Outstanding Pitcher finalists varied and stingy
Among the finalists for the Players Choice Awards as the Outstanding Pitcher in each league were veterans and youngsters, hard throwers and command pitchers, starters and relievers, yet they were all stingy when it came to giving up runs.
The three American League players who received the most player votes in the category were Zach Britton of the Orioles, Corey Kluber of the Indians and Rick Porcello of the Red Sox.
The three leading vote getters in NL player balloting were Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Nationals.
The Players Choice Awards, in which the players themselves select the best performances of the regular season, will be announced exclusively on MLB Network on Nov. 9 from 8 pm ET to 9:30 pm ET in a program presented by MLB®The Show ™.
Each winner of an Outstanding Pitcher award will receive a $20,000 grant from the Players Trust to present to a charity of his choice.
Britton, whose 0.54 ERA was the lowest in MLB history for pitchers with at least 65 innings, allowed just four earned runs over 69 appearances for the Orioles and had a 43-game stretch without allowing an earned run.
Kluber, who pitched the Indians to Game 7 of the World Series, finished the regular season with an 18-9 record, a 3.14 ERA and 227 strikeouts over 215 innings. He led the AL in starts (34), complete games (4) and shutouts (2).
Porcello led the AL with 22 wins and lost just four games while posting a 3.15 ERA over 33 starts and 223 innings for the Red Sox.
Hendricks, a 26-year-old right-hander who relies on command, led the majors with a 2.13 ERA while going 16-8 for the Cubs over 30 starts and 190 innings. He struck out 170 and walked just 44 batters in the process.
Kershaw, the Players Choice Awards winner as the NL’s Outstanding Pitcher in 2013 and 2014, had back trouble in 2016 and started just 21 games (the lowest number since his rookie year) but in those starts he posted a 1.69 ERA with a 12-4 record and three shutouts over 149 innings.
Scherzer led the NL with 20 wins against seven losses while posting a 2.96 ERA over a league-leading 34 starts and 228 innings pitched for the Nationals. He also led the NL with 284 strikeouts and a 5.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Now in its 25th year, the Players Choice Awards program has been honoring the game’s best-of-the- best since 1992, when Major Leaguers selected Dennis Eckersley and Barry Bonds as the AL & NL Outstanding Players, respectively. Today, the players annually honor the outstanding player, rookie, pitcher and comeback player in each league, while the Player of the Year and Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting for the 2016 Players Choice Awards was conducted in all Major League clubhouses on September 20, under the supervision of accounting firm KPMG.
The Players Trust raises funds and attention for issues affecting the needy and promotes community involvement. The Players Trust has recognized the outstanding on-field and off-field performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $4 million to charities around the world selected by the winners.
For a complete list of past Players Choice Awards winners, please click here.