Orioles’ left-hander Zach Britton and Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen received accolades as the AL and NL Relievers of the Year during a ceremony preceding Game 4 of the World Series.
The 2016 awards ceremony represents just the third year in which MLB has recognized the top bullpen arms in each respective league. From 2005 to 2013, one outstanding relief pitcher was selected for the Delivery Man of the Year Award, with previous winners including 2013 nominee Craig Kimbrel and three-time winner Mariano Rivera. Since 2014, the NL winner has been presented with the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award, while the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award goes to the best AL relief pitcher.
Britton was a force to be reckoned with in 2016, logging 67 innings for the Orioles with an 0.54 ERA, 74 strikeouts and 47 saves. His ERA ranks lowest among any Reliever of the Year winner to date, eclipsing even Fernando Rodney‘s mark of 0.60 during the 2012 season. He also set a new record for the lowest ERA among any pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched in a single season.
Jansen converted 47 saves for the Dodgers alongside a 1.83 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 9.45 was the highest among MLB relievers in both leagues, and his second-half 0.70 WHIP and 10.60 K/BB rate were instrumental as the Dodgers chased their fourth consecutive NL West championship.
President of The Hartford and award sponsor Doug Elliot helped Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred deliver the awards on Saturday evening, and had this to say about the two relievers:
Congratulations to Zach Britton and Kenley Jansen for their outstanding performances this season. Zach and Kenley consistently deliver for their teams during the biggest moments of a game. At The Hartford, we are committed to doing the same for our customers by ensuring they prevail when the unexpected happens.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.
The BBWAA hands out its own Manager of the Year Awards in November, and they tend to be the better-recognized awards, but The Sporting News has been handing out its Manager of the Year awards since 1936, so we figure they’re worth mentioning too. This year The Sporting News’ panel of 29 major league managers has named Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Terry Francona its Managers of the Year.
Roberts took over a somewhat fractured Dodgers clubhouse and overcame an historic number of player injuries — requiring the use of 55 different players on the 25-man roster — to lead L.A. to yet another National League West title and an appearance in the NLCS. Francona, meanwhile, took a team that was thought to be more of a Wild Card contender to 94 wins and the AL Central title, besting theTigers by eight games and the defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals by thirteen.