Jose Abreu Named MLB’s American League MVP

Jose Abreu is this season’s American League star…

The 33-year-old Cuban professional baseball player, a first baseman for the Chicago White Sox, has won the American League MVP award after helping power the team to its first playoff berth in 12 years.

Jose Abreu

Abreu received 21 of 30 first-place votes and 374 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez was second with eight first-place votes and 303 points, and New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who won the AL batting crown, followed with one first-place vote and 230 points. 

Voting by the BBWAA was completed by the start of the playoffs. It has voted for the award since 1931.

Abreu led the majors with 60 RBIs and 148 total bases, and topped the AL with 76 hits and a .617 slugging percentage. He played in all 60 games during the virus-shortened season as Chicago claimed a wild-card spot.

Surrounded by family members, Abreu put his head down for a minute after hearing he’d won and teared up.

“That was a very special moment,” he said through an interpreter.

Abreu batted .317 with 19 home runs, connecting six times in a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs in late August. That barrage of long balls at Wrigley Field was part of his 22-game hitting streak, the longest in the majors this year.

Abreu gave credit to manager Rick Renteria, who left the team after the season in what was described as a mutual decision. Recently hired Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa is now facing charges in a drunken driving arrest; Abreu said he was eager to play for La Russa.

“Keep pushing forward, keep moving forward,” Abreu said.

Abreu was the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and is a three-time MLB All-Star. He became the fourth White Sox player to win the AL MVP, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959).

Abreu was the third Cuban-born player to be an MVP, along with Jose Canseco and Zoilo Versalles.

Manny Machado Named National League MVP Finalist

Manny Machado has proven his most valuable status…

The 28-year-old Dominican-American professional baseball player and San Diego Padres third baseman and shortstop has been named a finalist in the MLB’s National League MVP race.

Manny Machado

Machado, who hit .304 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs for the Padres this season, is nominated alongside Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman, after balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Meanwhile, New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is going for his third consecutive National League Cy Young Award. He’s facing off Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish for the honor.

The top three finishers for each BBWAA award were revealed Monday. The winners will be announced next week.

Balloting for the BBWAA awards was completed before the start of the postseason.

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Cleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez and New York Yankees leadoff man DJ LeMahieu are the top three finishers in voting for the American League MVP award.

LeMahieu, who hit a big league-best .364, and Bauer are free agents after starring during the pandemic-shortened season.

Indian’ pitcher Shane Bieber joined Minnesota Twins right-hander Kenta Maeda and Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu as finalists for the American League Cy Young Award.

The top finishers in voting for American League Manager of the Year are Tampa Bay RaysKevin Cash, Toronto OriolesCharlie Montoyo and Rick Renteria, who was let go by the Chicago White Sox after the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Miami’s Don Mattingly, San Diego’s Jayce Tingler and the Cubs’ David Ross are the finalists for NL Manager of the Year. Tingler and Ross just completed their first seasons as big league skippers.

The finalists for AL Rookie of the Year are Houston Astros right-hander Cristian Javier and center fielders Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners and Luis Robert of the White Sox. Philadelphia Phillies infielder Alec Bohm, Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth and Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams are the top finishers for the National League rookie award.

Mariano Rivera Among 20 New Candidates on the MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Mariano Rivera is on the ballot…

The 42-year-old Panamanian former Major League Baseball pitcher is among 20 new candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, joined by 15 holdovers headed by Edgar Martinez.

Mariano Rivera

Nicknamed “Mo” and “Sandman,” Rivera played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees. He spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees’ closer for 17 seasons.

Rivera had 652 regular-season saves and 42 in the postseason that included five World Series titles. He was 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA in 32 postseason series.

Rivera was named the 1999 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the 2003 American League Championship Series MVP, and he holds several postseason records, including lowest earned run average (ERA) (0.70) and most saves (42).

Players remain on the ballot for up to 10 years, provided they receive at least 5 percent of the vote annually. Martinez and first baseman Fred McGriff (23.2 percent last year) are on the BBWAA ballot for the final time.

Other Latino players making the ballot include Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher Freddy García, Dominican former professional baseball player Plácido Polanco, Dominican former professional baseball outfielder Manny Ramírez, Dominican American former professional baseball right fielder Sammy Sosa, Dominican former professional baseball shortstop Miguel Tejada, and Venezuelan former professional baseball shortstop Omar Vizquel.

More than 400 ballots are being sent to eligible voters from theBBWAA, and a player must receive at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by December 31 and results will be announced January 22, 2019. Voters must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years.

Here’s a look at the players on this year’s ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame:

Hall of Fame Ballot List

  • Rick Ankiel
  • Jason Bay
  • Lance Berkman
  • Barry Bonds
  • Roger Clemens
  • Freddy García
  • Jon Garland
  • Travis Hafner
  • Roy Halladay
  • Todd Helton
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jeff Kent
  • Ted Lilly
  • Derek Lowe
  • Edgar Martínez
  • Fred McGriff
  • Mike Mussina
  • Darren Oliver
  • Roy Oswalt
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Juan Pierre
  • Plácido Polanco
  • Manny Ramírez
  • Mariano Rivera
  • Scott Rolen
  • Curt Schilling
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Miguel Tejada
  • Omar Vizquel
  • Billy Wagner
  • Larry Walker
  • Vernon Wells
  • Kevin Youkilis
  • Michael Young

Marlins’ Fernández Named the National League Rookie of the Year

José Fernández has capped off his remarkable first year in Major League Baseball with a massive honor…

The 21-year-old Cuban professional baseball pitcher for the Miami Marlins has been named the National League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).

José Fernández

The phenom with an inspiring personal story and incredible talent received first-place votes on 26 of 30 ballots. He was second on four ballots, and he received a total of 142 points.

Fernández was a finalist along with Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.

Puig finished second, and he collected four first-place votes. The Rays’ Wil Myers won the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

“When they said my name, and said I had 26 votes, it was pretty nice,” said Fernández. “I’m really excited. I think the fans down in Miami are really happy about it. My family here is really excited too.”

Fernández beat long odds to even gain his freedom from Cuba. He reached the United States after several failed attempts, and after settling in Tampa, Fla., in 2008, the hard-throwing right-hander doggedly pursued his baseball dream. The Marlins made him the 14th overall selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Making the day even more memorable is Fernández was able to celebrate with his grandmother, Olga, whom he had not seen since he left Cuba five years ago.

Olga obtained a five-year visitation visa, and the Marlins set up a surprise visit for Fernandez to reunite with his grandmother on Sunday at Marlins Park.

When Fernández was informed he had won, he was flanked by his grandmother and mother, Maritza, during the announcement on MLB Network.

“I was kind of expecting to be the Rookie of the Year, or it to be close,” Fernández said. “Having my grandma here came out of nowhere. It’s completely out of nowhere. I’m trying to let it sink in, and I’m trying to spend time with her.”

Fernández is the fourth player in franchise history to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award, joining Dontrelle Willis (2003), Hanley Ramirez (2006) and Chris Coghlan (2009).

Fernández also joins Tony Oliva (1964) as the only Cuban-born Rookie of the Year.

Entering the season, MLB.com ranked Fernandez as the Marlins’ No. 1 prospect and the seventh overall prospect in the Majors.

In Fernandez’s 28 starts, the Marlins were 18-10. Fernandez paced all NL rookies in ERA (2.19), strikeouts (187), batting average against (.182) and WHIP (0.98). He also averaged 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings

As part of his remarkable 2013, Fernandez also threw an inning in the All-Star Game, and he didn’t disappoint. In a perfect sixth, Fernandez struck out Dustin Pedroia and Chris Davis while getting Miguel Cabrera on a soft pop fly to first.

The performance made Fernandez the third pitcher in the history of the All-Star Game to strike out two batters prior to turning 21 in his Midsummer Classic debut.