The Toronto Chapter of the BBWAA have announced their annual award winners highlighted by the unanimous selection of RHP MARCUS STROMAN as the Pitcher of the Year. Also recognized were 3B JOSH DONALDSON who earned the Neil MacCarl award as the Player of the Year, 1B JUSTIN SMOAK recognized as the Most Improved Player, RHP DANNY BARNES as the Rookie of the Year, and former Baseball Media staff member, MAL ROMANIN, as the John Cerutti award recipient.
STROMAN, 26, was the unanimous selection as Pitcher of the Year after posting a 13-9 record and the American League’s fourth lowest ERA (3.09) while pitching over 200 innings (201.0) for the second consecutive season. He is just one of seven pitchers to reach 200 innings in the last two seasons. Stroman induced a Major League best 34 double plays and an MLB best 62.9% ground ball percentage. He is one of four Blue Jays starters to pitch over 200 innings and post and ERA below 3.10.
DONALDSON, 32, has earned his third consecutive Neil MacCarl award as the Blue Jays Player of the Year. In doing so, he becomes the first player to capture three consecutive Player of the Year awards. In 133 games this season, the Daphne, AL, resident batted .270 with 21 doubles, 33 home runs and drove in 78 RBI. Donaldson led the AL with 24 home runs after the All-Star Break while ranking second in slugging (.606), on-base plus slugging (.992) and posting the fourth most RBI (.53) and walks (45). Since joining the Blue Jays in 2015, Donaldson has connected for 111 home runs, 65 of which have tied the game or given Toronto the lead (59%).
SMOAK, 31, captured the Most Improved Player of the Year Award after posting career best marks in batting average (.270), home runs (38) and RBI (90). The 2017 AL All-Star starting first baseman also set career highs in doubles (29), walks (73), hits (151), on-base percentage (.355), slugging percentage (.529) and games played (158). Smoak hit 11 home runs in the 9th inning or later, four more that any other player this season and the most in MLB history.
BARNES, 27, earned the Rookie of the Year after posting a 3-6 record in 60 games with a 3.55 ERA. The Manhasset, NY, resident allowed just five of 37 inherited runners to score (13.5%), the 2nd best percentage in the AL. Barnes held opponents to a .118(8-86) average with runners in scoring percentage allowing just two extra base hits.