With the final distribution of BBWAA awards on Thursday and another long two months before Cooperstown welcomes its newest inductees, Friday was the perfect time for one last round of baseball accolades. The Esurance MLB Awards (originally referred to as This Year in Baseball Awards and, from 2011 – 2014, the GIBBYS) recognized players, executives, managers, and events in 19 different categories: Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Social Media Personality, Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Social Media Post, Moment, Performance, Fan Catch, TV/Radio Call, Player-Fan Interaction, Trending Topic, Manager, Executive, Postseason Major Leaguer, and Postseason Moment.
What makes the Esurance MLB Awards unique is the voting process; unlike the BBWAA, which depends solely on the opinions of credentialed sportswriters, the Esurance awards are decided by members of the media, MLB front offices, retired players, fans, and members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
Following a season that validated all of our feelings about Mike Trout‘s greatness with another well-deserved MVP award, Trout also took home hardware as the Best Major Leaguer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was his first distinction as the best overall player in the Esurance MLB Awards, though he played runner-up to Miguel Cabrera (2013), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Bryce Harper (2015) over the last several years.
The late Jose Fernandez was also recognized in the Best Moment category when the Marlins honored the 24-year-old after his untimely death in late September.
The Indians dominated most of the categories, accounting for six awards in the Best Defensive Player, Offensive Play, Trending Topic, Manager, Postseason Major Leaguer, and Postseason Moment categories. Nationals’ right-hander Max Scherzer, Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and Red Sox’ legend David Ortiz each garnered multiple distinctions. Scherzer earned awards for Best Pitcher and Performance, while Rizzo was recognized for the Best Defensive Play of the year and Best Social Media Personality. Ortiz was selected for the Best Player-Fan Interaction and singled out as the Best Hitter overall.
- Best Major Leaguer: Mike Trout, Angels
- Best Hitter: David Ortiz, Red Sox
- Best Pitcher: Max Scherzer, Nationals
- Best Rookie: Corey Seager, Dodgers
- Best Defensive Player: Francisco Lindor, Indians
- Best Social Media Personality: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- Best Play, Offense: Tyler Naquin, Indians
- Best Play, Defense: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
- Best Social Media Post: David Ross, Cubs
- Best Moment: Marlins honor Jose Fernandez
- Best Performance: Max Scherzer, Nationals
- Best Fan Catch: Phillies fan
- Best Call, TV/radio: Vin Scully, Dodgers
- Best Player-Fan Interaction: David Ortiz, Red Sox
- Best Trending Topic: World Series Game 7
- Best Manager: Terry Francona, Indians
- Best Executive: Theo Epstein, Cubs
- Best Major Leaguer, Postseason: Andrew Miller, Indians
- Best Postseason Moment: Rajai Davis, Indians