Nationals announce 2020 awards

The Washington Nationals announced the winners of the fifth-annual end-of-season awards as voted on by members of the local media. Outfielder Juan Soto was voted 2020 Nationals Player of the Year, while right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer was named Pitcher of the Year. Left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle was given the “Good Guy” Award, given to a player for his always-professional dealings with members of the media, and for representing the Nationals organization with class both on and off the field.

Soto, 21, has put together a season worthy of National League Most Valuable Player consideration. Entering play on Sunday, he leads Major League Baseball in slugging percentage (.693), on-base percentage (.485), and OPS (1.177). Soto is in position to win the National League batting title, as he enters Sunday with a .346 batting average. Despite missing 13 games, Soto led the Nationals with 13 home runs, 37 RBI and 40 walks. He edged out Trea Turner by just four votes to bring home the Player of the Year award for the first time.

Scherzer, 36, won a close race (two votes) over Tanner Rainey to win his second consecutive Pitcher of the Year award. Following his start on Saturday night, Scherzer ranks in the National League in strikeouts per 9.0 IP (4th, 12.30), strikeouts (5th, 92) and strikeout-to-walk (9th, 4.00). In 12 starts, he finished the 2020 season 5-4 with a 3.64 ERA, the best mark among qualified Nationals pitchers. Kyle Finnegan also received a several votes for the Pitcher of the Year Award.

Doolittle, 34, won his third consecutive “Good Guy” Award by a margin of one vote over Trea Turner. Doolittle battled injuries in 2020, missing time to right knee fatigue and a strained right oblique that ended his season after just 11 games. He went 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in those 11 outings. Despite the struggles and frustration with injuries, Doolittle was always accountable, professional and insightful in his interactions with the media.

Sean and his wife, Eireann, have been staples of the community since the Nationals acquired Sean in 2017. They lend their hands to the marginalized communities - veterans discharged with “bad papers,” the LGBTQ community, refugees and minority communities experiencing discrimination and inequality. Because of Sean’s unwavering advocacy, his voice and his actions for change, he was the Nationals nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award.

Year Winners

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)