NEW YORK, Nov. 2 – Ronald Acuña Jr. was named overall Player of the Year and NL Outstanding Player, and Marcus Semien received his second career Marvin Miller Man of the Year award in balloting for the 2023 Players Choice Awards. Semien previously won the award in 2021.
Phil Bradley, a staunch player advocate for years as a major league outfielder and member of the Major League Baseball Players Association staff, is the 2023 recipient of the Curt Flood Award. The honor goes to “a former player, living or deceased, who in the image of Flood demonstrated a selfless, longtime devotion to the Players Association and advancement of players’ rights.”
In addition to Acuña, National League Players selected Blake Snell as Outstanding Pitcher, Cody Bellinger as Comeback Player and Corbin Carroll as Outstanding Rookie. AL Players chose Shohei Ohtani as Outstanding Player, Gerrit Cole as Outstanding Pitcher, Liam Hendriks as Comeback Player and Gunnar Henderson as Outstanding Rookie.
The Players Choice Awards have special significance to Players because the winners are chosen by their peers. Voting among all Players was conducted in September by the accounting firm KPMG. In-person clubhouse balloting resumed this year after a pause due to COVID. The winners were revealed this evening during the 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter broadcast on ESPN.
Acuña showcased an unprecedented combination of power and speed this season. He led the league in hits (217), runs (149), stolen bases (73) and home runs from the leadoff spot (41) and ranked second in batting average (.337).
Angels pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani and Dodgers All-Star Mookie Betts joined Acuña as Player of the Year finalists.
MLB Players, Inc. partner Candy Digital is a proud sponsor of this year’s awards. Candy creates dynamic digital collectibles featuring players from across MLB that fans can collect, sell and use to earn rewards.
2023 Marvin Miller Man of the Year
In balloting for Marvin Miller Man of the Year, players were asked to vote for the player “whose leadership most inspires others to higher levels of achievement.” Curtis Granderson, who retired after the 2019 season, won the award four times. Other recent honorees include Francisco Lindor (2022), Nelson Cruz (2020), Anthony Rizzo (2017), Adam Jones (2015) and Clayton Kershaw (2014).
The award is dedicated to Marvin Miller, who served as the MLBPA’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.
Marcus Semien was nominated by his peers for the award for the third straight year. He continues to be an engaged and committed member of the MLBPA’s Executive Subcommittee as an Association Player Representative. As a Ranger, Semien is active in charitable efforts to provide food to people in need during holidays and mentor youth baseball programs. He strongly advocates for increased diversity in baseball in his work with the Players Alliance and Coaching Corps. He is also a two-time club winner of the MLBPAA’s Heart and Hustle Award, which honors players who demonstrate a passion for the game and embody its values, spirit and traditions.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor and Cubs outfielder Ian Happ were also Marvin Miller Man of the Year finalists.
2023 Curt Flood Award
The Curt Flood Award commemorates Flood’s historic judicial fight against baseball’s reserve system, which paved the way for free agency in the 1970s. This year’s winner is Phil Bradley. Bradley is completing his 25th year as an MLBPA special assistant, offering day-to-day support for current players. As a union leader during the tumultuous 1980s, he exhibited an uncommon ability to stand up for principle and justice. Bradley was a major participant in the 1990 negotiations that led to an MLB lockout, consistently speaking out against the clubs’ efforts to undercut salary arbitration and free agency. He joined the PA staff in January 1999 and has continued his dedication to advancing the rights of players and future players.
Below are the individual on-field award winners:
Ronald Acuña Jr.– Player of the Year and NL Outstanding Player
Ronald Acuña Jr. set the Atlanta Braves’ modern era franchise record for stolen bases in a season and became the first player in MLB history to finish a season with 40+ home runs and 70+ stolen bases. He is the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1937 to collect at least 200 hits, 100 RBIs, 145 runs and 40 homers in a season.
Shohei Ohtani – AL Outstanding Player
Shohei Ohtani had yet another extraordinary season of two-way play. In 135 games, he recorded 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 78 extra base hits, and led the majors in slugging (.654), OPS (1.066), and bWAR (10.0). On the mound, he finished 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132.0 innings, and his 31.5% strikeout rate ranked second in the AL. He earned his third All-Star nod as the starting DH.
Blake Snell – NL Outstanding Pitcher
Blake Snell’s 2.25 ERA this season was the NL’s best by 0.73 runs over Kodai Senga’s 2.98. Among qualified starters, Snell ranked first in opposing batting average (.180) and hits allowed (115), and second in strikeouts (234). His strikeouts and 32 games started surpassed his production from his 2018 Cy Young season in Tampa Bay.
Gerrit Cole – AL Outstanding Pitcher
Gerrit Cole finished with a 15-4 record while making his sixth career All-Star team, and the Yankees went 23-10 in his 33 starts. He became the first Yankees pitcher in the last 10 years to throw multiple shutouts in a season. With a 2.63 ERA, he became the 10th Yankee to win an AL ERA title and recorded the lowest ERA by a qualified Yankee starter in the last 43 years. He led all MLB pitchers in bWAR (7.5) and WPA (4.39) and was the only starter with a WHIP under 1.0 (0.98).
Corbin Carroll – NL Outstanding Rookie
Corbin Carroll, 23, helped lead the Diamondbacks to their first World Series appearance since 2001. He led the team in hits (161), triples (10), runs (116), stolen bases (54), batting average (.285), OBP (.362), slugging percentage (.506), and OPS (.868). He is the first rookie in MLB history to record 25+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases in a season. Carroll and Kodai Senga were the only NL rookies to make the All-Star team.
Gunnar Henderson – AL Outstanding Rookie
Gunnar Henderson led MLB rookies in bWAR (6.3), home runs (28), and extra base hits (66) and set Orioles rookie records with 100 runs scored and a .489 slugging percentage. As a shortstop and third baseman, he led the team with 13 defensive runs saved, per Sports Info Solutions. Henderson was the first rookie in Orioles history to record 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases in a season. He was AL Rookie of the Month in June.
Cody Bellinger – NL Comeback Player
Cody Bellinger regained his footing with the Cubs after struggling in his final two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His batting average jumped from .210 in 2022 to .307 this season, which tied for sixth best in MLB. His .356 OBP, .525 slugging percentage, and .881 OPS are his highest marks since his 2019 NL MVP season.
Liam Hendriks – AL Comeback Player
Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in January, Liam Hendriks completed treatment and made his emotional return to the mound on May 29 against the Angels. The entire stadium, as well as the larger baseball community, applauded Hendriks for his inspirational perseverance. The 2022 All-Star reached 96 mph on his fastball in his debut. He pitched in five games this season, allowing just one run and one hit in his final four relief innings before his year was cut short by season-ending Tommy John surgery.
For more information on the 2023 Players Choice Awards, be sure to visit the link here.