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Jose Altuve named Houston Astros MVP for 2014

Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh also honored with annual Houston area awards.

Alex Goodlett

Second baseman Jose Altuve has been named the Houston Astros Most Valuable Player by the Houston Chapter of Baseball Writers Association of America.

Altuve is having a historic season at the plate, becoming the Astros single-season leader in hits and leads the American League in batting average, hits and stolen bases. He becomes the second player since 1945 to lead the AL in all three categories.

With his 220th hit, Altuve has the most hits by a second baseman since Tigers Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer had 227 hits in 1936. Altuve also became the Astros first batting title champion after beating out Detroit's Victor Martinez.

Others named in the annual writers' poll are Dallas Keuchel as Pitcher of the Year, right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh as Rookie of the Year, Scott Feldman as Darryl Kile Award winner and Washington second baseman Anthony Rendon as Houston Area Major League Player of the Year.

Keuchel, 26, posted a 12-9 record with a 2.93 ERA in 200 innings this season while striking out 146 and walking 48.

Keuchel's ERA means that he's the first Astros starter with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title to post a season under 3.00 since Roy Oswalt in 2006. Since 1980, the Astros have only seen 25 such seasons. Roger Clemensand Andy Pettitte were the last two qualified pitchers with lower ERAs in 2005.

Keuchel's five complete games this season were the most by an Astros starter since Mike Hampton had seven in 1997. It's just the fifth time in the last 20 years that an Astros pitcher has had five or more complete games in a single season.

There have only been 30 seasons in franchise history where a pitcher topped 200 innings and had an ERA under 3.00. Keuchel joins Denny Lemaster, Mike Cuellar, Dave Roberts, Mike Hampton and Andy Pettitte as the only lefties on that list.

McHugh, 27, has played in parts of the last two seasons, but had 47 1/3 innings between the Mets and the Rockies, making him rookie-eligible. He was claimed off waivers by the Astros on Dec. 18 and went 11-9 with a 2.73 ERA in 154 innings this season.

The right-hander, drafted by the Mets in '08 out of Berry College in Georgia, became the first Astros starter to strike out more than a batter per inning since Bud Norris in 2010.

Keuchel and McHugh become the first duo of Astros pitchers with at least 150 innings and ERAs under 3.00 since Clemens, Oswalt and Pettitte in 2005. Before that, Pete Harnisch and Mark Portugal did it in 1993.

Feldman's Kile Award is also called the "good guy award," in memory of the late Darryl Kile, a former Astro and St. Louis Cardinal. It is presented to the player chosen most affable with teammates, fans and the press.

Rendon was born in Houston and attended Lamar high school before going on to star at Rice University. The former first round draft pick by the Nationals hit .286 with a .347 on-base percentage.

The second baseman also had 20 home runs and 16 hits heading into Sunday's season finale and led the National League in runs scored with 110.

Jamie Hildreth, the Astros senior vice president for Broadcasting and Alumni Relations, is the 2014 recipient of the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service to Baseball Award. This award is in memory of the late Baytown newspaper man who covered the Astros from their infancy in 1962 until his death in 1991.

Hildreth is a 40-year veteran of Houston radio and was named senior vice president in 2007. He's been tasked since then with building the Astros radio networks in English and in Spanish. He was named as the Astros director of broadcasting in July 1987.

He and his wife Theresa reside in Houston, have two sons, Jeff and Shane, and five grandchildren.

Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press was re-elected chairman of the Houston BBWAA chapter.