The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the finalists for its major individual awards on Monday, and the ballots were littered with Washington Nationals.
The Nationals became the first team since the Minnesota Twins in 2006 to have a top-three finisher for each of the four awards, and the first N.L. team to do so since the 1996 Atlanta Braves.
Daniel Murphy, who led the N.L. in slugging percentage, OBPS, and doubles, is up for the league MVP award, which was won by teammate Bryce Harper a season ago. Murphy is one of the three finalists, along with Dodgers' shortstop Corey Seager and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.
Trea Turner played in just 73 MLB games this season, but quickly became one of the Nationals' most important players. He finished with 33 stolen bases and 13 home runs. While he is likely to fall just short of Dodgers' Corey Seager in the Rookie of the Year race, his meteoric rise to the top of the lineup was a welcomed sight in Washington.
Max Scherzer, the 2013 A.L. Cy Young award winner, is up for the N.L. award in 2016 thanks to his spot atop the N.L. leaderboard in wins (20), strikeouts (284), innings pitched (228) and WHIP (0.968). While Scherzer was often criticized for allowing home runs at a premium, the Nationals' ace had few flaws. He is up for the award along with Chicago Cubs' aces Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.
Rounding out the Nationals' nominees is manager Busty Baker, who guided the Nationals to a 95-67 record and an N.L. East championship in his first season with the club. The Nationals finished finished tied with the Rangers for the second-best record in professional baseball last season — behind the world champion Cubs'103-58 record — a 12-win increase from the season before. Baker is up for the award along with Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Joe Maddon of the Cubs.
The BBWA awards announcements begin next week, with the Rookie of the Year award on monday.