TORONTO – Josh Donaldson narrowly edged out Justin Smoak to claim Blue Jays Player of the Year honours in voting by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Wednesday.
The superstar third baseman, who hit 33 home runs with a .944 OPS and 4.8 WAR despite playing in only 113 games due to a calf injury, picked up nine of 17 first-place votes and eight second-place votes for 43 points.
That was one more than Smoak, who hit 38 homers with an .883 OPS and 3.2 WAR and received eight firsts and nine seconds.
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Smoak, who earned the starting nod as the American League first baseman in the all-star game during a breakout campaign, easily won Most Improved Player, finishing with 50 points, 27 more than reliever Ryan Tepera.
Right-hander Marcus Stroman was the unanimous pick as Blue Jays Pitcher of the Year after going 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA over 201 innings. Closer Roberto Osuna was a distant second, followed by J.A. Happ.
Reliever Danny Barnes won Rookie of the Year with 15 first-place votes and 46 points after throwing 66 innings over 60 appearances with an ERA of 3.55. September sensation Teoscar Hernandez picked up the other two first-place votes and finished second, well ahead of reliever Carlos Ramirez.
Mal Romanin, the club’s longtime manager of baseball information fired in October, won the John Cerutti Award, given to the person associated with the day-to-day workings of Blue Jays baseball who displays goodwill, co-operation and character, as exemplified by the late left-hander.