Nationals announce 2023 media awards

The Washington Nationals announced the winners of the eighth annual end-of-season awards as voted on by members of the local media. Outfielder Lane Thomas was voted 2023 Nationals Player of the Year, while right-handed pitcher Kyle Finnegan was named Pitcher of the Year. Right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray was given the Good Guy Award, presented to a player for his always-professional dealings with members of the media, his work in the community and for representing the Nationals organization with class both on and off the field.

Thomas, 28, was named Nationals Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He enters play on Friday leading Washington with 26 home runs, 278 total bases, 34 doubles, 96 runs, a .470 slugging percentage and a .790 OPS. He also ranks in the top three in hits (2nd, 160), RBI (2nd, 84), stolen bases (2nd, 19) and on-base percentage (3rd, .320). Thomas set career highs in 2023 in games (149), at-bats (591), runs, hits, doubles, triples (3), home runs, RBI and stolen bases. Thomas' 34 doubles and 62 extra-base hits are tied for third among National League outfielders. His 26 homers are tied for sixth.

He leads Major League Baseball with a career-high 17 outfield assists and ranks second in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind only Alfonso Soriano (22 in 2006) for most outfield assists in a single season.

With one more stolen base, Thomas will record the sixth 20 home run - 20 stolen base season in Nationals history (2005-pres.) and the first since 2016.

Since arriving in Washington on Aug. 15, 2021, the Knoxville, Tenn., native is slashing .259/.319/.447, with 74 doubles, seven triples, 50 home runs, 163 RBI, 31 stolen bases and 191 runs in 339 games. He ranks in the top 10 in National League outfielders in doubles (4th), runs (7th), RBI (8th), hits (T8th) and home runs (10th) during that time.

Also receiving votes for Player of the Year were CJ Abrams and Keibert Ruiz.

Finnegan, 32, enters Friday with a 7-5 record, a 3.66 ERA and 26 saves in 64 games. His 26 saves are a career high and rank seventh in the National League. His seven wins are also a career high. After allowing eight runs in his first three outings, Finnegan pitched to a 1.42 ERA (8 ER/50.2 IP) in 48 games from April 7-August 17. He held opponents to a .207 average, struck out 52 and walked just 13 hitters.

Finnegan is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball to record 25 saves and eight holds this season. He is the 27th pitcher in Major League history to record 25 saves and eight holds in a season and the first since Jake McGee recorded 31 saves and eight holds for San Francisco in 2021.

Since signing with the Nationals as a free agent on December 9, 2019, Finnegan is 19-18 with a 3.50 ERA and 48 saves in 223 games (223.2 IP). His 223 games rank third in the National League since the beginning of 2020, and his 223.2 innings rank third among NL relievers in that span. Finnegan’s 223 games are the seventh-most by a relief pitcher in Nationals history (2005-pres.).

This is the second time Finnegan has been voted Nationals Pitcher of the Year by the local media (2021, 2023). He joins Max Scherzer (2016,2017, 2019, 2020) as the other pitcher to win the award more than once.

Also receiving votes for Pitcher of the Year were Jose A. FerrerMacKenzie Gore, Josiah Gray and Hunter Harvey.

Gray, 25, earned the Good Guy Award in his third season with the Washington Nationals. In addition to his play on the field, Gray serves as the Player Ambassador to the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. In this role, Gray acts as the direct link between the club and the Academy, serving as a resource to the school-aged children who participate in its programming. Since joining the Nationals partway through the 2021 season, Gray has been active in the club’s community projects, including visits to the Academy and at MLB’s annual Play Ball program. Gray also designed a clothing collection with lifestyle brand Leovici with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Academy, helping to grow the game of baseball by minimizing barriers to participation. Gray is the Nationals’ 2023 Roberto Clemente Award nominee.

On the field, Gray was named a 2023 National League All-Star after he led Washington’s starting rotation and ranked 10th in the National League with a 3.30 ERA through 17 starts this season. 

In nine starts from April 6 to May 21, Gray pitched to a 2.05 ERA (12 ER/52.2 IP), the fourth-best mark in the National League over that span. He struck out 43 batters and allowed just two home runs during the best nine-game stretch of his career. Gray’s three signature outings of the season came during this stretch of games, beginning April 25 at New York (NL) when he struck out a season-high nine batters in 6.0 innings of four-hit, shutout ball in a win over the Mets. He then tossed 7.0 innings in back-to-back starts on, May 10 at San Francisco (7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) and May 16 at Miami (7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO).

In all, Gray is 8-12 with a 4.00 ERA this season in 29 starts. He has struck out 136 in 153.0 IP.

Also receiving votes for the Good Guy Award were Riley AdamsCJ AbramsMichael ChavisChad KuhlDominic Smith and Joey Meneses.


Year                        Winners

2023                        Lane Thomas (Player), Kyle Finnegan (Pitcher), Josiah Gray (Good Guy)

2022                        Lane Thomas (Player), Erasmo Ramírez (Pitcher), Nelson Cruz (Good Guy)

2021                         Juan Soto (Player), Kyle Finnegan (Pitcher), Josh Bell (Good Guy)

2020                       Juan Soto (Player), Max Scherzer (Pitcher), Sean Doolittle (Good Guy)

2019                         Anthony Rendon (Player), Stephen Strasburg (Pitcher), Sean Doolittle (Good Guy)

2018                         Bryce Harper (Player), Max Scherzer (Pitcher), Sean Doolittle (Good Guy)

2017                         Anthony Rendon (Player), Max Scherzer (Pitcher), Ryan Zimmerman (Good Guy)

2016                         Daniel Murphy (Player), Max Scherzer (Pitcher), Ryan Zimmerman (Good Guy)


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