The 2022 Players Choice Awards winners were revealed on Friday, but the Los Angeles Dodgers did not have any recipients despite Freddie Freeman and Julio Urías both finishing among finalists.
The Players Choice Awards have special significance to players because the winners are chosen by their peers with the voting taking place throughout the league in late September.
In some cases, they offer a glimpse of what to expect with Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
2022 Marvin Miller Man of the Year
New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor earned the prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to the player “whose leadership most inspires others to higher levels of achievement.”
The award is dedicated to Marvin Miller, who was the MLB Players Association’s first full-time executive director from 1966-1982. Miller is touted as being responsible for the MLBPA becoming one of the country’s strongest and most cohesive unions.
A Puerto Rico native, Lindor follows Carlos Villanueva and Elvis Andrus as the third Latin-American born player to serve on the union’s Executive Subcommittee.
Marcus Semien and Brent Suter were the other Marvin Miller Man of the Year finalists.
Curtis Granderson, who retired after the 2019 season, won the award four times. Other recent honorees include Semien (2021), Nelson Cruz (2020), Anthony Rizzo (2017), Adam Jones (2015) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).
2022 Curt Flood Award
Steve Rogers was voted the Curt Flood Award winner, which is given to “a former player, living or deceased, who in the image of Flood demonstrated a selfless, longtime devotion to the Players Association and advancement of players’ rights.”
The award honors Flood’s judicial fight against baseball’s reserve system, which paved the way for free agency in the 1970s.
Rogers has been a player advocate for almost 50 years as a former pitcher and current MLBPA executive. He joined the Players Association full-time as a special assistant in 1999 and continues to serve the union and players with his knowledge and grasp of the pension fund and benefit plans.
Buck Martinez and Brooks Robinson were the other two finalists for the award, which is voted on by a nominating committee made up of seven former and current MLBPA executives.
2022 Player of the Year and American League Outstanding Player
Aaron Judge took home both 2022 Player of the Year and American League Outstanding Player.
His 62 home runs broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old AL record and he led the Major Leagues by 16 home runs, the largest gap at the top of the home run leaderboard since Jimmie Foxx outpaced the pack by 17 in 1932.
Judge’s MLB-leading 391 total bases were the most by an AL player since Alex Rodriguez had 393 for the Texas Rangers in 2001. Judge helped carry the New York Yankees to an AL East title while leading the Majors in runs scored (133), RBI (T-131), on-base percentage (.425) and slugging (.686).
Shohei Ohtani and Paul Goldschmidt were the other Player of the Year finalists. For the AL outstanding player, Judge and Ohtani were the only finalists.
2022 National League Outstanding Player
Goldschmidt was selected as the National League Outstanding Player after a fantastic season for the St. Louis Cardinals. In his fourth season with the club, Goldschmidt led the league with a .578 slugging percentage and .981 OPS while driving in 100 runs for the fourth time in his career.
Austin Riley and Freeman were the two other finalists for the NL Outstanding Player Award.
2022 AL Outstanding Pitcher and Comeback Player of the Year
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was voted AL Outstanding Pitcher and Comeback Player of the Year for the 2022 season. At 39 years old, Verlander bounced back after missing two seasons following Tommy John surgery in 2020.
He led the AL in wins (18), ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.83), opponents’ OPS (.498), opponents’ batting average (.186) and hits per nine innings (6.0). Verlander’s ERA was the lowest by an AL starting pitcher in a full season since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA for the Boston Red Sox in 2000.
Dylan Cease and Alek Manoah were the other players voted as finalists for the AL Outstanding Pitcher Award. Finalists for Comeback Player of the Year were Matt Carpenter and Mike Trout.
2022 NL Outstanding Pitcher
Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara was named the 2022 NL Outstanding Pitcher over Zac Gallen and Urías.
Alcántara finished the season with a 2.28 ERA and lasted at least eight innings in 14 starts this season, the most by any pitcher since Chris Sale did it 13 times in 2016. Alcántara notched his second straight season with 200 or more innings and 200-plus strikeouts.
2022 AL Outstanding Rookie
Julio Rodríguez was selected as the AL Outstanding Rookie after he played a key role in leading the Seattle Mariners to the postseason for the first time since 2001.
Rodríguez led all rookies in home runs (28), total bases (260), slugging percentage (.509) and OPS (.853). He additionally joined Chris Young (2007) and Trout (2012) as the third rookie with at least 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in the same season.
Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt Jr. were the other two finalists.
2022 NL Outstanding Rookie
Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves was named the NL Outstanding Rookie after he posted dominant numbers in 31 appearances (20 starts).
He went 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA, struck out 202 and allowed only 86 hits in 131.2 innings. Strider’s average of 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings surpassed the previous mark of 12.6 for a rookie pitcher held by Kerry Wood.
Strider’s teammate Michael Harris II and Brendan Donovan were the other award finalists.
2022 NL Comeback Player of the Yea
Ronald Acuña Jr. was named the NL Comeback Player after he appeared in his third All-Star Game this year while making an impressive comeback from a torn ACL in his right knee that was suffered in July 2021.
Acuña hit 15 homers, logged a .764 OPS and ranked third in the NL with 29 stolen bases despite missing the first three weeks of the season due to finishing the rehab process.
Brandon Drury and Albert Pujols were the two other finalists for the award.
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