The Washington Nationals announced the winners of the sixth-annual end-of-season awards as voted on by members of the local media. Outfielder Juan Soto was voted 2021 Nationals Player of the Year, while right-handed pitcher Kyle Finnegan was named Pitcher of the Year. First Baseman Josh Bell was given the Good Guy Award, given 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.
Soto, 22, earned Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. He enters play on Friday as a strong candidate for National League Most Valuable Player and has a chance to win his second National League batting title and his second National League Silver Slugger award. He leads Major League Baseball in on-base percentage (.467) and walks (140) and leads the National League in wins above replacement according to FanGraphs.com (6.6) and Baseball-Reference.com (7.3). All told, Soto is hitting .318 with 20 doubles, two triples, 29 homers, 94 RBI, 140 walks, nine stolen bases and 110 runs scored in 148 games this season.
Soto earned his first National League All-Star selection in 2021 and made it to the semifinals of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. In 69 games since the All-Star break, Soto is hitting .360/.532/.662 with 18 of his 29 home runs on the season coming since the All-Star break. His .532 on-base percentage is eighth best in MLB history for any player post-All-Star break.
Finnegan, 30, is 5-8 with 11 saves and a 3.46 ERA in 66 games during his second Major League season. His 11 saves since July 29 are tied for fifth in the National League. Finnegan enters play on Friday leading Washington relievers in games (66) and strikeouts (65).
In 23 games from July 20 to Sept. 12, Finnegan posted a 0.74 ERA (2 ER/24.1 IP) with 20 strikeouts, 11 walks, and a .167 opponent’s batting average (14-for-84, 3 2B, 2 HR). He recorded five holds and converted nine of 10 save opportunities during that stretch. On May 5th vs. Atlanta, Finnegan recorded the fifth immaculate inning in Nationals history (2005-pres.)
Bell, 29, earned the Good Guy Award in his first season with the Washington Nationals. In addition to his play on the field, Bell serves as the player ambassador for the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, making several visits to the academy throughout the season. He also established the Josh Bell Book Club, inviting fans to join him in reading and discussing books that offered concepts, mindsets, and inspiration for being and becoming better people. Nearly 1,500 participants registered to join five separate book discussions throughout the 2021 season.
On the field, Bell enters Friday hitting .256 with 23 doubles, one triple, 27 home runs, 88 RBI, 62 walks and 73 runs scored in 141 games. His 51 extra-base hits are tied with Juan Soto for the most on the club. After hitting .133/.198/.289 in his first 23 games of the season, Bell enters Friday hitting 281/.369/.511 since May 13. The .511 slugging percentage ranks 19th in the National League over this stretch.
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)