Devin Williams was one of the biggest breakout stars in this year’s shortened MLB season, and while we have to wait to see if he’ll be in the running for this year’s Rookie of the Year award, he’ll be taking home at least one piece of hardware.
Williams was named as the NL’s Reliever of the Year this afternoon, making it three straight years the award has come to the Cream City bullpen.
Williams beat out San Diego’s Trevor Rosenthal and former Brewer Jeremy Jeffress for the honor.
He seemed like the rather obvious choice, considering the ridiculous numbers he put up in his 22 appearances. Over 27 innings, he struck out an absurd 53 batters, issued only 9 walks, and allowed all of one earned run — which came on the only home run of the year he allowed.
His high-spin frisbee-style “airbender” changeup became the stuff of legends this year and quickly brought him into the national spotlight.
Josh Hader was among those who saw this coming for Williams. "I think he’s deserving of that [award], without a doubt. It’s not a question to me, the things that he’s been able to do – especially as a rookie coming in. It’s the confidence in him. He can definitely have my vote."— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 24, 2020
It was a year to remember for the now-26-year-old rookie who struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness in the minors after being a 2nd round pick in 2013.
We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see if there’s more hardware coming Williams’ way. The BBWAA announces its Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners on November 9th. It’s even possible he could get some down-ballot Cy Young votes when that award is announced a couple days later on November 11th.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs