CARLSBAD, Calif. – Less than a year ago, the White Sox won the Liam Hendriks sweepstakes, signing the American League Reliever of the Year to a four-year deal.
On Wednesday, Hendriks again took home the distinction of Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year, becoming the first pitcher to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Last year, he claimed the honor as a member of the A’s.
MLB Network revealed both league’s winners on Wednesday. The Brewers’ Josh Hader won the National League Reliever of the year for the third time in his career.
Hendriks (8-3, 2.54 ERA) finished his first season with the White Sox on the top of plenty of statistical lists. He led the American League in saves, with 38. He led MLB relievers in strikeouts, with 113. Among AL relievers, he had the best WHIP (0.732) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (16.14). That strikeout-to-walk ratio was also set an MLB record (minimum 100 strikeouts).
Hendriks collected his second career All-Star nod this season and earned the All-Star Game save while providing an unforgettable mic’d up performance. He was the White Sox’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
When the White Sox acquired closer Craig Kimbrel at the trade deadline, Hendriks expressed a willingness to take on whatever role the team deemed best, in the name of winning. Hendriks remained the team’s first choice to close games, despite Kimbrel’s potential Hall of Fame credentials.
Hendriks finished the season even better than he started, holding opponents scoreless for the entire last month before the playoffs.