2020 BBWAA AWARDS FINALISTS REVEALED
Winners Will Be Announced November 9 – 12 Exclusively on MLB Network
When the major award categories were revealed, it was not a shock that Juan Soto was not in the Top-3 of candidates for the NL MVP Award. This kid had been snubbed for the All-Star game and other awards before. Why would we expect that to change? Hours before Opening Day, Juan Soto was place on the IL for what was later described by Soto as a “Fake Positive” COVID test. It was suspect, and it really threw off the entire balance of the Washington Nationals beginnings to their start of the 2020 season.
Soto and several of his teammates were placed in COVID seclusion at the start of Summer Training Camp 2.0 because they may have come in contact with a COVID positive teammate on a flight from the Dominican Republic to the United States. That was the first disruption to Soto getting ready for the 2020 season. Then of course Soto had to sit out the first eight games of the season when that potentially false positive test was revealed. In a 60-game season, that meant Soto was guaranteed to miss nearly 14% of the season due to that issue.
Most players would have an impaired timing when batting after sitting in seclusion for the 10-days that Soto was sequestered in his tiny apartment across from the stadium. While he was not able to face live pitching, he was forced to stand in front of a television and take shadow swings. In his first six games of the season, he had two 0-for-4 games, but overall Soto was happy to be playing. He only had three 0-for-4 games all season on his way to being the youngest player ever to win a batting crown in the NL, and Soto did that by a wide margin and finished at .351. He actually led in every part of the offensive slash line that also includes OBP, Slugging, and OPS. His OPS was 1.185 and his OPS+ was 212. Additionally, Soto finished 1st in most Sabremetric stats like wRC+, wOBA, and xSLG.
Because the 21-year-old missed so many games, there was no way he would have caught up to the league leaders in the quantitative stats that are not average based and are cumulative where games played are essential. Soto finished with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs. His WAR, which also is a cumulative stat, was an impressive +2.4 with only 196 Plate Appearances. If you extrapolate to the lowest numbers on the leaderboard which was Betts’ 246 PAs, then Soto’s adjusted WAR would be +3.01 WAR and Top-3 for NL position players. Sure, then the critics throw-in the “well Soto wasn’t in the postseason”. Well, he was the year before and still ranked 9th in MVP.
What will be interesting is how the voters who are comprised of writers from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted. There are two voters from each MLB city. You have to wonder how the two D.C. voters casted their ballots which are made public after the winners are revealed. Where will Trea Turner rank in the final MVP voting? He was 4th overall in Fangraphs WAR among all NL position players.
Last night, the finalists were announced on MLB Network for the awards. There were three finalists for each of the 2020 BBWAA Awards, representing the American League and the National League for the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. For the ninth consecutive year, MLB Network will exclusively televise the live announcements of the winners of each award during BBWAA Awards Week from November 9-12. The complete list of BBWAA Awards finalists, along with the dates for each announcement, is below:
Monday, November 9, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year:
NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year:
- Alec Bohm (Philadelphia Phillies), Jake Cronenworth (San Diego Padres), Devin Williams (Milwaukee Brewers)
Tuesday, November 10, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Manager of the Year:
NL Manager of the Year:
Wednesday, November 11, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Cy Young Award:
NL Cy Young Award:
Thursday, November 12, 6:00 p.m. ET:
AL Most Valuable Player:
NL Most Valuable Player:
- Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves), Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)
BBWAA Awards Week on MLB Network will feature live announcements of each award winner in the American League and National League. MLB Network’s coverage will also include live interviews with award finalists, winners and BBWAA members, along with insight from MLB Network on-air personalities including Ron Darling, Al Leiter, Carlos Peña, Harold Reynolds, Buck Showalter, and insiders Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. MLB Network’s extensive offseason programming will provide coverage leading up to and following each award announcement, including the weekday morning show Hot Stove, High Heat presented by Liberty Mutual, MLB Now presented by Fisher Investments, Intentional Talk presented by United States Marine Corps and the Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight presented by MGM Resorts. MLB Network’s complete programming schedule is available at MLBNetwork.com.
MLB Network will exclusively televise the announcements of the winners of the Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger this Thursday, November 5 at 6:00 p.m. ET and the Rawlings Platinum and Team Gold Glove Awards this Friday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network will also exclusively announce the official All-MLB Team presented by CohnReznick, which recognizes and commemorates the top performances by players in the 2020 regular season, during the week of December 7. The following is the complete schedule of MLB Network’s awards coverage: