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SINCE 1992, THE PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS HAVE RECOGNIZED THE OUTSTANDING ON- AND OFF-FIELD PERFORMANCES OF PLAYERS.

 

THE AWARDS HAVE SPECIAL SIGNIFICANCE TO PLAYERS BECAUSE THE WINNERS ARE SELECTED IN BALLOTING AMONG THEIR PEERS.

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FINALISTS APPEAR IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

MARVIN MILLER MAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

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The Marvin Miller Man of the Year award goes to the player whose leadership most inspires others to higher levels of achievement. Marvin Miller served as the Major League Baseball Players Association’s first full-time executive director from 1966 through 1982 and guided its emergence as one of the country’s strongest and most cohesive labor unions, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in September.

ANDREW MILLER

St. Louis Cardinals

Andrew Miller, an Executive Subcommittee Association Player Representative, has provided a voice for players and been heavily involved in the union throughout his 16-year career. Miller won the Thurman Munson award, given to a professional athlete for “athletic achievements and their contributions to the community”, in 2016. He has provided leadership in many union matters, including past CBA negotiations. Now a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, the two time All-Star and 2015 Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year winner remains a strong and active presence on behalf of his fellow players.  

MAX SCHERZER

Los Angeles Dodgers

As an Executive Subcommittee Association Player Representative, Max Scherzer has had an impact off the field that matches his achievements on the mound. He has been involved in numerous charitable efforts, such as “Nats for Masks” which helped provide masks to underprivileged and at-risk communities in the Washington, D.C., area during the pandemic in 2020. He helped support the development of a new Legacy Field -- an education and recreation complex consisting of a high school and indoor and outdoor recreation spaces. Max also has worked with the Human Rescue Alliance to help raise money to find homes for rescue animals.  

MARCUS SEMIEN

Toronto Blue Jays

A nine-year MLB veteran, Marcus Semien has not only been an All-Star player, but also one of the game’s true leaders. Serving as an Executive Subcommittee Alternate Association Player Representative, he has had the opportunity to provide guidance on and off the field for his fellow major leaguers. This season, Semien had his best statistical campaign, but also had the opportunity to mentor some of the league’s brightest young stars on the Toronto Blue Jays’ roster. In Oakland with the Athletics, he won the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) Heart and Hustle Award twice, given to the player who best demonstrates a passion for baseball and “best embodies the values, spirits and traditions of baseball.”  

PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

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VLAD GUERRERO JR.

Toronto Blue Jays

At age 22, Vlad Guerrero Jr. shattered records in 2021 and flirted with a Triple Crown. With a home run in his first All-Star Game start, he became the youngest player to win the game’s MVP honor. With his season total of 48 home runs, which tied for the most in baseball, he set a record for homers by a player 22 or younger. He became the fourth-youngest player to have 100+ runs, 40+ HR and 100+ RBIs in a season. His 123 runs scored led MLB, and his OBP (.401), slugging percentage (.601) and OPS (1.002) topped the American League.  

The Player of the Year is the Major League Player (either league) who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

BRYCE HARPER

Philadelphia Phillies

A former first-overall pick and PCA recipient for NL Outstanding Player in 2015, Bryce Harper recaptured his MVP winning form for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. He led the majors in slugging (.615), OPS (1.044) and doubles (T- 42). Providing power all season for the Phillies, he was the only player in baseball to amass 40+ doubles, 35+ home runs (35) and 100+ walks (100). He became the fourth active player to hit his 250th career home run before his 29th birthday with a solo shot in August against his former team, the Washington Nationals. Harper joined Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Mike Trout in that elite club.  

SHOHEI OHTANI

Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani provided fans, teammates and opponents with a captivating, historic season. He was the first player to be selected to an All-Star Game as both a pitcher and hitter, as well as the first player in league history to start the contest as a pitcher and hitter. He participated in the MLB Home Run Derby and slugged the second-most home runs (46) in baseball. In April, he became the first player since Babe Ruth in 1921 to enter a start as a pitcher while also leading (or co-leading) the league in homers. His WAR (9) led the league, and he was the first American League player ever to hit 45+ home runs, steal 25+ bases and score 100+ runs. On the mound, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts, with 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings.  

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PLAYER FINALISTS

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VLAD GUERRERO JR.

Toronto Blue Jays

At age 22, Vlad Guerrero Jr. shattered records in 2021 and flirted with a Triple Crown. With a home run in his first All-Star Game start, he became the youngest player to win the game’s MVP honor. With his season total of 48 home runs, which tied for the most in baseball, he set a record for homers by a player 22 or younger. He became the fourth-youngest player to have 100+ runs, 40+ HR and 100+ RBIs in a season. His 123 runs scored led MLB, and his OBP (.401), slugging percentage (.601) and OPS (1.002) topped the American League.  

Los Angeles Angels

SHOHEI OHTANI

Shohei Ohtani provided fans, teammates and opponents with a captivating, historic season. He was the first player to be selected to an All-Star Game as both a pitcher and hitter, as well as the first player in league history to start the contest as a pitcher and hitter. He participated in the MLB Home Run Derby and slugged the second-most home runs (46) in baseball. In April, he became the first player since Babe Ruth in 1921 to enter a start as a pitcher while also leading (or co-leading) the league in homers. His WAR (9) led the league, and he was the first American League player ever to hit 45+ home runs, steal 25+ bases and score 100+ runs. On the mound, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts, with 156 strikeouts in 130.1 innings.  

The AL Outstanding Player is the position Player in the American League who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

SALVADOR PEREZ

Kansas City Royals

Salvador Perez built off a solid 2020 season with one of the best offensive seasons by a catcher in MLB history in 2021. After a steady first half, he was named an All-Star for the seventh time and took part in the Home Run Derby. In the second half, Perez was one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball with 27 home runs and 68 RBIs. He hit 33 of his 48 total home runs as a catcher. He chased down and broke Johnny Bench’s single-season home run record (45) by a catcher with 10 home runs between September and October. He also tied Jorge Soler for the Royals’ record for most home runs in a season and led all of baseball in home runs (T-1) and RBIs (121), becoming the first primary catcher to lead the league in both of those categories since Johnny Bench in 1972. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PLAYER FINALISTS

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BRYCE HARPER

Philadelphia Phillies

A former first-overall pick and PCA recipient for NL Outstanding Player in 2015, Bryce Harper recaptured his MVP winning form for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. He led the majors in slugging (.615), OPS (1.044) and doubles (T- 42). Providing power all season for the Phillies, he was the only player in baseball to amass 40+ doubles, 35+ home runs (35) and 100+ walks (100). He became the fourth active player to hit his 250th career home run before his 29th birthday with a solo shot in August against his former team, the Washington Nationals. Harper joined Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Mike Trout in that elite club.  

AUSTIN RILEY

Atlanta Braves

A first-round pick out of high school in 2015, Austin Riley found a home in the middle of the Atlanta Braves’ lineup with 33 home runs and 107 RBI in 2021. He was one of the best-hitting third basemen this season, leading the position in batting average (.303) and OPS (.898). He was one of two National League third basemen (along with Nolan Arenado) with 30+ doubles and 30+ home runs, and the only one in baseball with 30+ home runs, 100+ RBIs and a batting average over .300. He was at his best with runners in scoring position, with 66 RBI and a .313/.376/.488 slash line in those clutch situations.  

JUAN SOTO

Washington Nationals

Juan Soto followed up his top-five MVP finish in 2020 with another MVP-caliber season in 2021. Soto made his first All-Star team and flashed his great eye and plate discipline with a league-high 145 walks and .465 OBP. Post All-Star Game, he slashed .348/.525/.639 predominantly out of the No. 3 hole for the Washington Nationals. His 26 games of reaching base 4+ times in a game landed him on a list with Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth for most such games in a single season since 1910. In September, Soto reached base in 12 straight plate appearance, which passed Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 for the longest such streak by a player 22-years old or younger since 1961. 

FERNANDO TATIS JR.

San Diego Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr. was an MVP candidate last year, and this year he generated more MVP buzz with his dynamic play for the San Diego Padres. He led the National League in home runs (42) and at-bats per home run (11.4), and his 73 extra-base hits were third best. In August, he became the only player 22 or younger to hit 36 home runs in his first 100 games in a season. In May, he became the first shortstop in history to have at least 50 home runs among his first 200 career hits. In July, he became the fastest player, measured by games played, to eclipse 50 career stolen bases and home runs since 1898. In May, he won NL Player of the Month. 

The NL Outstanding Player is the position Player in the National League who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PITCHER FINALISTS

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New York Yankees

GERRIT COLE

All eyes were on Gerrit Cole when he joined the New York prior to the 2020 season. In his first year in the Bronx, he put together a Cy Young-caliber campaign. In 2021, he followed that up with another exceptional season. Cole made his fourth All-Star team and had the most wins (16) by an American League pitcher and the third most strikeouts in baseball (243) while averaging 97.7 MPH on his four-seam fastball. He tossed two complete games, including a dominant three-hit, 12-strikeout shutout against the Houston Astros in July, becoming the first Yankees pitcher to strike out 12+ hitters in a shutout effort since Mike Mussina in 2002. He surpassed that total with a 15-strikeout start in September against the Los Angeles Angels. 

LANCE LYNN

Chicago White Sox

Lance Lynn became the staff ace for the American League Central champion Chicago White Sox in 2021. He went 18.2 innings before surrendering his first earned run of the year, and he pitched to a 1.99 ERA with a 9-3 record and 105 strikeouts entering the All-Star break. His 2.69 ERA for the season was the best of his career, and he was named to his second All-Star game. On April 8th against the Kansas City Royals, Lynn punched out 11 batters in a five-hit complete game shutout.  

The AL Outstanding Pitcher is the pitcher in the American League who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

ROBBIE RAY

Toronto Blue Jays

Robbie Ray appeared to enjoy his first full season with the Toronto Blue Jays. The hard-throwing lefty missed bats all season on his way to posting a career year, during which he led the American League in ERA (2.84), WHIP (1.04), innings pitched (193.1), and quality starts (23). He also led the majors with 248 strikeouts. In August, he struck out 14 Chicago White Sox, tying a career high for a single game. He also set a record for most strikeouts (1,241) in a pitcher’s first 1,000 innings. He had 10 starts of 10+ strikeouts, and 15 games with 100+ pitches thrown. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING PITCHER FINALISTS

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Milwaukee Brewers

CORBIN BURNES

Corbin Burnes spent most of his season missing bats and striking out batters at a historic rate. His spectacular command of the zone was evident throughout the year, and on May 13 he held the longest active streak for most strikeouts without a walk in any stretch of a season since 1893 (58 strikeouts, 0 walks). He posted career highs in every major statistic, going 11-5 in 28 starts with 167 innings pitched. He was named an All-Star for the first time, and his 2.43 ERA and 12.61 strikeouts-per nine innings (also a franchise record) led baseball. His final WHIP (0.940) set a Brewers’ single-season record. 

The NL Outstanding Pitcher is the pitcher in the National League who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021. 

MAX SCHERZER

Los Angeles Dodgers

Max Scherzer is no stranger to the Outstanding Pitcher award, as he has received the honor twice –2013 & 2017 – in both the American League and National Leagues. The three-time Cy Young winner made his 8th All-Star Game and started the contest, giving him four Midsummer Classic starts for his career. His 0.86 WHIP led all of baseball, and his 2.46 ERA was the second-best mark in the National League. After a deadline day trade that sent him from the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he posted a 7-0 record in 11 starts with a 1.98 ERA. In September against the San Diego Padres, he eclipsed the 3,000-strikeout mark, becoming the 19th pitcher in MLB history to do so. He achieved the milestone in his 404th career game -- the second fewest games to reach that threshold behind Randy Johnson’s 362 games.

ZACK WHEELER

Philadelphia Phillies

Nobody took the ball and threw more innings than Zack Wheeler in 2021. His 213.1 innings pitched were a career high and led the major leagues. He tied for the league lead in complete games (3) and shutouts (2), led the National League with 247 strikeouts and had the second-highest WAR (7.8) in baseball behind Shohei Ohtani. He became the first Phillies pitcher to have the most strikeouts in a season since Curt Schilling in 1998. On August 8th, Wheeler retired 22 New York Mets in a row, becoming the first Phillies pitcher to retire 22 or more consecutive hitters in a single game since Roy Halladay did so in May of 2010.  

AMERICAN LEAGUE OUTSTANDING ROOKIE FINALISTS

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The AL Outstanding Rookie is the rookie in the American League, pitcher or position player, who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

RANDY AROZARENA

Tampa Bay Rays

A record-breaking World Series run put the spotlight on Randy Arozarena in 2020. He hit a single-postseason high 10 home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays, winning ALCS MVP, after hitting seven home runs in 23 regular season games. He followed up that showing with a strong 2021 campaign. Playing predominantly the corner outfield positions for the Rays, Arozarena hit .274/.356/.459 this season. In high-leverage spots, he hit .330 with seven home runs. Continuing his playoff heroics from last year, he became the first player to hit a home run and steal home in a postseason game against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.  

ADOLIS GARCIA

Texas Rangers

Adolis Garcia made his presence felt as one of the most well-rounded outfielders in the game. In the field, he was tied for the most outfield assists (16) in baseball, highlighted by a 95 MPH dart to throw out a runner at the plate against the New York Yankees in September. At the plate, he set Texas Rangers’ rookie records in home runs (31) and RBIs (90), leading all rookies in RBIs. With 31 homers and 16 stolen bases, he became the ninth player in MLB history to have 30+ home runs and 10+ steals as a rookie. In May, he was awarded AL Rookie of the Month after hitting 11 homers and knocking in 27 runs. 

RYAN MOUNTCASTLE

Baltimore Orioles

Drafted 36th overall in 2015, Ryan Mountcastle made his MLB debut in 2020 with the Baltimore Orioles. He showed promise in 35 games last season, and was one of the most prolific hitters in baseball in 2021. He led MLB in home runs by a rookie (33), with the second-most RBIs (89). On June 19th against the Toronto Blue Jays, he slugged three home runs, becoming the first Orioles’ rookie since Nick Markakis in 2006 to do so. He earned AL Rookie of the Month for June and took home an AL Player of the Week honor as well. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE OUTSTANDING ROOKIE FINALISTS

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St. Louis Cardinals

DYLAN CARLSON

The St. Louis Cardinals took Dylan Carlson, a switch-hitting outfielder, in the first round in 2016. Last season, he made his debut and played in 35 games. After hitting .200, he returned in 2021 and drove in the second most runs (65) among National League rookies. He had a solid first half and ramped up his production post All-Star break, slashing .277/. 343/.505. Against lefties, Carlson hit .341 with a .528 slugging percentage in 138 plate appearances. With a home run on Opening Day, he became the youngest player in team history to achieve that feat since Eddie Morgan in 1936.  

The NL Outstanding Rookie is the rookie in the National League, pitcher or position player, who exhibited the best on-field performance in 2021.

JONATHAN INDIA

Cincinnati Reds

The former Florida Gator was taken fifth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, and shot through the Cincinnati Reds’ system quickly before his debut in April 2021. Providing stability to the Reds’ lineup with a .383 OBP while batting first in the order, Jonathan India led all qualified rookies in OBP (.376), walks (71), doubles (34) and runs scored (98). He was the first Reds rookie to have 20 home runs and 10 steals in a season since Bernie Carbo in 1970.  

PATRICK WISDOM

Chicago Cubs

Drafted out of Saint Mary’s College in 2012, Patrick Wisdom debuted for the Chicago Cubs in May and became an immediate fixture in the everyday lineup. He had eight home runs in his first 10 starts, tying a modern-day record for most home runs over that stretch. In his first 30 games, Wisdom clubbed 10 homers. He went on to lead all qualified National League rookies with 28 home runs, breaking Kris Bryant’s franchise record for a first-year player. 

AMERICAN LEAGUE COMEBACK PLAYER FINALISTS

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Seattle Mariners

MITCH HANIGER

After missing most of the 2019 season and the entirety of 2020 working his way back from injury, Mitch Haniger compiled career bests in home runs (39), RBIs (100) and runs scored (110). He was one of baseball’s most productive outfielders, tying Aaron Judge for most home runs by an outfielder, and he led the American League in runs scored. He was a key player in the Seattle Mariners’ late postseason push, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 27 runs down the stretch in September and October.  

TREY MANCINI

Baltimore Orioles

Trey Mancini, a former eighth-round pick out of Notre Dame, returned to the Baltimore Orioles in 2021 after missing the entire 2020 season bravely fighting stage 3 colon cancer. He was diagnosed in March of 2020, and his inspirational battle was recognized throughout the baseball world. This year, he was runner-up in the Home Run Derby, hit his 100th career home run, collected his 600th career hit and played in 147 games.  

The AL Comeback Player is the Player in the American League who has overcome adversity and returned to achieve on-field excellence in 2021.

CEDRIC MULLINS

Baltimore Orioles

Cedric Mullins, a 13th-round selection, decided to abandon switch hitting and become a full-time left-handed hitter heading into the 2021 season. After making that change, he had a career year in every major offensive category and was named to his first MLB All-Star Game and started in center field for the American League. He became the 43rd player in MLB history to have a 30/30 season, while also becoming the first player in Baltimore Orioles’ history to achieve the feat. He clubbed eight home runs batting leadoff and posted his best numbers in June when he slashed .380/.452/.720 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE COMEBACK PLAYER FINALISTS

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BRANDON CRAWFORD

San Francisco Giants

In his 11th MLB season, Brandon Crawford put together the best offensive season of his career for the 107-win San Francisco Giants. Known as one of the smoothest defensive shortstops in the league, the three-time Gold Glove winner made his third All-Star team and had career bests in home runs (24), RBIs (90), stolen bases (11) and WAR (6.1).  His line of .298/.373/.522 and .895 OPS were also the highest of his career. He led all qualified shortstops in the National League in batting average and OBP. In June, he set a new Giants record for most games played at shortstop in franchise history (1,326 games). 

BUSTER POSEY

San Francisco Giants

After opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Buster Posey returned behind the dish and was an integral part of a record-setting season for the San Francisco Giants. The former fifth overall pick, 2012 MVP, four-time Silver Slugger and three-time World Series champion was named to his seventh All-Star Game this season and collected his 1,500th career hit (T-34th catcher in history to reach that marker). He came out of the gate hot, batting .361 with six home runs and nine RBIs in March and April. In team wins, Posey was at his most productive, slashing .316/.417/.538 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI. He previously won the PCA NL Comeback Player award in 2012. 

JOEY VOTTO

Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto, a six-time All-Star and former MVP, bounced back in 2021 with 36 home runs and 99 RBIs, good enough to land him within the top five in both categories among MLB first basemen. A second-half surge by Votto helped propel the Cincinnati Reds into the postseason hunt, as he hit 25 home runs and drove in 59 runs while batting 
.274/.400/.657. His best month was July, when he homered in seven consecutive games and totaled nine home runs over that span. He achieved two career milestones in 2021 as well, collecting both his 300th career home run and 2,000th hit.  

The NL Comeback Player is the Player in the National League who has overcome adversity and returned to achieve on-field excellence in 2021.