Astros 2021 MVP re-look

The Astros at the end of the 2021 season declared Carlos Correa their positional player MVP, which is basically the whole team MVP. Starting pitchers are nice, but playing 35 games at the most just doesn’t do it in the value department.

But was Carlos Correa the right choice? Let’s take a look at the future former Astro and the other team MVP candidates, Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez from last season. Here is a look at the top candidates and how they ranked on the team in some key categories.

Name BA OBP OPS Runs HRs RBIs WAR
Carlos Correa .279 4th .366 2nd .850 3rd 104 2nd 26 4th 92 T-2nd 7.2 1st
Jose Altuve .278 5th .350 6th .839 5th 117 1st 31 2nd 83 4th 4.4 3rd
Yuli Gurriel .319 1st .383 1st .846 4th 83 T-4th 15 5th 81 5th 3.7 4th
Kyle Tucker .294 3rd .359 4th .917 1st 83 T-4th 30 3rd 92 T-2nd 5.7 2nd
Yordan Alvarez .277 6th .346 7th .877 2nd 92 3rd 33 1st 104 1st 3.0 5th
  • Interesting that Carlos Correa is easily tops in WAR while not leading the team in any of those categories, while Yordan Alvarez leads in two categories and is last in WAR. The power of fielding in the WAR stats, I guess.
  • Correa – Is no doubt the most valuable fielder on the team at the most critical position on the field and was finally recognized with a Gold Glove award. His statistics are solid across the board and that combo of 196 RBIs and Runs scored is especially impressive for a shortstop.
  • Altuve – This observer can’t get over a lead-off guy with the 6th highest on-base percentage on the team. Going back in a time machine a few years it is hard to picture a time when he would be healthy and be 5th on the team in batting average. He easily leads the team in runs scored (as he should), but his home run number of 31 is very good and frankly knocking in 83 runs with Martin Maldonado in front of him maybe his most impressive stat.
  •  Gurriel – Yuli led the team and league in batting average and the team in on-base percentage. He gave up a bit in power and probably was overall a better player in 2019, but this was a very good comeback from a 2020 season where he looked like he might be in decline.
  • Tucker – Kyle had a terrific season. OPS is one of the most critical offensive stats as it shows the overall quality of a hitter between their ability to get on base and their power capabilities and he easily led the team in this category by .40 points. He could easily have been nearer the top in both runs scored and runs knocked in if he was placed earlier in the lineup (as his numbers certainly beg the team to consider).
  • Alvarez – Being mostly a DH drags on his WAR numbers, but he is the top power threat on the team while leading them in both home runs and RBIs. He was trailing a bit in batting average and on-base percentage, but certainly, that is an area where he can work on improving his eye a bit.

So, how would you rank these five players in the 2021 team MVP race?

43 comments on “Astros 2021 MVP re-look

  1. My ranking based on 2021 performances on both sides of the ball would be:
    1. Tucker;
    2. Gurriel;
    3. Altuve;
    4. Correa;
    5. Alvarez [this largely because he is not an elite defender].

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The MVP of 2021 was Altuve for his walk-off home run on 7/11 against the Yankees where they tore his shirt off after he touched home plate. It set the team’s tone for the rest of the season. It was the play of the year and not mentioned in MLB’s 100 Best Plays of the Year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That was a tremendous play mark – coming against the Yanks after all the crap about him not letting them tear off his jersey after his Chapman homer.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to give the MVP to Correa because he won the Platinum Glove, was on the All-star team and blew away everyone else on the team with his WAR and played a ton of games.
    You know that I am not a big fan of his, but the accomplishments were there in 2021.
    That said, he’s not worth the money he wants from the Astros. If he wants to remain on the team, he needs to rethink his ask. There is a ton of compromise room between his wants and the Astros wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would have to go with 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E. My wife and I had discussed about driving to Florida just to catch some ST games. (Just talking, not planning) I read today that it is not sure they will allow fans even in the minor league games. What a CROCK.

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    • ESPN first reported that multiple teams were expected to keep fans and opposing scouts out of their spring training complexes at least until the Rule 5 draft is completed or canceled. In further discussions, The Athletic confirmed that a number of teams have decided to close in the last few days, though some have cited the ongoing pandemic as a reason to limit access. The Rule 5 draft though, remains an unmistakable factor for those considering cloak-and-dagger precautions.

      And, to be clear, applying the term “cloak-and-dagger” to minor league spring training is truly bizarre.

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  5. Correa probably scored 104 runs because the guy behind him hit .319. Still, very good season. I would agree with OP, good season, but we would be insane to give him 35mil AAV.

    It seemed they all came up big at various times. The lineup is deep. Those five don’t even account that Brantley and Bregman are not exactly automatic outs.

    Special shout out to the starting staff as a whole. The five core guys in last years rotation – Greinke, Urquidy, Garcia, Valdez and McCullers – made 127 starts and went 54-28. Rest of the staff went 41-39. Thats how you win – no one was Cy Young worthy, but everyone was good from top to bottom. Yes, I gripe and moan about only one of them (Framber) averaging 6 innings a start, but when you can consistently get to later innings with the game close and that lineup, you set yourself up to win. I was getting excited about Verlander replacing Greinke in that mix and the rest still being on board, but it is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Robert Lamm, formerly of the group ‘Chicago’ – or someone pretending to be him just to Color My World – emailed me this mornings sometime around ’25 or 6 to four’. It could only ‘Make me Smile’ when he said ‘You’re The Inspiration’. Then he went on to say:

    “As I was scrolling through a blog one day;
    a fan of M.L.B. inquired when anyone thought we’d have games to watch…
    … and I said:
    Does anybody see who the joke is really on?
    Has anybody thought this through?
    Do they really think we’ll just forget this crap
    and not say ‘forget YOU!’?”

    “This is ‘Only the Beginning’, he explained. “But the longer this goes on, with no one spending ‘Saturday in the Park’, perhaps they’ll discover that it’s ‘Hard to Say I’m Sorry”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know this is none of my business. But is it not idiotic that players like Dubin, Bermudez, etc were placed on the 40 man roster to protect from the apparently non-existent Rule 5 draft. Now players like Korey Lee, Hunter Brown, etc are at Spring Training getting ready for April 5th start of season. Those added will probably not make the 26 man active roster and will be sent to the minors. However, they can not attend Spring Training for the minor leaguers.

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      • Keeping it close to the vest, AC, as they like to do. I’m pretty glad they’re keeping Rule 5 closed off because I don’t want to lose the guys I’d take if I were competition; Papierski, Valdez, Joe Record, Austin Hansen, Conine come to mind.

        It does stink for Pena to be placed on 40-man and need reps. But Kenny (CTH) did an article on him today, he went to Maine and now in Miami. Hopefully he gets some star training that helped Meyers make the leap! Dubin Interviewed on Locked-On, he and Endersby (Brown are buddies) have a routine, checking in remotely. I look at it like less wear & tear in all our guys, but it kind of looks like MLB/PLAYERS are hammering stuff out. We might only miss a month?

        I liked that Berryhill, the guitar player article. (Very Charlie Morton-esque). Luke and Justin Dirden swung mighty bats and then Yainer Diaz came over in the Straw trade and showed them both up!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. * An international draft will not be good for the Astros. They are winners who have a chance to sign international free agents who want to sign with winners. Drafts are for losers who would get first picks of international prospects, just like they do in the regular draft.
    * A delay to the season is good for the Astros who were recovering from major injuries and were question marks for April 1. That’s just a fact.
    * The delay to the season does not hurt Jeremy Pena as much as it might others, because he played a full season of winter league ball, plus their playoffs.
    * the delay to the season does not affect the Astros as much as it would other teams because most of their lineup, most of their rotation, and most of their bullpen are set and it is a group that is already used to each other.
    * Eliminating the rule 5 draft for this season would be good for the Astros, as it would eliminate the rest of baseball from raiding their upper minor leagues.
    * MLB’s latest offer has the Luxury Tax Threshold raised to $230 million for 2022. So, at a minimum, the Astros would come back from the lockout at least $43 million under that threshold.

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    • You’ve mentioned some ways delaying the season would benefit the Astros. It might be worth redacting those so Manfred doesn’t realize his mistake and find ways to mitigate that.
      Also, a Fort Worth paper ran an article yesterday saying the lockout is the Astros fault because Luhnow and Crane convinced Manfred and MLB that their accounting and business practices were wrong and that they needed to do things differently…starting with the elimination of some minor league teams. I mention this because it was reported the elimination of the minor league teams represented a cost savings of approximately $3M per team. Clearly the Astros are more of a cause for a lockout than a team like the Rangers spending $325M for ten years on a SS.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I will admit that Ft Worth knows a lot about cattle.
        What comes with cattle is a huge amount of dookie, and that is what has spilled out of that particular article. Despite being around a lot of dookie in my lifetime, I am not desensitized to it’s odor. Right now, the smell is everywhere. Especially on the people who are washing their hands of their messes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I found the article very compelling. Fort Worth is an excellent place to find problems with the Astros but NOT the Rangers. He failed to mention that the reason the Astros lost the World Series to the Braves was because of the Rangers. (I would imagine acute alcoholism is the problem with Mr. Engel.)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. The daddy of this blog – Chip Bailey – just texted me a post from Jeff Passan that says there is a tentative agreement between the MLB and MLBPA!!

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  10. Someone said our abusive ex-es have reached a deal. The Gloria Gaynor in me replies:

    At first we were lost; yeah, we were mystified;
    kept thinkin’ we could never live without your ugly hide!
    But we spent lots of days and nights realizin’ how you robbed us blind
    and we moved on … we learned how to get along!
    So now you’re back … from smoke-filled space?
    How dare you show up out of nowhere with that smirk upon your face!
    We should’ve blocked your stupid posts, we should’ve lit out on a bus;
    if we’d have thought for just one minute you’d come back to torture us …
    Get lost, foul Creep!! Go take a leap!
    Just take your bad self out the door and faceplant on some garbage heap!
    Weren’t you the ones who tried to make us choose a side,
    Did you think I’d forget? Or ignore all the ways you lied?
    Oh no, not I …
    I’ve been deprived!
    Found some other games in town so that without you I can thrive!
    I’ve bought THEIR team’s merchandise, & hung their banner way up high;
    Did you think I’d crumble! Did you think I’d just we’d sit right down and cry,
    Oh no, not I!

    G-L-O-R-I-A!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’ll be the first crazy one.
    You don’t lose any prospects to the Rule 5 draft because there isn’t one.
    The Luxury tax limit is $230 million so the Astros have $43 million+ in room.
    Go after and get Trevor Story on a 6 year deal. Since that gives you a SS for the future, you trade Pena, Meyers or McCormick and a top 10 pitching prospect for Cedric Mullins. That fills the two places in the field and in the lineup.
    Sign a reliever and you are suddenly the AL and WS favorite.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As for the free agents it should get interesting real fast. I’m ready for baseball but really perturb at how this thing got out of hand and the greed of all involved. Baseball gets to be a distraction from all the bad things going on right now in the world and here at home. As it is, John Q Citizen can’t afford to pay his taxes (lots of different ones), put gas gas in the car, food on the table, and so forth, much less than forking out the cost to take his family to a baseball game. Sorry to be such a party pooper but I had to vent. And yes I’ll be watching the Astros with my MLB subscription which I hope won’t go up 35% or more like everything else has.
    Other than that, thanks Dan for keeping our interest during this period and those who have contributed to all the interesting topics and comments.
    “PLAY BALL”!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I like the rule 5 draft, I think its critical to those players that might not get the same chance on their current team. It paid off for Johan Santana (to our detriment) and Marwin Gonzalez (to our gain). Certainly it closes the margins you have to get it right as a GM but they make a lot of money to be smarter than me.

    If I was the Astros I wouldn’t think about Correa or Story. I would move on and shore up the pitching even more. ASSUMING I can get a deal done with Rodon that is protected by Lloyds of London I am offering him 4 years and 80 million on day 1. I’m going in having 3 very good starters for the playoffs instead of hoping that Valdez or Garcia pitch well. Of course there are issues with all 3 and you might not have all 3 for the playoffs, but I would rather look at Valdez or Garcia as game 4 starters or 3 and 4 starters, and not games 1 and/of 2. And if you are lucky, that rotation of Verlander, McCullers and Rodon would have won that world series last year. This still keeps Urquidy in the rotation to open since I don’t expect that we see LMJ until mid-May, and having 6 quality starters with Odorizzi and Javier giving you even more depth is not a bad thing.

    Take the rest of that 23 million and sign Matt Duffy and a relief pitcher. Duffy fits your profile, plays 3 infield positions and LF, doesn’t strike out a lot, and can be had fairly cheap. That frees up either the move of Bregman to SS or Diaz to play SS if Pena doesn’t win the job or play well enough to keep the job. If Pena and Bregman do nail it down Diaz and Duffy can both have time relieving all 4 infield positions and getting in some games against tough leftys in LF, spelling Brantley and giving us a better chance of having the real Mike in the playoffs.

    I’m not excited about CF but there aren’t many other options. I like OP’s idea about Mullins, but I think it will take more. This is an allstar caliber CF playing in pre-arb, the Orioles are going to want your best prospects – which we are few and far between. If I’m the Orioles Urquidy, Pena, Perez, and Whitley along with Meyers is my starting ask. Then again, its the Orioles, maybe they can be fleeced. Mullins fixes your lineup problems of losing Correa though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I mostly agree with you. I think the only way I’m going after Story or Correa is if they will accept a one year deal with the allure of an actual offseason to chase free agent glory afterwards. Otherwise, I’m ready to see how well Pena and Diaz can do at SS for us. Regarding Mullins, however, I’m not yet willing to give up what it would take for a guy who has only produced once in his career. He was an awful hitter from the right side, so sticking full time as a lefty seems to be a good move, but his career splits are almost as bad as Story’s for home/away as well. If I wanted to pursue him I’d make a lower offer that has high upside but far less guaranteed value for the Orioles.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. And if they do start adding advertising patches to uniforms I won’t be able to get past the memories of some of the semi-pro leagues I played in back in the day with our Don’s Hardware patch. It’s going to look strange, almost minor leagueish. Anyone know if that made it into the final deal?

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  15. I was reading about the new free agent rules and I am totally confused. So here is my question (2 parts).
    In the case of Correa does his free agency fall under the old or the new CBA?
    If it’s the new CBA and he signs with another club what do we get in return?
    If under the new agreement if our compensation is limited would it be better to sign and trade or trade before free agency hits if it looks like the player will go elsewhere? (sorry 3 parts).

    Like

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