Baseball writers will announce the major award winners from 2017 starting next week, but MLB players handed out honors of their own at the Players Choice Awards on Wednesday night.
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was the night's biggest winner, as he captured Outstanding Player in the American League and Player of the Year across MLB. It's the second year in a row he has claimed both awards.
Altuve showed he could get on base when he claimed the MLB batting title in 2014 after hitting .341. The last two years, the 27-year-old has displayed a level of power few could've predicted. Altuve's 24 home runs in 2017 matched his 2016 total, and his slugging percentage climbed slightly from .531 to .547.
Throw in the Astros' first World Series title, and Altuve is having a pretty good fall.
Below are the full winners from Wednesday's event.
- Player of the Year: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
- Man of the Year: Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
- Majestic Athletic Always Game Award: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
- Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
- Outstanding Pitcher: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
- Outstanding Rookie: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
- Comeback Player: Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
- Outstanding Player: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
- Outstanding Pitcher: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
- Outstanding Rookie: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Comeback Player: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
Giancarlo Stanton didn't enjoy the same kind of team success Altuve did since the Miami Marlins missed the playoffs. His individual contributions were rewarded all the same as he earned Outstanding Player in the National League.
Stanton did his best to get the Marlins into the postseason for the first time since winning the World Series in 2003. He nearly became the first player since Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds in 2001 to reach 60 home runs, falling one short of the mark.
Whereas some of the awards were toss-ups, the Outstanding Rookie winners in both leagues were foregone conclusions.
Cody Bellinger struggled mightily in the postseason, but that shouldn't overshadow a regular season in which the Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman averaged .267 with 39 home runs and 97 RBI in 132 games. Bellinger's home run total was the most ever for a National League rookie.
Likewise, Aaron Judge was the runaway favorite for Outstanding Rookie in the American League. Judge's 8.2 WAR was highest among position players, according to FanGraphs.
The New York Yankees right fielder was an immediate hit in the Big Apple, so much so the team created a section in Yankee Stadium in his honor. Judge led the American League with 52 homers, and his .627 slugging percentage was second in the AL behind Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout.
Max Scherzer is already a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and he's likely to add a third. The Washington Nationals ace was named the Outstanding Pitcher in the National League on Wednesday night after going 16-6 and posting a 2.90 FIP, per FanGraphs.
This time last year, Mike Moustakas was rehabbing the torn ACL that limited him to 27 games in 2016. The Kansas City Royals third baseman hardly missed a beat in 2017, finishing with career highs in home runs (38), RBI (85) and slugging percentage (.521).
As a result of his excellent performance at the plate, Moustakas won Comeback Player for the American League.
Ryan Zimmerman provided a comeback of a different kind. The Washington Nationals first baseman made his first All-Star Game since 2009 with a .303/.358/.573 slash line to go along with 36 homers and 108 RBI.
"Honestly, I think I forgot how much fun baseball was," Zimmerman said in his interview on MLB Network.
The Players Choice Awards may portend what's to come when the Baseball Writers' Association of America reveals the winners of the sport's top individual prizes.
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello captured both the American League Cy Young and Outstanding Pitcher in the AL in 2016. Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager were the top rookies in their respective leagues in both the Players Choice and BBWAA voting.