Fred Faour: Houston’s top 10 team sports athletes of 2022

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI/Shutterstock (13489277af) Houston Astros Jordan Alvarez hits an rbi single in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees in game four of their American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Sunday, October 23, 2022. Alcs Yankees Astros, New York, United States – 23 Oct 2022

Fred Faour: Houston’s top 10 team sports athletes of 2022

It’s been an interesting year for team sports in Houston. The Texans and Rockets are rebuilding (well, the Rockets are. Who knows what the Texans are doing), UH football was a disappointment, and of course, the Astros dominated. Here is a look at the top 10 athletes in Houston for 2022 in the major team sports:

10-Dameon Pierce, Texans: The lone Texan to make the list, the rookie running back was the best offensive weapon on a talent-challenged Texans roster. Pierce could very well miss the rest of the season, but he has rushed for 939 yards and averaging 4.3 yards per carry. The future looks bright for him, if not his team.

9- Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, UH football: Dell was one of the bright spots for the Cougars this season, with 109 catches, 1,398 yards, and 17 TDs receiving, plus he was a force returning punts. He is off to the NFL, where his all-around game should play out just fine. You could make a good case for QB Clayton Tune as well, but when you only go 7-5 when you were favored to win the conference, you only get one on the list.

8-Alex Bregman, Astros: You can basically put Bregman’s name on this list every year. He is consistent, solid and was a big part of the playoff run. Bregs hit .259 with 23 HRs and 93 RBIs on a team that won the World Series.

7-Kyle Tucker, Astros: All Tucker did was hit 30 HR, drive in 107 runs and steal 25 bases for the World Champs. He was a driving force all season long.

6-Jeremy Peña, Astros: The World Series MVP stepped in Carlos Correa’s big shoes and had an awesome regular season. But he was a monster in the postseason, and the Astros probably don’t win the World Series without him.

5-Jalen Green, Rockets: The second-year player is well on his way to being a superstar in the NBA. He is averaging over 21.3 points per game and has a huge up arrow next to his name. The Rockets are still a long ways away from being contenders, but when they are, Green will be leading the charge.

4-Jose Altuve, Astros: The diminutive second baseman is still the heart and soul of the Astros. While it took him a while to get going in the postseason, he managed to hit .300 in the regular season with 28 HRs. Others may have had better stats, but Altuve remains the key to the Astros offense.

3-Marcus Sasser, UH basketball: It says a lot that Kelvin Sampson’s top-five Cougars are the toast of the city right now. And while they are a true team, Sasser was a preseason All-American and has continued to be the clutch leader on a team off to a great start.

2-Justin Verlander, Astros: While he was less than stellar in the postseason, Verlander won the Cy Young for his incredible regular season. It sucks that he is off to the Mets, but Verlander was amazing, and a big reason the Astros won their second title.

1-Yordan Alvarez, Astros: He was great all season, but his home run to win the World Series will forever be one of the greatest moments in Houston sports history; throw in his walk-off against the Mariners, and it really didn’t matter what happened in between. Alvarez earned a place in the city’s hearts forever and will be a candidate to be No. 1 on this list for years to come.

Honorable mention: Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Clayton Tune. You could make a strong case for any of them over some of these. And let’s be honest; the Astros could own the entire list. But these are my 10. Feel free to pitch yours.

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