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.
|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?