Major League Baseball's hardware week came to a close Friday night with the Esurance Awards as players across the league were celebrated for their achievements throughout the 2017 season.
But unlike the Rookie of the Year, MVP and the Cy Young Awards, the Esurance Awards weren't voted on by the 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Rather, fans, members of the media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players and members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) comprised a comprehensive voting panel. Each group's vote accounted for 20 percent of the final voting tallies in each category, with postseason performance taken into account.
Here's a rundown of the evening's winners.
- Best Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
- Best Pitcher: Corey Kluber, RHP, Cleveland Indians
- Best Major Leaguer, Postseason: Jose Altuve; and Justin Verlander, RHP, Houston Astros
- Best Rookie: Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees
- Best Manager: A.J. Hinch, Houston Astros
- Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
- Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow, General Manager, Houston Astros
- Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman ends epic World Series Game 5 with walk-off single
- Best Call, TV/Radio: Joe Buck and John Smoltz on Altuve's World Series Game 5 home run
- Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers
- Best Play, Offense: Nolan Arenado's walk-off home run completes cycle vs. San Francisco Giants
- Best Play, Defense: Austin Jackson's over-the-wall grab vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park
- Best Performance: Anthony Rendon's six-hit, 10-RBI game vs. New York Mets on April 30
- Best Fan Catch: Astros fan throws Yasiel Puig's World Series home run back onto field
- Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives game-used bat to six-year-old Walter Herbert
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was named the 2017 American League MVP on Thursday, and he added to his trophy case Friday by snagging Best Major Leaguer honors.
The newly minted World Series champion was in a league of his own throughout 2017, slashing .346/.410/.547 with 24 home runs and 81 RBI as he stitched together a fourth straight season with at least 200 hits.
ESPN Stats & Info broke down Altuve's outrageous efficiency at the plate:
According to MLB.com's Andrew Simon, the player to win Best Major Leaguer every year since it was introduced in 2012 has also won MVP.
The Best Pitcher nod went to Cleveland Indians starter and American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who dazzled throughout 2017.
The cornerstone of Cleveland's rotation during its 102-win season, Kluber went 18-4 with an MLB-best 2.25 ERA, 0.869 WHIP and 7.36 strikeout-to-walk rate. He also tied for an MLB-best five complete games and three shutouts while allowing an AL-best 6.2 hits per nine innings.
FanGraphs (via ESPN Stats & Info) noted Kluber was so dominant because a filthy curveball anchored his stifling repertoire:
Those marks were all fueled by a dominant performance after June 1, when Cleveland activated Kluber from the disabled list after a back injury hindered his early-season performance.
Over his final 23 starts, Kluber went 15-2 with a 1.62 ERA with 224 strikeouts and 23 walks.
"It's just a constant learning experience," Kluber said on the MLB Network after winning the Cy Young, per Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes. "This year I dealt with more physically than I had in the past, and you learn how to deal with those different ups and downs."
Elsewhere, New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge took home the Best Rookie award after he entered the record books by smashing a rookie-record 52 home runs.
All told, Judge slashed .284/.422/.627 with a 1.049 OPS and 114 RBI as he helped propel the Yankees to an American League Wild Card berth and an American League Division Series upset of the Indians. Furthermore, Judge played an integral role in helping the Bronx Bombers take a 3-2 American League Championship Series lead before the Astros stormed back at home in Games 6 and 7 to clinch the pennant.
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was also a big winner Friday night.
In addition to capturing Best Play, Offense, thanks to his walk-off home run over the San Francisco Giants on Father's Day, Arenado took home Best Defensive Player.
Arenado's 2.3 defensive wins above replacement also ranked sixth among all players and third among all infielders behind the Los Angeles Angels' Andrelton Simmons (4.2) and the Cincinnati Reds' Tucker Barnhart (2.8).
Now looking ahead to 2018, Arenado will try to propel the Rockies to sustained postseason success after they fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Wild Card Game.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless noted otherwise.