Last night the winners of the Players Choice Awards, handed out by the Major League Baseball Players Association, were held. One of the awards was, to say the least, bittersweet.
Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident in September, was voted the NL comeback player of the year. Fernandez, the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year, had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and only pitched a half season in 2015. This past season he reclaimed his position of one of baseball’s most electrifying aces, going 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA, leading the league in strikeouts per nine innings and making the All-Star team. He died on Sept. 25, at age 24, when the boat he and two friends was riding in crashed into a jetty on Miami Beach.
Mark Trumbo of the Orioles, who led the majors with 47 home runs after hitting only 13 for the Mariners in 2015, was voted the AL comeback player of the year. In other awards:
- New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson earned his second Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, given to the player who most inspires his fellow players through his on-field performances and contributions to his community. Granderson also won in 2009.
- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was voted the AL’s outstanding player. Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy was selected the NL’s outstanding player.
- Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs, who led the majors in ERA, was the NL’s outstanding pitcher. Red Sox starter Rick Porcello won the AL award.
- Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer was the AL’s top rookie, and odgers shortstop Corey Seager the top NL rookie.