On Thursday afternoon the Players Choice Award finalists were announced by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and second baseman Jonathan India were among the players who were named as finalists for the various awards.

Jonathan India was named as one of the three finalists in the National League for the Outstanding Rookie Award. He, along with Dylan Carlson and Patrick Wisdom are up for the award this season. India feels like the frontrunner for all of the “rookie” awards that will be handed out this year. The second baseman hit .269/.376/.459 with 21 home runs, 34 doubles, 98 runs, 69 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 150 games played.

Dylan Carlson and Patrick Wisdom had fairly different seasons. Carlson played in 149 games for the Cardinals this season and hit .266/.343/.437 with 18 home runs, 79 runs scored, and 65 RBI. Wisdom only played in 106 games for the Cubs this season. Despite that he crushed 28 home runs while hitting .231/.305/.518. He also struck out 41% of the time he stepped to the plate – but those big daddy hacks paid off as the power outpaced the lack of contact during the season.

Joey Votto was named as one of the three finalists for the National League Comeback Player Award along with two San Francisco Giants – Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey. It’s not that Joey Votto was necessarily bad at the plate in 2019 and 2020, it’s just more so that he was not anywhere near the player he had been prior to that. He posted a 98 OPS+, just slightly below league average, in those two seasons combined. And in 2020, granted it was just 54 games, his OPS+ was 107 – above the league average. From 2007-2018 he posted a 155 OPS+ and was a perennial MVP candidate.

After two very down seasons, Votto bounced back in a big way in 2021. Despite missing nearly a month and playing in just 129 games he hit 36 home runs – the second most he’d ever had in a season, drove in 99, and hit .266/.375/.563. His OPS+ jumped up to 136.

As for his competition, they also had strong seasons. Buster Posey opted out of the 2020 season. In 2019 he hit just .257/.320/.368, good for an 83 OPS+. He returned in 2021 and played in 113 games, was a National League All-Star, and hit .304/.390/.499 with 18 home runs. His OPS jumped up to 140.  As for Brandon Crawford, it’s tough to know exactly what he was coming back from. In 2020 he played in 54 of the 60 games and hit .256/.326/.465 – good for an OPS+ of 115. He was an above-average hitter last season. He was just a lot better this season, hitting .298/.373/.522 with a career best 24 home runs, 90 RBI, and 11 steals.

The winners will be announced on October 28th on the 6pm ET version of Sportscenter on ESPN.

18 Responses

  1. LDS

    Hard to see how India loses to either of these guys. Statistically, except for Wisdom’s home run count, India seems to be the leader. On the other hand, St. Louis seems to have “clout” so we’ll see next week.

  2. Jim Walker

    India has to win all the RoY type awards unless people forget he was rookie (because he played like he wasn’t virtually all season).

  3. Bet on Red

    In other second baseman news, she long was outrighted of the Seattle roster today. Looks like the reds won on that trade.

    • Jim Walker

      Long has had the Nick Senzel experience since he has been in Seattle. His issue has been a stress fracture of his left leg/ shin. He tried to play through it last year but eventually had season ending surgery. He struggled with the same issue this season and recently had a second surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training


      Guess when a person is a 12th round choice (#375 overall) teams tend not to be as patient as (at least some teams are) with a #2 overall choice 6 years down the road.

      • DaveCT

        Outside of the editorial (no judgment) on Senzel, there are fans who’d love to have Shed Long back

        It would help to have more information on Nick S, honestly. If it’s confidential, fine. God bless him. Really. Health snd family first, Nick.

        But how will we proceed? And let’sjust sign Shed!

      • Jim Walker

        If only Long were a RH hitter. Reds are already too LH with guys who are not going anywhere else.

  4. west larry

    I see no harm in claiming Shed Long back, and placing him in AAA to see if his often injured leg holds up. He may be a useful utility player in the bigs.

  5. Old-school

    India and Votto Very deserving

    Stop the rotations and put Suarez at 3b Barrero SS india 2b Votto 1b every day. Kyle farmer starts each position once a week for starts a week to rest and first off the bench ….WHEN….. not if 1 of the 4 goes on the IL.

    Sign Adam Duvall as a righty OF/ DH/ 1b.

    • CFD3000

      I would have no problem with any of these suggestions, but Barrero at SS every day is high on my wish list for 2022.

    • greenmtred

      If Barrero wins the job, that would be good news. But wouldn’t we think that he should win it instead of just being installed at SS?

      • Old Big Ed

        How exactly does he “win” it? In spring training 2022, just as in spring training 2021, Jose Barrero will be hands-down the best defensive shortstop – and defensive player – in camp. He has more range than Farmer and a better arm than Farmer. He is faster and quicker than Farmer, and he has more power than Farmer. He had a better offensive spring training in 2021 than Farmer, and his AAA stats at 23 were better than Farmer’s at 26. His only demonstrated weakness is that he doesn’t produce as much when he only gets one start per week.

        Barrero has nothing left prove or learn at AAA; the improvements to his game can now only come at the MLB level. Yeah, he will have the normal ups and downs of a rookie, but he deserves to play every day. All other 29 MLB teams, if faced with the decision to play Barrero or Farmer at shortstop, would choose Barrero.

        Barrero is the best athlete on the roster and has really already earned the shortstop job in 2021, although I can see an argument to make him a centerfielder, where he would also clearly be the best defender on the Reds. His speed and athleticism are exactly what the Reds need to be better, and they would be fools not to want him to start 150 games next season.

        The Yankees in 1996 didn’t sweat whether to play a 30+ Tony Fernandez over Derek Jeter at shortstop, whose brief 1995 stint was merely OK. This is a very similar situation, although that Barrero is a lot better defender than Jeter.

      • Bet on Red

        green is right. Barrero has had two seperate opertunites to…. look like a deer in the headlights when it comes to MLB pitching… He needs to prove he belongs, and when he does the breakout will carry the team. Until then, i will take farmers slightly deficent glove

      • Doug Gray

        His “opportunity” this year was 13 starts spread out over nearly 2 months, at two different positions, one of which he’d literally never played before as a professional. And his OPS in that stretch was basically what Kyle Farmer did in April/May/June/August.

      • greenmtred

        If he looks better in spring training, he should start. If he produces during the season, he should continue to start. That’s generally how people win jobs. But what we’re talking about with him is potential, and not everybody realizes theirs. Plenty of guys down through the years who hit AAA pitching really well and couldn’t take it to the next level. And he has a relatively small body of work at AA and AAA.. Remember, I said that it would be good news if he won the job, and he should get the chance. He may be a better fielder than Farmer, but Farmer was good. He may have a better arm, but Farmer throws hard and with accuracy. He may be a better hitter, but he needs to demonstrate that.

      • Melvin

        @Old Big Ed – but besides all that why should Barrero be the SS? 🙂

  6. Melvin

    The both should win these awards…easily.

  7. steve d

    Agree with OBE and Doug, Barrero deserves a long look next season. Farmer did a decent job last year, but if you compare his year to that of Jose Iglesias in 2019, the stats are very similar. More power from Farmer but less defensive range and lower batting average. Iglesias was let go. Also Farmer is very good at being an all around utility man. Even if Barrero is a bust, Farmer is not the long term answer at SS. I believe he will thrive if given a decent chance but with Bell he may not get that. Bet On Barrero!