The Washington Nationals announced the winners of the fourth-annual end-of-season awards as voted on by members of the local media. Third baseman Anthony Rendon was voted 2019 Nationals Player of the Year, while right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg was named Pitcher of the Year. Left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle was given the ‘Good Guy’ Award, given to a player who is exceptionally accommodating to the media and involved in the community.
The players will receive their awards from Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com in an on-field ceremony before Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Cleveland Indians.
Rendon, 29, was named Player of the Year for the second time in the four-year history of the award. Entering play on Friday, Rendon has clubbed a career-high 34 home runs as well as a career-high 124 RBI. He enters play on Friday ranked in the National League in RBI (1st, 124), doubles (T1st, 43), on-base percentage (2nd, .411), batting average (3rd, .321), OPS (3rd, 1.012), runs scored (3rd, 116) and slugging percentage (3rd, .601).
Rendon earned his first career All-Star selection in 2019 after leading all National League hitters in on-base percentage (1st, 398), slugging percentage (.619) and OPS (1st, 1.017). He recorded his 500th career RBI with his third career grand slam on July 29 vs. Atlanta. On August 26, following a week in which he hit .483 (14-for-29) with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI, five walks, one stolen base and six runs scored, MLB named Rendon National League Player of the Week.
Strasburg, 31, was named Pitcher of the Year for the first time. He enters today with an 18-6 record and a 3.32 ERA. His career-high 18 wins lead the National League. Strasburg also ranks among National League pitchers in innings pitched (1st, 209.0), strikeouts (2nd, 251), fWAR (3rd, 5.7), SO/9.0 IP (5th, 10.81), opp. AVG (5th, .210), opp. OPS (5th, .620), hits per nine innings (5th, 6.93), SO/9 (5th, 10.81), opp. SLG (6th, .349), WHIP (6th, 1.04), opp. OBP (7th, .271) and SO/BB (10th, 4.48).
As the 2019 season progressed, so too did Strasburg’s place in Nationals history. On August 9 at New York (NL) he struck out Todd Frazier in the third inning, passing Steve Rogers (1,621) for the most strikeouts in franchise (MON/WSH) history. Strasburg recorded his 200th career strikeout in the sixth inning on Aug. 25 at Chicago (NL), marking the third time he passed the 200 strikeout mark for a season. In his start on May 2 against St. Louis, Strasburg hit the 1,500 strikeout mark for his career, becoming the fastest pitcher to 1,500 career strikeouts - in terms of innings pitched - in Major League history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Doolittle, 33, is the winner of the ‘Good Guy’ Award for the second consecutive season for his “always-professional dealings with members of the media, and for representing the Nationals organization with class both on and off the field.” He is 6-5 with a 3.97 ERA and a career-high 29 saves entering play on Friday.
Throughout the season, Doolittle and his wife, Eireann, took part in many community initiatives, including their work with the military and the LGBTQ community. They spent time visiting the Walter Reed Medical Center and the youth baseball leagues as part of the Nationals’ Team UP jersey program. Doolittle also served as the spokesperson for the DCPL summer reading program where he worked with the DC Public library, military base libraries and CYP programs to encourage reading over the summer months. They participated in Night Out, the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy Shred Hate event, UVA Night and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Beyond their dedication to various community initiatives, the two supported the campaign for the Capital Area Food Bank during the Federal Government shutdown and furlough.