Welcome to MLB awards season! Some of baseball’s offseason honors were already given out over the last couple weeks, with the Oakland A’s fetching a Reliever of the Year award by Liam Hendriks and a Fielding Bible win by first baseman Matt Olson. But now the serious hardware is up for grabs.
The annual tradition got started Monday, with the Rookie of the Year awards. The American League honor went to Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis, and the NL version to Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams, who already also won the NL Reliever of the Year award to match Hendriks’ AL nod. (Top 5 finishers listed below; click header links to see full results.)
- OF Kyle Lewis, SEA (150 points)
- OF Luis Robert, CHW (83 points)
- RHP Cristian Javier, HOU (11 points)
- TIE — C Sean Murphy, OAK (7 points)
- TIE — SS Willi Castro, DET (7 points)
- RHP Devin Williams, MIL (95 points)
- TIE — 3B Alec Bohm, PHI (74 points)
- TIE — 2B Jake Cronenworth, SDP (74 points)
- RHP Tony Gonsolin, LAD (11 points)
- RHP Dustin May, LAD (8 points)
While the A’s didn’t come close to earning this award, they at least had a couple youngsters on the list getting downballot support. Each voter ranks their top three choices, and catcher Sean Murphy nabbed a 2nd-place vote and four 3rd-places. Albeit, the 2nd-place was from hometown beat writer Alex Coffey (The Athletic), and one of the thirds was by another local in Shayna Rubin (Mercury News). But the other 3rds were by Jon Morosi (MLB), Sam Miller (ESPN), and randomly someone from New Jersey, so Murphy’s tied-for-fourth-place finish wasn’t entirely home cooking.
Murphy, 2020: .233/.364/.457, 131 wRC+, 7 HR, 17.1% BB, 26.4% Ks
Meanwhile, Jesús Luzardo fetched a single 3rd-place vote, from an Associated Press writer who picked him above Cristian Javier. That was enough to get his name on the results list, technically tied for eight place overall.
Luzardo, 2020: 4.12 ERA, 59 ip, 59 Ks, 17 BB, 9 HR, 4.19 FIP, .307 xwOBA
Personally, I agree with picking Murphy over Luzardo purely in terms of 2020 performance. I’m not sure there’s even a halfway viable case for ranking Luzardo ahead, strictly speaking about this past summer (and ignoring their future potential moving forward, which isn’t what the ROTY award is about). That said, I was still expecting Luzardo to finish ahead of Murphy based on name power, so I’m pleasantly surprised to see the voting align with my own opinion.
Congrats to Murphy and Luzardo for getting a little bit of national attention! Athletics Nation looks forward to watching both of them continue to develop toward superstardom next season.