also announced that Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press will return as their Chairperson for 2016. 

LHP Dallas Keuchel is the first Astros pitcher to win the team MVP award since RHP Doug Jones (1992), and the first to win the team Pitcher of the Year Award in back-to-back seasons since RHP Roy Oswalt (2006-07). In 2015, Keuchel established himself as one of the top hurlers in the Majors and is a strong candidate for the AL Cy Young Award. In his 33 starts, Keuchel was 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA. Among AL starters, he ranked first in wins, innings pitched (232.0), WAR (7.18) and quality starts (27) and second in ERA and opponents batting average (.217). Keuchel was a model of consistency throughout the season, capturing AL Pitcher of the Month honors three times (April, May, August) while never having his ERA rise above 2.56. Additionally, Keuchel became the fourth Astros hurler to start an All-Star Game in 2015 and set a franchise record for strikeouts by a southpaw with 216. His 15-0 record at Minute Maid Park is the best undefeated home record in modern ML history. In his two postseason starts, Keuchel was 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA (1ER/13IP) while tallying 14 K's in 13.0 IP. Defensively, he led all AL pitchers in assists and total chances and is a solid candidate for his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

Carlos Correa also had an historic season in 2015, setting several franchise and Major League records. For the regular season, he led all AL rookies in home runs (22), slugging pct. (.512) and OPS (.857) while ranking second in RBI (68) and extra-base hits (45). Despite playing in just 99 games, his 22 home runs were tops among all ML shortstops. Correa's 22 home runs are also an Astros record for both a rookie and a shortstop. Correa also shined in the postseason, hitting .350 (7x20) in the ALDS vs. KC with two home runs and four RBI. In Game 4 of the ALDS, he became the youngest player in AL history to hit two HR in a postseason game. Below is a list of additional milestones:

*On June 8 at CWS (ML debut), became the youngest player in Astros history to start a game at shorstop (20 years, 259 days).

*22 HR are the 4th-highest total by a rookie shortstop in AL history.

*Was first shortstop in over a century to reach 13 HR in his first 50 career games; was 4th player since 1950 to accumulate 50 hits within his first 42 games before turning 21 years old...others include Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente (1955) and Orlando Cepeda (1958).

*One of 21 players in ML history to reach 21 HR before his age-21 season.

*Named AL Rookie of the Month for June (1st month in the Major Leagues).

The Darryl Kile Award, which has been awarded to C Hank Conger, is also called the "good guy award," in memory of the late Darryl Kile, a former Astros standout pitcher. It is presented to the player considered to be the most affable with teammates, fans and the media. The 2015 season was the first in an Astros uniform for Conger, who tallied 11 HR and 33 RBI in his 73 games in a backup role. His .458 slugging pct. ranked 4th among AL catchers (min. 200 PA).

The Houston Area Player of the Year (non-Astro), 1B Paul Goldschmidt, had another outstanding season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt, who was a standout baseball player at The Woodlands High School and Texas State University, hit .321 in 2015 with 38 doubles, 33 HR, 110 RBI and 118 walks while posting a 1.005 OPS, the latter ranking second in the Majors.

Legendary Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, this year's winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball Award, has been in the game as both a player and executive since 1965. On the field, he was one of the greatest hurlers of all time, tallying 5,714 career strikeouts and recording seven no-hitters, both Major League records. Ryan earned 106 of his 324 career victories during his nine seasons in an Astros uniform (1980-88). Ryan has also enjoyed success off the field as an executive for the Astros and Texas Rangers. His four seasons in Houston as special assistant to the general manager (2004-07) included an appearance in the NLCS (2004) and the first World Series appearance in franchise history (2005). In 2008, he was named President of the Texas Rangers, and would be a part of that franchise's first two World Series appearances (2010-11). In 2014, Ryan rejoined the Astros in his current role as Executive Advisor. The Hartman award is in memory of the late Baytown newspaper man who covered the Astros from their infancy in 1962 until his death in 1991.