Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox has been selected as the winner of Baseball Digest's 50th MLB "Player-of-the-Year" award - presented by eBay - while Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets has been unanimously voted MLB "Pitcher of the Year" and Blake Treinen of the Oakland Athletics has been named MLB "Relief Pitcher of the Year."
The selections were made by the independently-submitted votes of a 15-member "blue-ribbon" panel of longtime baseball observers which included writers, broadcasters, former players and executives.
Mookie Betts, the first Red-Sox position player to win the award since its inception in 1969, won his first American League batting title with a .346 average, which led the Major Leagues as well. He is the first Red Sox player to win the AL batting title since Bill Mueller in 2003 (.326) and the first to lead the majors in batting average since Wade Boggs in 1988 (.366). With 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases, Betts joined Jacoby Ellsbury (in 2011) as the only Red Sox hitters ever with a 30-home-run, 30-stolen-base season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first major leaguer ever to win a batting title for either league in a season in which he also hit 30-plus home runs and stole 30-plus bases. Betts led the majors in WAR (10.9) and slugging percentage (.640) and was tied for the lead in runs scored with Cleveland's Francisco Lindor (129). His 84 extra-base hits led the AL and were second in MLB behind Colorado's Trevor Story (85).
Jacob deGrom, who received all 15 first-place votes from the "blue-ribbon" committee, held opponents to three runs or less in 29 straight starts in 2018, the longest single-season streak in MLB history. His active string of 24 straight quality starts to close the season is also the longest single-season streak in major-league history. deGrom is the only pitcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to have a season with at least 260 strikeouts, 50 walks or fewer, 10 home runs allowed or fewer and a sub-2.00 earned run average. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was just the 10th time (by nine pitchers) since 1920 that a pitcher had at least 200.0 innings-pitched and an ERA of 1.70 or lower in a season. With a record of 10-9, he became the first pitcher in MLB history to start 20 or more games in a season with an ERA of 1.70 or below and record 10 wins or fewer.
Blake Treinen established career highs in 2018 in wins (9), saves (38), innings-pitched (80.1), strikeouts (100) and earned run average (0.78). He became the first pitcher in MLB history to save 30 games, compile an ERA under 1.00 and strike out 100 batters. Treinen's 0.78ERA was the lowest in MLB history among pitchers with 80 or more innings-pitched since the earned run became an official statistic (1912 in NL, 1913 in AL). He allowed only one earned run in his final 26 appearances of the regular season since July 24 (30.1IP) and none in his last 15 (17.0IP). Treinen led American League relievers in winning percentage (.818), had the lowest opponents' on-base percentage (.217) and opponents' OPS (.417), was second in opponents' slugging (.199), third in saves (38), fourth in batting (.158) and fifth in strikeouts (100).
2018 Player of the Year, Vote Totals
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox - 40
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels - 19
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers - 17
J. D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox - 10
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs - 3
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians - 1
2018 Pitcher of the Year, Vote Totals
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets - 45
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals - 18
Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays - 16
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros - 7
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies - 2
Chris Sale Boston Red Sox - 2
2018 Relief Pitcher of the Year, Vote Totals 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics 7 (21) 6 (12) 2 (2) 35
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners 5 (15) 5 (10) 5 (5) 30
Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (9) 3 (6) 4 (4) 19
Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee Brewers 0 (0) 1 (2) 2 (2) 4
Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (2) 2
Votes were tabulated on a three-points-for-first-place, two-points-for-second-place and one-point-for-third-place basis
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.