The MLBPA announced their Players Choice Awards today, which were voted on by the players prior to the postseason. Freddie Freeman was the biggest winner, taking home both the NL Player of the Year honor, as well as the NL Outstanding Player Award, which correlates to the MVP. Jose Abreu of the White Sox took home the AL MVP equivalent award. Nelson Cruz was awarded the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in the American League, while Andrew Dawson won the inaugural Curt Flood Award, given to “a former player, living or deceased, who in the image of Flood demonstrated a selfless, longtime devotion to the Players Association and advancement of Players’ rights.”
Feel free to read their official press release here, and check out the other award winners as voted on by the players below:
AL Outstanding Pitcher: Shane Bieber
NL Outstanding Pitcher: Trevor Bauer
The Outstanding Pitcher award in each league – or the Cy Young equivalent – went to Trevor Bauer of the Reds and Shane Bieber of the Indians. Bieber was a shoo-in as the best pitcher in the American League, but Bauer faced some tough competition in the NL from Jacob deGrom and Yu Darvish.
AL Outstanding Rookie: Kyle Lewis
NL Outstanding Rookie: Jake Cronenworth
Lewis broke out as a star for the Mariners, an important development for him, of course, but also for the Mariners and their rebuild. Lewis hit .262/.364/.437 with 11 home runs and highlight-reel defensive work in centerfield. The 26-year-old Cronenworth came to San Diego as an unheralded pickup from the Rays, but the two-way player focused on his offense in 2020, got regular reps at second base, and emerged as a star. Cronenworth hit .285/.354/.477 in 192 plate appearances while completing the Padres infield picture.
AL Comeback Player: Carlos Carrasco
NL Comeback Player: Daniel Bard
These are both tremendous stories. Carrasco was treated for leukemia last season before returning at the end of the year. This season he returned to his prior form, going 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA/3.59 FIP across 68 innings. Bard, meanwhile, hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2013, retiring in 2017. He discovered renewed velocity while coaching, then came back to become the Rockies’ closer by the end of 2020. He made 23 appearances with a 3.65 ERA/3.64 FIP with 6 saves. Many have tried and failed to provide steady relief in Colorado, so for Bard to come back where he did is particularly impressive.
The traditional awards that we tend to reference throughout the years are released by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America. They announced their reveal dates today as well: November 11th for the Cy Young and November 12th for MVP.