Players Announce 26th Players Choice Awards Winners
Players selected José Altuve as this season's best player and Anthony Rizzo as the one who most inspires them to a higher level of achievement in their 26th Players Choice Awards.
Altuve won 2017 Players Choice Awards as both the AL Outstanding Player and the overall Player of the Year while Rizzo was selected by his peers as winner of the prestigious Marvin Miller Man of the Year in balloting that was conducted in mid-September and announced Wednesday night during a 90-minute broadcast on MLB Network and presented by MLB The Show.
“I have to thank all the players that put me in this situation, because they are the biggest reason that I'm sitting here. I'm thankful,” Altuve said during the broadcast. “I'm just a guy that goes out there trying to get better and trying to help his team.”
Giancarlo Stanton, who led the major leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs this season with the Marlins, earned NL Outstanding Player honors, while Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber were named the Outstanding Pitchers in their respective leagues. The top rookies were right fielder Aaron Judge in the AL and first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger in the NL, and the Comeback Players were Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Moustakas.
The Players Choice Awards, in which the players recognize each other's excellence on and off the field, have been presented by the Major League Baseball Players Association since 1992, with the Players Trust providing more than $4.7 million in charitable grants to causes selected by the winning players.
The winners of the two overall awards – Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year – each receive a $50,000 grant from the Trust that will go to a charity or charities he selects, while the winners of awards as top comeback, rookie, pitcher and player in their league each receive a $20,000 grant.
For his work with the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, Rizzo was honored by his peers with the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is named in honor of the Players Association's first executive director and given to the player who most inspires his fellow players through his on-field performances and contributions to his community.
“Just to be associated with Marvin Miller is something that's incredible,” Rizzo said. “For what he's done for this game of baseball, he paved the path for every player and it's amazing.
“This [grant] will go to the Anthony Rizzo Foundation, probably toward the walk and directly down here to the University of Miami Sylvester Center where I got my treatment and the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital,” Rizzo said. “It's an amazing hospital. The money will be put to good use and it will be put to use right away.”
The Chicago Cubs' first baseman and cancer survivor founded the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in 2012 to provide funding for pediatric cancer research as well as support for the families of children fighting cancer. The foundation has raised millions of dollars for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., the Family Reach Foundation and Gilda's Club Chicago. In 2017 alone, the foundation has committed more than $4 million to establish the Hope 44 program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, where Rizzo regularly visits the infusion center to lift children's spirits while they are being administered chemotherapy.
“On the field you want to do things the right way, you want to play the game the right way,” Rizzo said. “Off the field I really try to use the platform that we've been provided with Major League Baseball to go out and help. It's amazing what it can do to someone. A moment can last a lifetime for them seeing a person in a Cubs' jersey. I try to keep that and remember that at all times.”
Previous winners of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award have included Curtis Granderson (2016), Adam Jones (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Mariano Rivera (2013).
Altuve, a 5-foot-6 second baseman from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, led the American League in batting (.346) and hits (204), while earning his fifth All-Star Game berth in seven seasons and leading the Houston Astros to their first World Series title in franchise history. He had 39 doubles, 81 RBIs, a .410 on-base average, stole 32 bases and played stellar second base. Only Ty Cobb, Pete Rose and Hank Aaron had more hits through their age-27 seasons than Altuve. He only had one three-game hitless streak over the course of the season and his lowest monthly batting average was the .298 he recorded in September.
Stanton, who had the best of his eight seasons, led the majors with 59 homers and 132 RBIs and led the NL with a 6.5 WAR and a .631 slugging percentage and earned his fourth NL All-Star berth. In becoming just the sixth player to reach 59 home runs, Stanton set Marlins' records for home runs and RBIs (132) in a single season.
Kluber 31, was 18-4 with an MLB-leading 2.25 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings, and also leading the league in wins, WHIP (0.869), complete games (5), shutouts (3). Using his trademark curve, he had 265 strikeouts while walking just 35 over 203 2/3 innings.
Scherzer, who won the AL Outstanding Pitcher award in 2014, was 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and an NL-leading 268 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings for the Nats and also led the league with an 0.90 WHIP and allowed just 5.7 hits per nine innings. It was the second straight season the Missouri native led the NL in strikeouts and the fourth time in the past five seasons that he's posted an ERA below 3.00.
Judge, 25, set the MLB rookie record with 52 home runs and a Yankee Stadium-record with 33 home runs at home. He started for the AL in right field at the All-Star Game and won the Home Run Derby. Judge, a first-round selection of the Yankees in 2013, finished the season with an 8.1 WAR, the second-highest among all position players and highest rookie WAR since Mike Trout in 2012. In 155 games, Judge hit .284 with 52 home runs, a league-high 128 runs and 114 RBIs.
Bellinger, 22, helped power the Dodgers to a NL pennant. Called up in late April, he hit .267 with 87 runs scored, 39 home runs – an NL rookie record – and 97 RBIs in 132 games. He was an NL All-Star, becoming the first Dodgers' position player to make an All-Star team as a first-year player. Bellinger was a fourth-round draft pick of the Dodgers in 2013.
Moustakis, 29, suffered an ACL tear in May 2016 but returned for the best of seven MLB seasons this year, batting .272 with a franchise-record 38 home runs and 85 RBIs for the Royals and made the AL All-Star team for the second time. Moustakas, the second overall draft pick in 2007, also had career-high in runs (75), RBIs (85), slugging percentage (.521) and OPS (.835) in his seventh season with Kansas City.
Zimmerman, 33, who has spent time on the disabled list over the past three seasons with shoulder, wrist, thumb, foot, hamstring and oblique injuries, returned to the All-Star Game after an eight-year absence in 2017 and became the first Nats player to bat over .300 with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. Zimmerman, who was the fourth overall draft pick in 2005, the year the franchise moved to Washington, D.C., finished the season with a .303/.358/.573 slash line to go with 36 homers and 108 RBIs.
Additionally, Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies won the Always Game Award, presented by Majestic Athletic. The award recognizes the player that constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle on and off the field; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans. José Altuve had won the award the previous two years.
The announcement program was on MLB Network for the seventh consecutive year and presented by MLB The Show™ and sponsored by Majestic Athletic. The program was hosted by Heidi Watney, Robert Flores and former Major Leaguer, Dan Plesac.
The winners and finalists for each award were selected by players on Sept. 19 in league-wide balloting conducted under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
2017 Players Choice Awards Finalists and Winners (In Bold):
Outstanding Player: José Altuve (Houston Astros); Aaron Judge (New York Yankees); José Ramírez (Cleveland Indians)
Outstanding Pitcher: Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians); Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox); Luis Severino (New York Yankees)
Outstanding Rookie: Andrew Benintendi (Boston Red Sox); Aaron Judge (New York Yankees); Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles)
Comeback Player: Mike Moustakas (Kansas City Royals); Justin Smoak (Toronto Blue Jays); Jason Vargas (Kansas City Royals)
Outstanding Player: Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies); Charlie Blackmon (Colorado Rockies); Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins)
Outstanding Pitcher: Zack Greinke (Arizona Diamondbacks); Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers); Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals)
Outstanding Rookie: Josh Bell (Pittsburgh Pirates); Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers); Paul DeJong (St. Louis Cardinals)
Comeback Player: Greg Holland (Colorado Rockies); Eric Thames (Milwaukee Brewers); Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)
Player of Year: José Altuve (Houston Astros); Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies); Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins)
Man of the Year: Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants); Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs); David Robertson (New York Yankees)
For more information on the Players Choice Awards, please click here:
For the complete list of previous winners, please click here: