2022 World Championships: Rising star Astros MVP Jeremy Pena ‘getting better and better’

Houston – Jeremy Rock He began his career in the Major League, as did almost every player who debuted, no matter how well promoted, reaching the bottom of the standings.

He did well enough in his fourth match, Astros Manager Dusty Becker tried hitting him at number two. Only one other short in the last half century, Trevor’s story In 2016, he had landed this spot in the lineup very early in his career.

For most of 2022, Peña moved in and out of the second slot depending on his success rate. Only on October 1 did he become the number 2 hitter in the Astros Forever. Since then, he’s been a mainstay in Houston’s lineup, and arguably the most consistent hitter and defender in this post-season.

and through The Astros ran to their second World Championship In the history of the franchise, the rookie player reached its peak at the most opportune time.

in 4 . gamePeña delivered the two-stroke single that deserted the end Aaron Nola night. in the game 5Peña made two great plays on the field, led in two crucial rounds with a one-on-one and a home run and handled the last one with ease.

And after going 2 against 4 with a game he scored in Interval game 6Peña was named the World Championship MVP, becoming the first rookie to do so and adding the honor to the ALCS MVP he won earlier this month.

Rookie Jeremy Peña was named Player of the Year

Rookie Jeremy Peña was named Player of the Year

After hitting .400 in the Astros’ six-game win over the Phillies, Houston’s rookie Jeremy Peña was named World Series Player of the Year.

Peña’s inexperience turned his performance from extraordinary to unprecedented.

No rookie short-term player has ever run a World Series at home. Only two starters have racked up more base strokes in the post-season one than his nine this year. Peña became the first junior player to be named Player of the Year since the award was introduced in 1955.

Astros manager Dusty Baker compared Peña’s post-season play to the 1996 Andrew Jones World Championship against Yankeesas a 19-year-old beginner in Atlanta Braves. While Peña, who is 25, is noticeably older, Baker felt the resemblance remains strong.

“These guys come every once in a while, not very often,” Becker said. “But it just shows you, I mean, that his future is so bright.”

Before Peña debuted, the Astros understood this better than strangers. they allowed Carlos Correa Departure to twins Partly because they knew they already had an internal surrogate.

In terms of Wins Above Replacement, Peña produced a 2022 season nearly as good as Correa — and about one-fiftieth of the salary.

“Obviously getting into as a beginner at the major league level is not easy at all no matter what,” the Astros player Justin Verlander He said. “But To intervene and try to replace Carlos Correa On a roster where he’s been a mainstay and captain of our team…to get in and do what he’s done, to showcase his game, to get ahead in the biggest moments, it’s been so much fun to watch.”

Peña’s baseball education began long before the Astros recruited him from the University of Maine in 2018. His father, Jeronimo, played in the majors. His older brothers played. But Verlander credited the second baseman Jose Altove And the third base man Alex Bergman To illustrate the examples I followed Peña.

“He watches, he learns, he takes what these men give him in advice and what he sees and learns and takes and deals with his talent,” Verlander said. “You get what you get.”

This is what the Astros do. They are taking out stars, keeping some and replacing others with more in-house developed players. Peña is the latest in the line as the organization continues to put distance between itself and the sign-stealing scandal.

Except for the end of the 2020 neutral spot, the last time the World Championships didn’t wrap up at Minute Maid Park, the 2018 midterm elections haven’t even happened yet. Mid-term 2022 is next week. These days, baseball season continues in Houston.

Jeremy Pena speaking after the second match

Jeremy Pena speaking after the second match

Jeremy Pena discussed his game plan for the world championships after Houston won Game Two.

What the Astros received in post-season in return for their confidence in Peña was playing a more experienced player. October baseball often means that beginners are more widely explored for the first time and opponents can better attack their weaknesses. It is normal to see an apparent wilting in such situations.

Instead, Peña plays his best baseball game to date. He agonized over the August stint in which he succumbed to pitch-chasing, and refined his two-stroke technique to spoil pitch after pitch until he saw a mistake.

“Literally every week that goes by, I feel like it’s getting better and better, and it keeps growing,” Bregman said. “It’s really impressive to watch.”

Pedro Moura is the National Baseball Writer for FOX Sports. He has previously covered Dodgers for The Athletic, The Angels and Dodgers for the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times, and his university, USC, for ESPN Los Angeles. He is the author of “How to Beat a Broken Game”. Follow him on Twitter @Pedromora.

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