If there was even a small chance that Carlos Correa would return to the Houston Astros starting in the 2023 season, the 2022 Major League Baseball postseason killed any chance, no matter how slim. During the most recent edition of the October Party, rookie Jeremy Pena caused a stir in the sidereals and was named the Most Valuable Player in both the Championship Series and the World Series.
Correa’s departure from Houston brought uncertainty and sadness to the atmosphere of the sidereal club. It was logical. Gone was one of the team’s greatest leaders, one of the game’s best shortstops and a Gold Glove winner and fifth in American League MVP voting. But the Astros had an ace up their sleeve, and that was young Dominican Peña, then 24 years old and with no experience in the big top.
From the start, it was known that if the Astros didn’t pursue another top shortstop, they would hand Pena the responsibility of being the opening day shortstop. It was like that. Although he struggled to stay consistent in his first year, Pena showed he was ready to play the best baseball in the world in his second month, hitting .333/.353/.519 with four home runs in 23 games in May.
It’s true that his first year in the majors wasn’t perfect or the most impressive offensively, as Pina hit 22 balls out of the park, scored 63 runs, posted 20 doubles, struck out 72 times and stole 11 bases in 13 attempts. . At the same time, he maintained an impeccable defense, which made Coria forget about the sixth-ranked jewel in the field. In fact, his work on the field was so outstanding that he brought the Gold Glove back to Houston, becoming the first freshman shortstop to receive such recognition.
Then came the most important thing: the postseason. Knowing that Correa is always a hero for the Astros in the playoffs, Pena also donned the Heroic Man suit. He saved his best for later after going 4-for-16 with a home run in the division series against the Seattle Mariners.
Against the New York Yankees in the championship series, he hit a .353/.353/.824 average with two doubles, two homers and four walks, enough to be recognized as the event’s Most Valuable Player. But as Pena was an absolute star in the World Series, the best was yet to come.
The rookie shortstop excelled against the Philadelphia Phillies’ pitching in the Fall Classic. In the defining phase, he went 10-25, with a pair of doubles, a homer, three RBIs, five runs scored and a .400/.423/.600 hitting streak that also won the MVP. Overall, throughout the postseason, Pena gave up 20 hits with the wood in 58 legal at-bats and hit .345/.367/.638 with eight earned.
All this buries the possibility of revisiting Belt In Houston, even after terminating his contract with the Puerto Rican duo, to re-enter free agency. Peña is the current and future shortstop for the Texans.