The players selected veteran slugger David Ortiz and emerging, all-around talents Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts as Players Choice Award finalists for their 2016 Player of the Year.
The Players Choice Awards, in which the players themselves select the best performances of the regular season, will be announced exclusively on MLB Network tonight (Nov. 9) from 8 pm ET to 9:30 pm ET in a program presented by MLB®The Show ™.
The winner of the Player of the Year Award receives a $50,000 grant from the Players Trust to award to a charity of his choice. It’s one of two Players Choice Awards, along with Marvin Miller Man of the Year, selected by the players in both leagues.
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, 113 RBIs and 26 stolen bases 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).
The 40-year-old Ortiz, a 10-time All-Star who announced that the 2016 season would be his last, led the majors with a .620 slugging percentage, a career-best 1.021 OPS and 48 doubles while batting .315 with 38 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBIs.
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 Josh Donaldson accept his 2015 Player of the Year Award: