HOUSTON — Jeremy Pena became the first rookie position player to win a World Series MVP award after hitting .400 in the Houston Astros’ six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pena also won a Gold Glove Award and AL Championship Series MVP this season. He’s the first hitter to win those three prizes in a career — and he did it all in his rookie season, per OptaSTATS.
“This is what we dream about,” the said.
The 25-year-old singled to chase Zack Wheeler in Game 6, giving the Astros two baserunners for the first time in the game. Yordan Alvarez followed with a go-ahead, three-run homer that sent the Astros on to a 4-1 victory.
Pena finished the postseason with a .345 average, four homers, eight RBIs and a 1.005 OPS. He was also the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove, as well as the first to homer in the World Series.
Just 24 when he was handed the starting job at the start of the season after Carlos Correa left as a free agent, Pena became the third rookie at any position to earn Series MVP, joining a pair of right-handed pitchers: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Larry Sherry in 1959 and Miami’s Livan Hernandez in 1997.
“These guys kept me within myself, the preparation every single day. Individual awards are cool and all, but that’s the trophy we want,” he said, pointing to the Commissioner’s Trophy awarded to the World Series champs. “Put the camera on that, right there.”
He also became just the ninth player to win MVP of a League Championship Series and a World Series after hitting .353 with two homers and four RBIs against the Yankees. The only other player to win a Championship Series MVP, World Series MVP and a Gold Glove in a career was Orel Hershiser, who did all three for the Dodgers in 1988.
Pena hit .291 with 22 homers and 64 RBIs during the season and likely will finish high in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez is likely to win.
Others to win LCS and World Series MVP in one year were Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell (1979), St. Louis’ Darrell Porter (1982), Hershiser, the Hernandez (2003), Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels (2008), the Cardinals’ David Freese (2011), San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner (2014) and the Dodgers’ Corey Seager (2020).
Only four other rookies were LCS MVPs: Baltimore right-hander Mike Boddicker in 1993, Hernandez in 1997, St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha in 2013 and Tampa Bay outfielder Randy Arozarena in 2020.
Story by Ronald Blum, AP Baseball Writer