Houston BBWAA hands out year-end awards

Houston BBWAA hands out year-end awards

MILWAUKEE -- All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve was named as the Astros' 2012 Most Valuable Player in voting conducted by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Reliever Wilton Lopez was named pitcher of the year and starting pitcher Lucas Harrell was lauded as the team's Rookie of the Year.

Altuve, 22, entered Sunday hitting .291 with seven homers, 37 RBIs and was in the top 10 in the National League in stolen bases (33) and batting average against left-handed pitchers (.359). He also had a 33-game errorless streak entering Sunday.

Lopez has been a fixture in the bullpen for the last three years and began play Sunday with a 6-3 record, nine saves and a 2.20 ERA in 63 games. He has the lowest walks per nine innings ratio among Major League relievers with 0.96 (entering Sunday).

Harrell made the starting rotation at the end of the spring and was the Astros' most consistent starting pitcher, going 10-11 with a 3.88 ERA in 31 starts. He leads all Major League rookies with 187 2/3 innings and is second among rookies in wins. He's the only NL rookie to pitch a shutout this year.

Meanwhile, Astros catcher Jason Castro was honored with the Darryl Kile "Good Guy" Award for his contributions in the community and cooperation with the media.

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, who's from Beaumont, was chosen as the Houston-area Major League player of the year, and long-time Spanish broadcaster Rene Cardenas was named the winner of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award.