MARLINS’ GIANCARLO STANTON NAMED NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP
Giancarlos Stanton, a graduate of the LaCrescenta, California Babe Ruth League, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player for 2017, becoming the first Marlins MVP in history. The Marlins slugger hit .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 runs batted in. Stanton is the Marlins’ all-time home run leader with 267. He is one of six players in MLB history to reach as many as 59 homers. In 1921, Babe Ruth finished with that number. In addition to being named NL MVP, Stanton won his first Silver Slugger Award and second Hank Aaron Award.
The annual Silver Slugger Award is given to the top offensive player at each position in each league, with winners selected through voting by Major League managers and coaches. Congratulations to the following Babe Ruth graduates who also won Silver Slugger Awards in 2017:
Washington National Daniel Murphy (graduate of the Jacksonville, Florida Babe Ruth League) earned his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive second baseball in the National League. Murphy earned the award while battling knee trouble, an issue that resulted in surgery this past October. Murphy’s 2017 season continued the trend that has made him one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball during the past few years, as he compiled a slash line of .322/.384/.5433 with 23 home runs. Murphy’s honor marks six consecutive seasons in which the Nationals have had at least one Silver Slugger Award winner, extending the longest streak in the National League.
St. Louis Cardinal Adam Wainwright (graduate of the Columbus, Georgia Babe Ruth League) won his first Silver Slugger Award, an honor he has long coveted. Wainwright joins Bob Forsch (1980, 1987) and Jason Marquis (2005) as the only Cardinals pitchers to win a Silver Slugger Award. Even through elbow discomfort interrupted and shortened his season, Wainwright provided enough offensive punch over 50 plate appearances to distinguish himself. He led all pitchers with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored. Wainwright’s slugging percentage (.452) and OPS (.731) were tops among pitchers with at least 40 plate appearances. Wainwright was also among the league leaders in extra-base hits (four), home runs (two), doubles (two) and hits (11). His .452 batting average with runners in scoring position reflected the timeliness of that production, too.
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League, as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Congratulations to the following Babe Ruth graduates who won Gold Glove Awards in 2017:
Boston Red Sox Mookie Betts (graduate of the Nashville, Tennessee Babe Ruth League) received his second consecutive Gold Glove Award for right field in 2017. He is the seventh Red Sox player since the award’s 1957 inception to be recognized in multiple seasons. Betts played more innings (1,389.1) than any other Major League outfielder for the second time in as many seasons, posting a .987 fielding percentage with eight assists, one double play, and only five errors in 379 chances. Betts started 98 consecutive games in right field, marking the longest streak of consecutive started by a Red Sox player. Betts is also a fantastic bowler. For the second time in his career, Betts competed in the six-day PBA Scorpion Championship, which is part of the World Series of Bowling. While he didn’t advance past the second qualifying round, he bowled a perfect 300 in his seventh game of the tournament.
Arizona Diamondback Zack Greinke (graduate of the Apoka, Florida Babe Ruth League) won his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award. He became the fourth pitcher to win the honor four years in a row since the awards inception in 1959. Greinke, who has always been known for his field prowess, tied for the MLB lead with a 1.0 fielding percentage. In addition, his 56 chances were the most by an NL pitcher without an error since 2013. Greinke was the only NL pitcher this season to have a 1.0 fielding percentage and at least 200 innings pitched. He is also the fifth pitcher in Major League history to win multiple Gold Glove Awards with more than one team, having won his first two with the Dodgers.
San Francisco Giant Brandon Crawford (graduate of the Pleasanton, California Babe Ruth League) won his third consecutive Gold Glove Award. With his pair of World Series rings and 2016 NL Silver Slugger Award among his credentials, the shortstop entrenches himself more firmly among the game’s elite. Crawford batted .253 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI. He received this latest honor in the wake of a difficult season. His sister-in-law died in April, then the Giants proceeded to finish last in the NL West with a 64-98 record. Crawford was the first shortstop to win three straight Gold Gloves since Jimmy Rollins (2007-09) and the first Giant since J.T. Snow garnered four straight from 1997-2000.