After a strong first season in red pinstripes, Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm finished second in the 2020 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting. He was bested by Brewers reliever Devin Williams, who won the award and finished tied with Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth in points.
Bohm received nine first-place votes, eight second-place votes and five third-place votes and earned 74 points overall. Williams received 14 first-place votes and 95 points. Cronenworth received six first-place votes.
Cronenworth played all four positions in the infield at a relatively high level and ranked second behind the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes in fWAR among NL rookies (1.4). He led all NL rookies in runs (26), extra-base hits (22) doubles (15), total bases (82) and ranked second in RBIs (20), hits (49) and walks (18).
Williams was one of the most dominant relievers in the sport, posting a 0.33 ERA, 0.630 WHIP and a 17.7 K/9 in 27 innings. His changeup was nicknamed “the Airbender” and was virtually unhittable. The question was whether or not voters would penalize Williams for the small sample size.
Bohm, 24, made his major-league debut on Aug. 13 and started 44 games for the Phillies. He finished first in batting average (.338), on-base percentage (.400), slugging percentage (.481) and OPS among all rookies (min. 165 plate appearances).
His strong month of September propelled him into the ROY Award conversation. The 24-year-old slashed .367/.421/.514 and had an OPS+ of 140. He ranked second in the majors in hits (40) behind the Braves’ Marcell Ozuna (41) in September. His .452 batting average with runners in scoring position ranked first among all MLB players with at least 35 plate appearances.
Joe Girardi went on MLB Network on Monday morning to make the case for Bohm to win the award.
“I think [he’s] clutch,” Girardi said. “The four game-winning RBIs. He hit over .450 with runners in scoring position and he was not a free swinger. His on-base [percentage] with runners in scoring position was only third to [Juan] Soto and [Freddie] Freeman. He was patient at the plate. He had the ability to use the whole field. He was able to play third and first for us. He did it in an awfully tough pitching division when you think about the starters in the NL East.
“I think this guy is Rookie of the Year. Of course, I’m partial. Jake Cronenworth had a great year and Devin Williams was dominant but I think this is the guy.”
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