The 2021 Players Choice Awards winners were revealed on Thursday, and for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it amounted to Max Scherzer being named the National League Outstanding Pitcher.
Similar to previous years, the winners were voted on by the players in September. The awardees, in collaboration with the MLB Players Trust, will have an opportunity to donate $70,000 to their choice of charity.
2021 Marvin Miller Man of the Year
Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien 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 served as the MLBPA’s first full-time executive director from 1966 through 1982. Semien was one of only two players to appear in all 162 games and set a new MLB record by hitting 45 home runs as a second baseman.
Semien earned the honor over fellow finalists Scherzer and St. Louis Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller.
2021 Curt Flood Award
The 2021 Curt Flood Award was given posthumously to Mark Belanger, a longtime player advocate as an executive board member and the first former player hired to work for the union.
The 2021 nominating committee, made up of seven former and current MLBPA executives, unanimously selected Belanger for the honor.
Player of the Year & AL Outstanding Player
After a stellar season on both sides of the ball in which he drew comparisons to Babe Ruth, L.A. Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was the recipient of the 2021 Player of the Year Award and voted the 2021 American League Outstanding Player.
Ohtani ranked third in the Majors with 46 home runs this season and became the first AL player to record at least 45 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 100 runs scored.
On the mound, Ohtani went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings across 23 starts.
NL Outstanding Player
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper was named the NL Outstanding Player after leading the Majors in both slugging percentage (.615) and on-base plus slugging (1.044).
San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley were the other finalists.
AL Outstanding Pitcher
Blue Jays ace and impending free agent Robbie Ray enjoyed a career year in which he led all of baseball with 248 strikeouts, and led the AL in ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.04), innings pitched (193.1) and quality starts (23).
New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and Chicago White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn were the other finalists.
NL Outstanding Pitcher
Scherzer earned his third career Outstanding Pitcher Award after going 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.84 strikeouts per nine innings and .185 opponents’ batting average. He led the Majors in WHIP and batting average against, and was second in the NL in ERA and strikeouts per nine.
After being traded from the Nationals to the Dodgers, Scherzer went on a historic run and finished 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA over 11 starts.
Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes and Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler were the other finalists.
AL Outstanding Rookie
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle earned AL Outstanding Rookie after leading all AL rookies with 33 and ranking second with 89 RBI.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena and Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis García were the other finalists.
NL Outstanding Rookie
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India was named NL Outstanding Rookie after leading all qualified NL rookies in on-base percentage (.376), walks (71), doubles (34) and runs scored (98).
Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson and Chicago Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom were the other finalists.
AL Comeback Player
Orioles designated hitter Trey Mancini won the AL Comeback Player of the Award after missing all of last season while battling Stage 3 colon cancer. He played in 147 games, hit his 100th career home run and collected his 600th career hit.
Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger and Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins were the other finalists.
NL Comeback Player
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey earned NL Comeback Player honors after opting out of the shortened 2020 season. He was an All-Star, accumulated his 1,500th career hit, and batted an overall .316/.417/.538 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and Reds first baseman Joey Votto were the other finalists.
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