Altuve's big year results in three GIBBY nominations

Altuve's big year results in three GIBBY nominations

HOUSTON -- A record-breaking season for Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has him in the running for three of MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) awards: Most Valuable Player, Best Hitter and Breakout Hitter of the Year.

Altuve won the American League batting title last season, leading the Majors with a .341 average and a club-record 225 hits -- smashing Craig Biggio's previous club record of 210, set in 1998. Altuve was the first player in franchise history to win a batting title.

Altuve's 225 hits were the most by a second baseman since Charlie Gehringer had 227 for the Tigers in 1936, and the Houston star set the single-season hits record by a Venezuelan-born player. He also posted franchise records for multihit games (69), three-hit games (24) and singles (168), all of which led the Majors.

Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.

This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.

GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play. Fans can watch these and more by accessing MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.

In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which is restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.

All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates, a fact many consider to be a testament to the competitive balance around the game.

Fans can vote as many times as they want through Nov. 21 at 10:59 p.m. CT by visiting mlb.com/gibbys, and winners will be announced live on the MLB Network and MLB.com on Dec. 6.

Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel is nominated as Breakout Pitcher of the Year. He went 12-9 with a 2.93 ERA in 29 starts, becoming the first Houston pitcher to reach 200 innings since 2011, while also leading the AL in complete games with five.

The Astros have two nominees for Rookie of the Year - outfielder George Springer and right-hander Collin McHugh. Springer hit 20 homers and had 51 RBIs in only 78 games before a quad injury cost him the final two months of the season. McHugh went 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA in 25 starts, leading all Major League rookies in ERA and the club in ERA and strikeouts (157).

Houston also has nominees in the categories of Play of the Year (Springer's catch while crashing into the wall July 8 in Arlington), Walk-off of the Year (Jason Castro's walk-off homer June 27 against Detroit) and three for Cut 4 Topic of the Year: a fan catching two Chris Carter homers in one game in August, Angels outfielder Mike Trout turning the tables on the Astros' mascot by stealing Orbit's fishing pole in September, and Orbit stealing a Jose Bautista doll from a fan, only to have Bautista slam it to the ground and then help "bring it back to life."

Several categories -- Play, Oddity, Walk-Off and Cut4 Topic -- opened balloting with at least one nominee per club. After a week of voting, the four lists were trimmed to 10 finalists per group by a panel.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.