Los Angeles Dodgers 2016 Player of the Year: Corey Seager
The Los Angeles Dodgers captured the NL West crown in 2016, and their NL Rookie of the Year third baseman is the club’s Player of the Year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers went 91-71 to win the NL West Division for a fourth straight season, their sixth division crown in the last nine years.
The Dodgers then gutted out a five-game NLDS victory over the Washington Nationals. Falling behind 2-1 in games, they won back-to-back one-run games to advance into the NLCS.
In that NLCS, manager Dave Roberts club shut out the vaunted Chicago Cubs offensive attack in Games Two and Three to take a 2-1 lead in the series. But the Cubs came roaring back to win three straight en route to their World Series title.
DODGERS 2016 STATISTICAL LEADERS
Third baseman Justin Turner hit .275 with 27 home runs, 34 doubles and 90 RBI. He came in 9th in the NL MVP Award voting.
24-year old center fielder Joc Pederson had 25 homers and 25 doubles. Catcher Yasmani Grandal banged 27 homers with 72 RBI. On the other end of the age scale, 37-year old second baseman Chase Utley had 14 homers and scored 79 runs.
Veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit for a .285/.349/.435 slash line with 18 homers and 90 RBI. In just 262 plate appearances, Trayce Thompson blasted 13 home runs with 32 RBI and 31 runs scored.
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The Dodgers are historically known for their pitching, and 2016 was no different. Closer Kenley Jansen won the Trevor Hoffman Award as the NL’s top closer after recording 47 Saves. He struck out 104 batters over 68.2 innings while allowing just 35 hits.
In the rotation, Japanese import Kenta Maeda was an NL Rookie of the Year candidate. He went 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.139 WHIP, allowing 150 hits over 175.2 innings with 179 strikeouts.
Coming out of nowhere to fashion a tremendous season out of the bullpen was veteran righty Joe Blanton. He went 7-2 over 75 games, allowing just 55 hits over 80 innings with an 80/24 K:BB ratio and a fantastic 2.48 ERA.
The club’s top pitching prospect, 19-year old Julio Urias, got his first taste of the big leagues and more than held his own. Urias went 5-2 over 18 games, 15 of those starts. He struck out 84 batters over 77 innings.
The club’s ace, lefty Clayton Kershaw, missed a dozen starts with injury. When available he was excellent, as usual. Kershaw went 12-4 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.725 WHIP, allowing just 97 hits in 149 innings with a 172/11 K:BB ratio.
THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IS THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
The Dodgers have a tremendous tradition of winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award. From the time that Jackie Robinson won the first honors back in 1947, a Dodgers freshman took the honors on 16 occasions.
But with that great history, no LA player had taken home the hardware in two decades. That ended this year when shortstop Corey Seager was named as the unanimous winner of the top NL rookie honors.
In addition to capturing the NL Rookie of the Year, Seager was the Dodgers best all-around player. He hit for a .308/.365/.512 slash line with 26 home runs, 40 doubles, 72 RBI, and 105 runs scored.
Seager, whose brother Kyle Seager is the Seattle Mariners third baseman, was also was an NL All-Star for the first time. He captured a Silver Slugger Award, and finished third in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.
He had previously been honored by his fellow NL players with their top rookie honors, after being named to that NL All-Star team by their vote back in the summer.
“That’s awesome — to be voted by your peers, it’s a little more special for me,” Seager said per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick just last week. “Same thing with the All-Star Game [selected by player vote], it’s nice to see your peers and the people you play against every day have that mutual respect for you.”
In just a little more than one season, the 22-year old mega-talent has earned that respect of his peers. For his performance this season, Corey Seager has also earned the Los Angeles Dodgers Player of the Year Award.