2023 Players Choice Awards: Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani & Marcus Semien Win MLB Honors

The MLB Players Association (MLBPA) announced all winners for the 2023 Players Choice Awards, which are particularly distinguished as they are chosen through a vote of their peers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers only had Mookie Betts place among the top three for any of the categories, as he was up for MLB Player of the Year and National League Outstanding Player. However, both those awards went to Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuña Jr.

In balloting for Marvin Miller Man of the Year, players were asked to vote for the player “whose leadership most inspires others to higher levels of achievement.” Curtis Granderson, who retired after the 2019 season, won the award four times.

Other recent honorees include Francisco Lindor (2022), Nelson Cruz (2020), Anthony Rizzo (2017), Adam Jones (2015) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).

The award is dedicated to Marvin Miller, who served as the MLBPA’s first full-time executive director from 1966 through 1982 and guided its emergence as one of the country’s strongest and most cohesive labor unions.

As for the Curt Flood Award, it commemorates his historic judicial fight against baseball’s reserve system, which paved the way for free agency in the 1970s.

Full list of 2023 Players Choice Award winners

Player of the Year: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Acuña had the first 40-50 season in MLB history and topped that even further by finishing the year with 41 home runs and 73 stolen bases. He also hit .337/.416/.596 with 35 doubles, 106 RBI, 149 runs scored and a 170 wRC+ with a total of 8.3 WAR.

The likely 2023 NL MVP also led the Majors with 217 total hits runs and stolen bases, and his on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging (1.102) was the top mark in the NL.

NL Outstanding Player: Ronald Acuña Jr.

After being voted as the best player in baseball in 2023, Acuña naturally was a lock for the NL outstanding player award as well.

Acuña set the Braves’ modern era franchise record for stolen bases in a season and he is the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1937 to collect at least 200 hits, 100 RBIs, 145 runs and 40 homers in a season.

AL Outstanding Player: Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani had yet another tremendous season of two-way play for the Los Angeles Angels that had him in contention for MLB Player of the Year as well and earned him his third All-Star nod as the starting designated hitter.

In 135 games, he recorded 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 78 extra base hits, and led the majors in slugging (.654), OPS (1.066), and bWAR (10.0). On the mound, he finished 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings, and his 31.5% strikeout rate ranked second in the AL.

NL Outstanding Pitcher: Blake Snell

Blake Snell’s 2.25 ERA this season was the NL’s best by 0.73 runs below New York Mets’ rookie Kodai Senga, who posted a 2.98.

Among qualified starters, The San Diego Padres’ left-hander ranked first in opposing batting average (.180) and hits allowed (115), and second in strikeouts (234). His strikeouts and 32 games started surpassed his production from his 2018 Cy Young season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

AL Outstanding Pitcher: Gerrit Cole

Gerrit Cole finished with a 15-4 record while making his sixth career All-Star team while the New York Yankees went 23-10 in his 33 starts.

He became the first Yankees pitcher in the last 10 years to throw multiple shutouts in a season. With a 2.63 ERA, he became the 10th Yankees pitcher to win an AL ERA title and recorded the lowest ERA by a qualified Yankees starter in the last 43 years.

He led all MLB pitchers in bWAR (7.5) and WPA (4.39) and was the only starter with a WHIP under 1.0 (0.98).

NL Outstanding Rookie: Corbin Carroll

Corbin Carroll helped lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to their first World Series appearance since 2001.

He led the team in hits (161), triples (10), runs (116), stolen bases (54), batting average (.285), OBP (.362), slugging percentage (.506), and OPS (.868). He is the first rookie in MLB history to record 25+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases in a season.

Carroll joined Senga as the only NL rookies to make the All-Star team.

AL Outstanding Rookie: Gunnar Henderson

Gunnar Henderson led MLB rookies in bWAR (6.3), home runs (28), and extra base hits (66) and set Baltimore Orioles rookie records with 100 runs scored and a .489 slugging percentage. Henderson was the first rookie in Orioles history to record 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases in a season.

As a shortstop and third baseman, he led the team with 13 defensive runs saved. He was AL Rookie of the Month in June.

NL Comeback Player: Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger regained his footing with the Chicago Cubs after struggling in his final two years with the Dodgers. His batting average jumped from .210 in 2022 to .307 this season, which tied for sixth best in MLB.

His .356 OBP, .525 slugging percentage, and .881 OPS are his highest marks since his 2019 NL MVP season.

AL Comeback Player: Liam Hendricks

Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January, Liam Hendriks completed treatment and made his emotional return to the mound on May 29 against the Angels. The entire stadium, as well as the larger baseball community, applauded Hendriks for his inspirational perseverance and the 2022 All-Star reached 96 mph on his fastball in his debut.

He pitched in five games this season for the Chicago White Sox, allowing just one run and one hit in his final four relief innings before his year was cut short by season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Marvin Miller Man of the Year: Marcus Semien

Marcus Semien was nominated by his peers for the award for the third straight year and this time earned the honors as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year.

He continues to be an engaged and committed member of the MLBPA’s Executive Subcommittee as an Association Player Representative. As a Texas Rangers player, Semien is active in charitable efforts to provide food to people in need during holidays and mentor youth baseball programs.

He strongly advocates for increased diversity in baseball in his work with the Players Alliance and Coaching Corps. He is also a two-time club winner of the MLBPAA’s Heart and Hustle Award, which honors players who demonstrate a passion for the game and embody its values, spirit and traditions.

Curt Flood Award: Phil Bradley

Phil Bradley is completing his 25th year as an MLBPA special assistant, offering day-to-day support for current players. As a union leader during the tumultuous 1980s, he exhibited an uncommon ability to stand up for principle and justice.

Bradley was a major participant in the 1990 negotiations that led to an MLB lockout, consistently speaking out against the clubs’ efforts to undercut salary arbitration and free agency. He joined the PA staff in January 1999 and has continued his dedication to advancing the rights of players and future players.

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