2017 Baseball Season Roster
- Houston Strong: Like a hurricane, Astros storm to the first World Series title in Texas
- Power Supply: Fueled by rookies, sluggers shatter MLB home-run record
- High Heat: Sale, Kluber, Kimbrel, Jansen set strikeout records
Between them, the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers had played 100 seasons without a World Series title, but the inspired and inspiring young Astros slugged their way to the crown, capping one of the wildest Major League seasons ever and giving relief to the Houston victims of Hurricane Harvey. In a year when teams combined to shatter the all-time record for home runs, the Astros hit more in the World Series than any team had, and they combined with their foes, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to set the two-team record.
The heroes on Houston’s 238-homer team included AL MVP Jose Altuve, who hit .346 to win his third batting title in four seasons, slugging OF George Springer, superstar SS Carlos Correa, second-year 3B Alex Bregman and late-season arrival Justin Verlander, who helped propel the Astros into the post-season by going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA after a trade with Detroit.
The home-run feats were breath-taking. NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 homers for Miami. J.D. Martinez hit 45 for Arizona and Detroit while slugging an MLB-best .690. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge broke the MLB rookie record with 52 HR. Teammates Gary Sanchez (33 HR) and Didi Gregorius (25) hit the most homers of any Yankee catcher and shortstop ever. No Cleveland middle infielder ever hit as many as SS Francisco Lindor’s 33 HR. The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger broke the NL rookie record with 39 home runs. Rookies Paul DeJong (led St. Louis with 28 HR), Rhys Hoskins (fastest to 18 HR ever – 34 games), Matt Olson (set the Oakland record for HR in a month), Hunter Renfroe (set the San Diego rookie record for HR) and Rafael Devers (led Boston with .482 slugging) made powerful first impressions. Three Oakland rookies hit their first big-league homers in a single game – the first time that ever happened. Martinez and Scooter Gennett each hit four homers in a game. Washington hit eight homers in one game.
But ace pitchers had a powerful say, too, with a record number of strikeouts. Boston’s Chris Sale fanned 308 while walking only 43. Cleveland’s Corey Kluber struck out 8+ in 13 straight starts – only Randy Johnson has topped that. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out 51 without walking a man. Houston had an astonishing 16 pitchers who averaged at least 10 Ks/9 IP. Boston closer Craig Kimbrel topped everyone with 16.4 per 9 IP. He fanned 126 while walking only 14.
And we haven’t even mentioned the MVP-caliber seasons by Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Jose Ramirez, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and all the other young superstars that make this season a must for table-game replays.
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