Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Players Choice Award winners announced

1 Comment

No surprise here: Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger have won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Rookie in their respective leagues, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and Ken Gurnick report.

Judge, 25, finished the regular season batting .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, 128 runs, and 127 walks in 678 plate appearances. His runs, home runs, and walks totals led the American League. He also led all players in Wins Above Replacement (8.2), according to FanGraphs. Judge helped lead the Yankees from the AL Wild Card game into the ALCS, where they were ultimately stopped by the eventual world champion Astros.

Bellinger, 22, hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBI, and 87 runs scored in 548 plate appearances. The Dodgers went on to win an MLB-best 104 games in the regular season and fell just short of winning the World Series.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, will likely have similar results. Those will be announced on November 13.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer won the award for Outstanding Pitcher in the National League. The potential NL Cy Young Award winner went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a 268/55 K/BB ratio over 200 2/3 innings. Scherzer helped the Nats win 97 games but they were once again stopped in the NLDS, this time by the Cubs.

Indians starter Corey Kluber won the Outstanding Pitcher award in the American League. He went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and a 265/36 K/BB ratio across 203 2/3 innings. His wins, ERA, complete games (five), and shutouts (three) totals were major league bests.

The Cy Young Award winners, voted on by the BBWAA, will be announced on November 15.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League. The 33-year-old posted a career-low .642 OPS in 2016, but bounced back with a .930 OPS in 2017. That included a .303/.358/.573 triple-slash line along with 36 home runs, 108 RBI, and 90 runs scored.

In the American League, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. The 29-year-old free agent played in only 27 games in 2016 after undergoing ACL surgery. In 2017, he hit .272/.314/.521 with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI in 598 PA.

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the National League’s Most Outstanding Player. He hit .281/.376/.631 with an MLB-best 59 home runs and 132 RBI along with 123 runs scored in 692 plate appearances.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve won the Outstanding Player Award in the AL. He won the batting title, hitting .346 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage. Along with that, he mashed 39 doubles and 24 homers while knocking in 81 runs, scoring 112 runs, and stealing 32 bases.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado won the Always Game Award. He hit .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs, 130 RBI, and 100 runs scored in 680 plate appearances. He also led the NL with 43 doubles.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Rizzo also won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award. He overcame limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008. He has since established the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which raises money for cancer research and provides support to children and their families dealing with cancer.

Altuve won the Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
1 Comment

With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.