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2022 players choice awards WINNERS

SINCE 1992, THE PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS HAVE RECOGNIZED THE OUTSTANDING ON- AND OFF-FIELD PERFORMANCES OF PLAYERS.

 

THE AWARDS HAVE SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE TO PLAYERS BECAUSE THE WINNERS ARE SELECTED IN BALLOTING AMONG THEIR PEERS.

PRESS RELEASE:

MARVIN MILLER MAN OF THE YEAR

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FRANCISCO LINDOR

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Francisco Lindor, a former team player representative in Cleveland, has assumed additional responsibilities in player leadership with the Mets as an Alternate Association Player Rep. 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. Beyond his advocacy for players, Lindor has lent his time and effort to numerous charities and causes in the community. In 2017-2018, he made several trips to Puerto Rico to help the island recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria. He has worked with young people through the Make-A-Wish and Boys & Girls Clubs, among other groups, and in 2021 he donated $1 million to Montverde Academy in Florida and established the Francisco Lindor Scholarship Fund. Lindor left Puerto Rico to attend Montverde in the eighth grade and credits the school with giving him a strong academic foundation that has endured throughout his baseball career. 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

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AARON JUDGE

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Aaron Judge captivated the baseball world with his power and all-around hitting acumen in 2022. His 62 home runs broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League record. Judge also led the majors in runs scored (133), OBP (.425), slugging (.686), OPS (1.111) and extra-base hits, while tying for first with 131 RBI. He led the majors by 16 home runs, the largest gap at the top of the home run leader board 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 recorded 393 for the Texas Rangers in 2001.

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PLAYER

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PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT

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In his fourth season with St. Louis, Goldschmidt won the NL Player of the Month Award in May and kept on producing. He led the league with a .578 slugging percentage and a .981 OPS while driving in 100 runs for the fourth time in his career. Goldschmidt’s seven seasons with 30 or more home runs since 2013 tie him with Nolan Arenado, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion for most in the majors in that span. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base, Goldschmidt was an NL finalist at the position again this season.

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PLAYER

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AARON JUDGE

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Aaron Judge captivated the baseball world with his power and all-around hitting acumen in 2022. His 62 home runs broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League record. Judge also led the majors in runs scored (133), OBP (.425), slugging (.686), OPS (1.111) and extra-base hits, while tying for first with 131 RBI. He led the majors by 16 home runs, the largest gap at the top of the home run leader board 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 recorded 393 for the Texas Rangers in 2001.

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PITCHER

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SANDY ALCANTARA

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Sandy Alcantara (14-9, 2.28) solidified his credentials as one of baseball’s premier workhorses with a major-league high six complete games and 228 1/3 innings pitched. He lasted at least eight innings in 14 starts this season, the most by a major-league pitcher since Chris Sale did it 13 times in 2016. Alcantara notched his second straight season with 200 or more innings and 200-plus strikeouts. The last starters to accomplish the feat were the Mets’ Jacob deGrom and the Astros’ Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, all of whom did it in 2018-2019.

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PITCHER

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JUSTIN VERLANDER

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Justin Verlander enjoyed an incredible resurgence at age 39 after missing two seasons following 2020 Tommy John surgery.  He led the American League in wins (18), ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.83), opponents OPS (.497), 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 Boston in 2000. He made his ninth All-Star team in 2022 and passed Fergie Jenkins, Pedro Martinez, Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling, CC Sabathia and John Smoltz on MLB’s career strikeout list.  

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING ROOKIE

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SPENCER STRIDER

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Spencer Strider, a 2020 fourth round pick out of Clemson University, posted dominant numbers in 20 starts and 31 appearances. He went 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA, struck out 202 and allowed only 86 hits in 131 2/3 innings. Strider’s average of 13.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings surpassed the previous mark of 12.6 for a rookie pitcher held by Kerry Wood of the 1998 Cubs. Strider’s season highlight came on September 1, when he set a club record with 16 strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter over eight innings in a 3-0 victory over the Rockies. 

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING ROOKIE

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JULIO RODRÍGUEZ

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Julio RodrÍguez, 21, played a feature role in leading Seattle to the postseason for the first time since 2001.  He led major-league rookies in homers (28), total bases (260), slugging percentage (.509) and OPS (.853), and joined Chris Young of the 2007 Diamondbacks and Mike Trout of the 2012 Angels as the third rookie to amass at least 25 homers and 25 steals. Rodriguez joined Alvin Davis and Ichiro Suzuki as one of three Seattle rookies to post a Baseball-reference.com WAR of 6+ in a season. He was AL Rookie of the Month in May and June and MLB’s only rookie All-Star.

NATIONAL LEAGUE COMEBACK PLAYER

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RONALD ACUÑA JR.

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Acuña, 24, appeared in his third All-Star Game this year while making an impressive comeback from a torn ACL in his right knee that he suffered in July 2021. He hit 15 homers, logged a .764 OPS and ranked third in the National League with 29 stolen bases despite missing the first three weeks of the season in the final stages of his recovery. In August, Acuña became the 13th player in MLB history to accumulate at least 500 hits, 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases before age 25.

AMERICAN LEAGUE COMEBACK PLAYER

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JUSTIN VERLANDER

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Justin Verlander enjoyed an incredible resurgence at age 39 after missing two seasons following 2020 Tommy John surgery.  He led the American League in wins (18), ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.83), opponents OPS (.497), 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 Boston in 2000. He made his ninth All-Star team in 2022 and passed Fergie Jenkins, Pedro Martinez, Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling, CC Sabathia and John Smoltz on MLB’s career strikeout list.  

CURT FLOOD AWARD

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STEVE ROGERS

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No Player has devoted more of his professional career on and off the field to advocating for his fellow Players than former Montreal Expos All-Star pitcher Steve Rogers. He spent 10 of his 13 seasons with the Expos as the team’s Player Rep and another two as an alternate. He was elected the NL’s Pension Rep at the 1976 Executive Board meeting – a position he would hold until his retirement in 1985 -- and he was part of the union’s original Executive Subcommittee in 1979. Immersing himself in complex issues, Rogers earned the respect of his peers as a voice of common sense and a driving force for Player unity, strength and resolve.  During the 1981 strike, Rogers, Bob Boone, Doug DeCinces and Mark Belanger were among the players directly involved in negotiations with owners. In his book “Lords of the Realm,’’ John Helyar described Rogers as a “calm, analytical voice in the committee's caucuses.’’ Rogers was so integral to PA operations that a year into retirement then-Executive Director Don Fehr called on him in late 1986 to consult on Pension Committee matters and in 1988 to assist in sorting out the collusion cases of that era. He joined the Players Association full-time as a Special Assistant in 1999 and at age 72 continues to serve the PA and Players with his institutional knowledge and encyclopedic grasp of the pension fund and benefit plans. As a Player, Rogers made five All-Star teams, surpassed 230 innings eight times and established himself as a consistent and durable starter over a 13-year career. A remarkable 129 of Rogers’ 399 starts resulted in complete games. Rogers has also been a longtime director of the MLB Players Alumni Association and was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.