Blue Jays announce 2018 BBWAA award winners
December 5, 2018
Official Toronto Blue Jays Press Release
Toronto, Ont. - The Toronto Chapter of the BBWAA have announced their annual award winners highlighted by the unanimous selection of 1B JUSTIN SMOAK, who earned the Neil MacCarl award as the Player of the Year.
Also recognized were LHP J.A. HAPP, who earned the Pitcher of the Year, C LUKE MAILE, recognized as the Most Improved Player, LHP RYAN BORUCKI as the Rookie of the Year, and former Manager JOHN GIBBONS, as the John Cerutti award recipient.
SMOAK, 32, was the unanimous selection for the Neil MacCarl award as the Blue Jays Player of the Year after leading the club with 77 RBI and had the most 3+ hit games. In 147 contests this season, Smoak topped the American League with a .352 OBP and a .805 OPS as a first baseman while his .999 fielding percentage led all MLB first basemen. He also reached the 25 home run mark for the second time in his career and recorded six 9th-inning home runs to tie for the MLB lead.
HAPP, 36, earned the Pitcher of the Year after playing in the 2018 All-Star game and becoming the first Blue Jay to earn a save in the Midsummer Classic. The lefty posted a 10-6 record in 20 starts as a Blue Jay this season before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 26. He racked up a career total of 691 strikeouts while in a Blue Jays uniform, the ninth most in team history.
MAILE, 27, captured the Most Improved Player of the Year Award after posting career best marks in runs (22), hits (50), doubles (13) and RBI (27). The University of Kentucky product recorded a hit in nine consecutive at-bats with runners in scoring position, which is the longest streak in Blue Jays history. He also put together the longest hitting streak of his career after having at least one hit in his first seven games of the season.
BORUCKI, 24, earned the Rookie of the Year Award after posting a 4-6 record in 17 games with a 3.87 ERA, the sixth best all-time by a Blue Jays rookie. The Mundelein, Ill., native recorded 11 quality starts this season, which tied Marco Estrada for the team lead and was the most by a Blue Jays rookie since Marcus Stroman recorded 14 in 2014. He put the finishing touches on his rookie campaign with a September ERA of 2.65, ninth best among AL starters, and an opponents’ average of .165, which ranked fourth.
GIBBONS, 56, receives the John Cerutti Award after recording 793 wins over two stints and 11 seasons as Toronto’s manager. He now holds the second most team wins behind Cito Gaston’s record of 894. Gibbons finished last season ranking 82nd in wins all-time and was 11th among active managers.