Three Padres named BBWAA Award finalists

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Three San Diego Padres were all honored by the BBWAA on Monday as Jayce Tingler, Manny Machado, and Jake Cronenworth became finalists in their respective categories. 

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced their finalists for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, the Cy Young Award, and the Most Valuable Player. Three members of the San Diego Padres are finalists in the BBWAA Awards for the National League.

Jayce Tingler is a finalist for NL Manager of the Year, Jake Cronenworth is a finalist for NL Rookie of the Year, and Manny Machado is a finalist for NL MVP. No Padres were finalists for the NL Cy Young Award.

As a manager, Jayce Tingler managed the Padres into the playoffs with a 37-23 record in his first year. Expectations were for the Padres to improve from their 70-92 record in 2019, but perhaps nobody expected San Diego to own the NL’s second-best record.

Under Tingler, several Padres’ players saw a significant improvement in production.

Will Myers, Eric Hosmer, and Manny Machado, the highest-paid Padres, all struggled in 2019. However, Tingler’s managing contributed to all three players rebounding in 2020, including Machado being named a finalist for NL MVP.

Tingler’s competition is Don Mattingly of the Miami Marlins and David Ross of the Chicago Cubs.

Mattingly managed the Marlins to a record of 31-29 and a playoff berth, which exceeded many’s expectations of the team finishing in last in the NL East. He also dealt with a massive COVID-19 outbreak within his team, which led to more players suiting up for the Marlins than any other MLB team.

Ross guided the Cubs back to the top of the NL Central with a 34-26 record. He revitalized the once vibrant Cubs clubhouse and turned around some struggling pitchers.

Jake Cronenworth is a nominee for the NL Rookie of the Year, making it back-to-back years with a Padres finalist for Rookie of the Year. Fernando Tatis Jr. finished in third place for the 2019 NL Rookie of the Year.

Cronenworth excelled at the plate as well as in the field at both first and second base.

He originally saw playing time at first base when Eric Hosmer missed time on the Injured List. Cronenworth took advantage of the opportunity and ran with it.

He hit four home runs in 172 at-bats with a .285 AVG and 128 OPS+.

Major League Baseball named him the NL Rookie of the Month in August, but he struggled in the last month of the season, opening up the Rookie of the Year race.

Philadelphia Phillies’ third basemen Alec Bohm and Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams are the other nominees.

Bohm waited until mid-August to make his major league debut, but he shined once he got to the bigs. Like Cronenworth, Bohm hit four home runs, but his .338 AVG and 136 OPS+ are slightly better than Cronenworth.

Devin Williams won the 2020 Trevor Hoffman Award as the best relief pitcher in the National League. In 27 innings, Williams allowed only one run and struck out 53 batters.

The final Padres player nominated for an award is Manny Machado. After a very lackluster 2019, Machado is an NL MVP finalist.

After a slow start offensively, Machado turned things around in late August. He won two straight NL Player of the Week awards in the final weeks of August as well.

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Machado set career-highs in AVG, OBP, and SLG%. Not to mention, Machado is also a Gold Glove award finalist as a third baseman.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman are also nominated for the NL MVP.

Betts impressed in his first year on the Dodgers. He served as the leadoff hitter for Los Angeles. In his last four years with the Boston Red Sox, Betts finished in the top-10 of the American League MVP race, winning the award in 2018. 2020 will mark his fifth straight year in the top-10 of MVP voting.

Freeman headlined one of the best lineups in baseball and finished one win away from his first appearance in the World Series. He also set career-highs in AVG, OBP, and SLG%. Out of all qualifying hitters, Freeman led the NL in those hitting categories as well.

The best season in terms of winning percentage in Padres franchise history came in 2020. Much of San Diego’s success this past year can be attributed to the production from Cronenworth and Machado, as well as the managing from Tingler.

Rookie of the Year voting is announced Nov. 9, Manager of the Year voting is announced Nov. 10, and Most Valuable Player voting is announced Nov. 12.

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