Even with a bit of a bobble at the end of the month, the Astros had a strong performance in June, going 19-9 and outscoring the opposition 170-100.
In June, the Astros led the majors in runs scored (170), hits (281- more than 10 per game), BA (.296), OBP (.378), SLG (.488), and OPS (.867). The pitching was also solid in June, coming in with a second-best in the AL ERA (3.60) and WHIP (1.18), though the fans know that was more due to starters than relievers.
So, how about giving out those always cherished ChipalattAwards for the month?
Starting Pitcher of the Month. Framber Valdez. The rotation, as a whole, was strong for the month, but Framber was the best, going 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.990 WHIP. He is taking over that ace mantle that he grabbed in the late season and playoffs last season.
Runner-up. Jake Odorizzi. Coming off his earlier injury, Jake has been good to very good. In June, he was excellent, going 2-1 in 5 games with a 2.45 ERA and a great 0.773 WHIP. His slash against was .149 BA/ .210 OBP/ .467 OPS, which were the best numbers from the starters.
Last Month – Starting Pitcher of the Month – Jose Urquidy / Runner up – Luis Garcia
Positional Player of the Month. Carlos Correa. It’s tough to not pick Michael Brantley, who batted over .400 for the month, but Correa was the most impactful Astro in June. Carlos had a top-notch slash in June (.330 BA/.451 OBP/ 1.089 OPS) paired up with 23 runs scored, 7 doubles, 7 homers, 22 RBIs and his usual excellent play in the field.
Runner-up. Michael Brantley. Brantley was terrific in June with a .410 BA/ .456 OBP/ 1.022 OPS slash. His 14 runs scored, 8 doubles, 1 home run and 15 RBIs were a good step behind Correa in effectiveness, but I’m sure glad we have this guy on our side.
Note – There were a lot of great numbers in June – look at these slashes – Kyle Tucker (.338/.373/ .893), Yuli Gurriel (.366/.429/ .934), Jose Altuve (except for a .257 BA, but had .395 OBP/ .980 OPS), Yordan Alvarez (.280/.395/.905) and Myles Straw (.330/.413/.845).
Last Month – Positional Player of the Month – Kyle Tucker / Runner-up – Jose Altuve
Relief Pitcher of the Month. Ryan Pressly. Maybe we should retire this award as no one in the bullpen is challenging him for it. Pressly, in nine games, went 2-0 with 5 saves, a 0.00 ERA (yes, not a run this month), a 0.556 WHIP and an absolutely ridiculous slash against by the league of .129 BA/ .156 OBP/ .285 OPS. Going the opposite way of his bullpen compadres, he was extremely stingy, giving up only one walk in 9 innings.
Runner-up. Blake Taylor. Taylor came back from the IL and after a few early struggles has settled in to be one of the more dependable choices in a bullpen where that is not that hard to do. He appeared in 11 games in June, putting up a 1.69 ERA and 1.125 WHIP. He did lose a couple games along the way, but he showed some toughness too.
Last Month – Relief Pitcher of the Month – Pressly / Runner-up – Kent Emanuel
Biggest Surprise (Positive). Abraham Toro. After not showing much at the plate in a couple other shots at the bigs, Toro looked a whole lot better this time around as he hit .297 BA/.372 OBP/ .832 OPS with 6 runs scored, two HRs and 13 RBIs in only 37 ABs. His offensive performance took some of the sting out of the loss of Alex Bregman to injury.
Runner-up. Myles Straw. After looking lost and useless at the plate the first couple months of the season, Straw has turned it around, showing a good eye at the plate and returning to the on-base machine he has shown at other times in his career with his slash of (.330 BA/.413 OBP/.845 OPS).
Last Month – Biggest Surprise – Chas McCormick / Runner-up – Tie – Jake Odorizzi, Framber Valdez, and Jose Urquidy
Biggest Disappointment. Ryne Stanek. Hate to give it to him again, but his results are not matching the big-time arm he has. In June, he pitched in 11 games with a 6.97 ERA and a 1.548 WHIP. He should be better than this.
Runner-up. None given this month
The “Maybe This Was a Sign of Problems” Award. Alex Bregman – Bregman, who has been excellent at walking as much or more than striking out – was sitting at an uncharacteristic three walks and 14 Ks in June when he went on the IL. Just wondering how much his leg was bothering him before finally packing it in for a while.
The “Root of the Problem” Award. Enoli Paredes. In June, Enoli had an absolutely excellent .091 BA against him. However, his on-base percentage against was an absolutely abysmal .444 OBP. In 3.1 innings, he gave up 1 hit, but 6 walks and 1 hit by pitch. And that is why Paredes is not in the Astros bullpen right now.
As usual, it is your turn to comment. Any awards you disagree with? Any you want to award?