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Since 1997, Major Leaguers have recognized the on and off-field achievements of their peers through the Players Choice Awards program. To date, the MLBPA charitable arm The Players Trust has recognized the outstanding performances of Players Choice Awards winners by contributing more than $4 million to charities around the world on behalf of each Award winner.

These awards are voted on uniquely by the active MLB Player membership.

Read official press release here

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NELSON CRUZ

At age 40, Minnesota Twins DH Nelson Cruz remains an example to his fellow players with his commitment, energy and passion. Cruz started his Boomstick23 Foundation in 2016 to help people in his native Dominican Republic. He’s donated a fire engine and an ambulance and helped build a police station in his hometown of Las Matas De Santa Cruz, while giving time and money to expand access to health care. Cruz received the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at the ESPYs in June.

JASON HEYWARD

Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs has assumed a prominent role as a respected voice in the racial and social justice movement. He’s on the advisory board of the Players Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social justice, equality and opportunity in baseball and in the community. Heyward heeded the call to action during the coronavirus pandemic, contributing $300,000 to several Chicago-based charities assisting frontline workers and families in dire economic circumstances. 

ADAM WAINWRIGHT

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright continues to enhance his resume as a leader in the clubhouse and the community. He’s the founder of Big League Impact, a non-profit organization that’s raised more than $4.5 million for charities and philanthropic initiatives. In March, Wainwright and his wife, Jenny, donated $250,000 to Cardinals minor leaguers during the coronavirus shutdown. 

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JOSÉ ABREU

José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox entered some distinguished company this season, joining Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Lou Gehrig as the fourth player in American League history to lead the league in hits and RBIs. Abreu also became the first AL player to lead the league in RBIs in consecutive seasons since Boston’s David Ortiz did it in 2005-2006. Abreu ranked among the league’s top five in batting (.317), hits (76), homers (19), slugging (.617), OPS (.987), extra base hits (34) and total bases (148).

FREDDIE FREEMAN

Freddie Freeman excelled in both traditional and advanced metrics for the NL East champion Atlanta Braves. He ranked second to Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez with a 3.4 fWAR, and posted career bests in batting average (.341), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging (.640) while playing in all 60 games during the abbreviated season. Freeman recorded his 1,500th career hit with a Sept. 9 home run against Miami, and passed Andruw Jones and Eddie Mathews on the franchise’s career doubles list with a league-leading 23 two-baggers.

SHANE BIEBER

Shane Bieber was dominant from start to finish on the way to winning pitching’s “Triple Crown’’ for the Cleveland Indians. He led the majors with 122 strikeouts and a 1.63 ERA and tied the Cubs’ Yu Darvish for first in baseball with eight victories. Bieber became the first Indians pitcher to capture the AL Triple Crown since Bob Feller in 1940, and the first pitcher to lead the majors in all three categories since Minnesota’s Johan Santana captured the Triple Crown in 2006.

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MOOKIE BETTS

After signing a 12-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers before Opening Day, Mookie Betts made his case to join Frank Robinson as the only player to win an MVP award in two leagues. Betts ranked among the NL leaders in seven major categories and was especially effective in the clutch, hitting .439 (18-for-41) with runners in scoring position. On Aug. 13, he went deep three times against San Diego to join Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa as the only players in history with six career three-homer games.

FREDDIE FREEMAN

Freddie Freeman excelled in both traditional and advanced metrics for the NL East champion Atlanta Braves. He ranked second to Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez with a 3.4 fWAR, and posted career bests in batting average (.341), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging (.640) while playing in all 60 games during the abbreviated season. Freeman recorded his 1,500th career hit with a Sept. 9 home run against Miami, and passed Andruw Jones and Eddie Mathews on the franchise’s career doubles list with a league-leading 23 two-baggers.

JUAN SOTO

Juan Soto made an instant impression as a 19-year-old rookie with the Washington Nationals before playing an integral part in a World Championship run a year ago. He continued to burnish his resume in 2020, becoming the youngest player ever to win a National League batting title. Soto’s .351 average was the fourth highest in the modern era by a player in his age 21 season. He trailed only Alex Rodriguez (.358), Lloyd Waner (.355) and Jimmie Foxx (.354).

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JOSÉ ABREU

José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox entered some distinguished company this season, joining Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski and Lou Gehrig as the fourth player in American League history to lead the league in hits and RBIs. Abreu also became the first AL player to lead the league in RBIs in consecutive seasons since Boston’s David Ortiz did it in 2005-2006. Abreu ranked among the league’s top five in batting (.317), hits (76), homers (19), slugging (.617), OPS (.987), extra base hits (34) and total bases (148).

DJ LEMAHIEU

DJ LeMahieu, nicknamed “The Machine’’ by New York Yankees teammate Gary Sanchez, continues to pile up numbers with his quiet, consistent approach at the plate. He hit .364 to become the first player in the modern era to win undisputed batting titles in both leagues. LeMahieu also joined Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig as the fourth player in franchise history to lead the majors in batting average. His .364 average was the highest by a Yankees’ batting champion since DiMaggio hit .381 in 1939.

MIKE TROUT

Mike Trout made some franchise history on the way to another stellar season with the Los Angeles Angels. He hit his 300th career home run on Sept. 5 to pass Tim Salmon and become the all-time franchise leader in the category. Trout tied for third in the league in home runs (17), RBIs (46) and extra base hits (28) and was fourth in runs scored (41) and on-base percentage (.390). Trout has finished in the top two of AL MVP voting in seven of his eight full MLB seasons.

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TREVOR BAUER

Trevor Bauer played a pivotal role in helping the Cincinnati Reds to their first postseason berth since 2013. He led the National League with a 1.73 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, 5.06 hits per nine innings and a .159 opponents’ batting average, while finishing second to Jacob deGrom with 100 strikeouts. Bauer became only the fifth pitcher in Reds’ franchise history to lead the NL in ERA and the first to accomplish the feat since Ed Heusser in 1944.

JACOB DEGROM

Fresh off back-to-back National League Cy Young Awards with the New York Mets, Jacob deGrom continued to distinguish himself as one of the game’s elite pitchers. Since the start of 2018, deGrom leads MLB starters with a 2.10 ERA and 489 innings and ranks third behind Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer with 628 strikeouts. DeGrom has 46 double-digit strikeout games in 183 career starts. In major-league history, only Nolan Ryan and Clayton Kershaw have recorded more 10-strikeout games over that duration.

YU DARVISH

Yu Darvish got off to a strong start with the Chicago Cubs -- logging a
6-1 record with a 1.47 ERA to win the National League Pitcher of the Month Award for July/August – and never looked back. During one torrid seven-game stretch, Darvish earned the victory while allowing one or zero runs every outing. The last pitcher in franchise history to achieve that distinction: Ed Reulbach of the 1906 Cubs.

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SHANE BIEBER

Shane Bieber was dominant from start to finish on the way to winning pitching’s “Triple Crown’’ for the Cleveland Indians. He led the majors with 122 strikeouts and a 1.63 ERA and tied the Cubs’ Yu Darvish for first in baseball with eight victories. Bieber became the first Indians pitcher to capture the AL Triple Crown since Bob Feller in 1940, and the first pitcher to lead the majors in all three categories since Minnesota’s Johan Santana captured the Triple Crown in 2006.

GERRIT COLE

Gerrit Cole more than lived up to expectations after signing with the New York Yankees as one of the prized free agents of the offseason. He ranked among the American League leaders in wins (7), starts (12), strikeouts (94), WHIP (0.96), ERA (2.84), opponents’ batting average (.197) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.59). Cole went 20-0 with a 1.97 ERA over a span of 28 starts in 2019-2020 before the streak ended with a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on Aug. 26.

LANCE LYNN

After finishing fifth in AL Cy Young Award balloting in his debut season with Texas, Lance Lynn gave the Rangers another strong performance this year. He led the majors with 84 innings and his nine quality starts ranked among MLB’s best. One of baseball’s most durable and reliable starters, Lynn ended the 2020 season with a streak of 37 consecutive starts of 100 or more pitches.

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ALEC BOHM

Alec Bohm, the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft out of Wichita State, zipped through the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor-league system from Lakewood to Clearwater to Reading in 2019 before being summoned by the big club in mid-August. He didn’t disappoint, showing a discerning eye at the plate and logging a .338/.400/.481 slash line at the infield corner spots. Even though a late start limited him to 44 games, Bohm led all National League rookies with 54 hits and 23 RBIs.

JAKE CRONENWORTH

Jake Cronenworth, acquired by San Diego from Tampa Bay with Tommy Pham as part of a four-player trade in December, had an immediate impact with his new club. He hit .360 (9-for-25) in eight games at first base while filling in for the injured Eric Hosmer, then settled into a productive role as the Padres’ regular second baseman. Cronenworth led National League rookies with 26 runs, 22 extra base hits, 15 doubles and 82 total bases, and ranked second in hits, walks, RBIs and OPS.

DEVIN WILLIAMS

Devin Williams, a former second-round pick of the Brewers, spent six years in the minors and overcame a right elbow reconstruction before making his MLB debut in 2019. He emerged as a bullpen force in 2020, striking out 53 batters in 27 innings with a repertoire featuring a 96 mph fastball and a changeup dubbed “The Airbender’’ by pitching analyst Rob Friedman. Williams allowed only eight hits all season while posting a 0.33 ERA.

JAMES KARINCHAK

James Karinchak, a former ninth-round draft pick out of Bryant University in Rhode Island, built upon a strong 2019 debut to become a trusted member of the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen. Relying on a mid-90s fastball and curveball mix, Karinchak averaged a staggering 17.7 strikeouts per nine innings and limited opposing hitters to a .159 batting average (14-for-88). He struck out at least two batters in eight straight games in August, the longest such stretch by an Indians reliever since Alan Embree in 1996.

KYLE LEWIS

Kyle Lewis, a former Golden Spikes Award winner at Mercer University, lived up to the promise that led the Seattle Mariners to select him with the 11th pick in MLB’s 2016 amateur draft. Lewis showed advanced maturity as Seattle’s everyday center fielder and No. 3 hitter in the batting order. He ranked first among major-league rookies with 37 runs and 34 walks and showed consistent power to all fields, launching 11 home runs in 58 games.

LUIS ROBERT

Luis Robert flashed a multi-faceted skill set in his rookie season with the Chicago White Sox. Robert displayed abundant power with 11 home runs and eight doubles in 202 at-bats and was successful on nine of 11 stolen base attempts. He also showed elite defensive ability and ranked among the game’s top center fielders in both the FanGraphs and Baseball-reference metrics. Robert’s 109.2 mph exit velocity on his home runs was the highest in the majors.

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DANIEL BARD

Daniel Bard, once a prime prospect with the Boston Red Sox, spent time with the Cubs, Rangers, Pirates, Cardinals and Mets before announcing his retirement from baseball in 2017 at age 32. Colorado signed him out of a tryout session in February, and Bard made his first big-league appearance in seven years with a scoreless outing in relief against Texas on July 25. He went on to post a 4-2 record with a 3.65 ERA and six saves for the Rockies, while featuring a fastball that averaged 97 mph on the radar gun.

WIL MYERS

Wil Myers rebounded from an off year and rediscovered his old Rookie of the Year/All-Star form in 2020, providing some needed thump out of the 5-6 spots in the batting order for the playoff-bound San Diego Padres. Myers hit 15 homers and drove in 40 runs, and his .959 OPS over 55 games was easily a career best. He was especially strong in high-leverage spots, hitting .357 with a 1.267 OPS with runners in scoring position. 

ADAM DUVALL

After hitting a combined .195 between Cincinnati and Atlanta in 2018, Adam Duvall spent much of the 2019 season with the Braves’ Triple-A Gwinnett farm club. He put his struggles behind him and regained his power stroke this season, hitting 16 homers and slugging .532 over 57 games as Atlanta’s primary left fielder. During a memorable eight-day stretch in September, Duvall launched three home runs against the Red Sox and matched the feat in a 29-9 victory over the Marlins.

CARLOS CARRASCO

Carlos Carrasco, aka “Cookie,’’ won the Roberto Clemente Award and inspired teammates, opponents and fans with his courageous fight against leukemia in 2019. This year he returned to the mound and was a major contributor in the Cleveland Indians’ playoff run. Carrasco logged a 3-4 record with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts and passed Charles Nagy, CC Sabathia, Early Wynn and Bob Lemon to move into fourth place on the franchise’s career strikeout list with 1,305.

SALVADOR PEREZ

Salvador Perez, a six-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger with the Kansas City Royals, returned to form after missing the entire 2019 season with Tommy John surgery. He ranked among baseball’s most productive offensive catchers, hitting .333 with a .986 OPS, 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 37 games. In major-league history, Hall of Famers Ted Williams (13) and Frank Thomas (12) are the only players to hit more than 11 homers in a season of 37 games or fewer. 

JOSÉ RAMÍREZ

After a down year at the plate in 2019, José Ramírez recovered from a slow start to lead the Cleveland Indians to a postseason berth and make a late push for American League MVP. In September, Ramirez logged a .366/.453/.841 slash line with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs. His 10th inning walkoff home run against the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 22 clinched the Indians’ fourth playoff spot in five seasons. Ramirez’s last 11 hits of the season went for extra bases (seven doubles and four home runs).

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