Outstanding Player finalists comprised of all-around players
The three stars in each league who received the most votes from their peers in the outstanding player category demonstrate that players took all facets of the game under consideration during Players Choice Awards balloting in September. There is no lack of speed, power and defensive ability among the candidates.
The National League finalists are Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Daniel Murphy of the Nationals while the American League’s top three vote-getters are Jose Altuve of the Astros, Mookie Betts of the Red Sox and Mike Trout of the Angels.
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 ™.
The winners of the Outstanding Player awards will receive a $20,000 grant from the Players Trust to award to a charity of his choice.
National League finalists
The 25-five-year-old Arenado, widely considered the league’s best defensive third baseman, continued to improve offensively, as well, in his fourth season with the Rockies, tying for the league lead with 41 home runs and leading the league in RBIs (133) and total bases (352). His on-base average went from .323 in 2015 to .362 this season as he walked twice as often.
Bryant, 24, who was selected as the NL’s Outstanding Rookie in 2015, jumped directly into consideration as the league’s top player this season in leading the World Series-champion Cubs. He led the NL with a 7.7 WAR and 121 runs scored and he finished third in the league in homers (39) and total bases (334), and fourth in slugging (.554).
Murphy, 31, a career .288 hitter who had never previously hit more than 14 homers in a season, picked up during the 2016 where he left off in the 2015 postseason with the Mets, batting a second-in the-majors .347 with 25 home runs, 104 RBIs and an NL-leading 47 doubles. He led the NL with a .985 OPS and a .595 slugging percentage.
American League finalists
Altuve, a 5-foot-6 second baseman from Venezuela who has made the All-Star team in four of his five full seasons with the Astros, batted .338 to win his second AL batting title in three years and reached career highs with 24 home runs, a .396 on-base percentage and .531 slugging percentage. The 26-year-old also led the AL in hits (216) for the third straight season.
Betts, who turned 24 in October, batted .318 with 31 home runs and 113 RBIs while playing outstanding defense in right field for the Red Sox. He also led the majors with 359 total bases and placed second in the AL in WAR (9.6), hits (214) and runs (122).
Trout, 25, led the majors with a 10.6 WAR, .441 on-base average and 123 runs scored while batting .315, hitting 29 home runs, knocking in 100 runs and stealing 30 bases. The New Jersey native has been an AL All-Star selection in each of his five full seasons.
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.
Watch Bryce Harper accept his 2015 NL Outstanding Player award