The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) announced their finalists for the 2018 awards season tonight.
Max Scherzer and his 20-year-old Washington Nationals teammate, Juan Soto, were named finalists for the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year, respectively, after big seasons for each in a disappointing campaign overall for the Nats.
Soto, who played the season as a 19-year-old, finished the year with a .292/.406/.517 line, 22 home runs, 25 doubles, 77 runs scored, 70 RBIs, 79 walks, 99 Ks, and 146 wRC+ in a 3.7 fWAR campaign which saw him ranked second among all NL hitters with at least 490 PAs in on-base percentage (.406 OBP), third in OPS (.923), and 12th in batting average (.292 AVG).
Among National League rookies, Soto finished ranked first in OBP, OPS, RBIs, walks, walk percentage (16.0 BB%), wOBA (.392), and wRC+, and he finished second in SLG, in home runs, AVG, fWAR, and OPS+ (142).
Soto joins the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuña and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler as the three finalists for the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year.
Scherzer, who’s won the NL Cy Young award in each of the last two seasons (and has three Cy Young awards overall in his career), joins New York Mets’ right-hander Jacob deGrom, and Philadelphia Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola as the three finalists for the 2018 NL Cy Young.
Scherzer, 34, went (18-7) in 33 starts, with a 2.53 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 51 walks (2.08 BB/9), 300 Ks (12.24 K/9), and a .188/.247/.332 line against in 220 2⁄3 innings pitched. He finished the year ranked first in the NL in strikeouts, K/9, WHIP (0.91), BAA, innings pitched, and hits allowed per nine innings (6.12 H/9).
Neither of the Nationals are considered frontrunners for their respective awards, with Acuña and deGrom the favorites this season.
The official announcement on the NL Rookie of the Year will be made on Monday, November 12th at 6:00 PM and the 2018 NL Cy Young winner will be announced on November 14th at 6:00 PM on the MLB Network.