Diamond Digest’s 2023 End of Year Award Winners

With the Baseball Writers Association of America prepared to announce its Manager of the Year winners tonight, we at Diamond Digest wanted to reveal our own award ballots for who we believe should be taking home some hardware in the coming days!

Below you will find the result of our team’s voting for each award using the same point system (with the exception of MVP, which shares the same voting system as the Cy Young) as the BBWAA. Writers were also given the option to vote for the Hank Aaron and Reliever of the Year awards. You will also find some quotes from those who voted below each section in order to get an understanding from our writers as to why they voted as they did.

Without further ado, let’s get into the awards!

American League Hank Aaron Award: Shohei Ohtani

(Photo via John McCoy/Getty Images)

Shohei Ohtani was one of the hardest outs in baseball this season. He led the AL in most offensive categories, including home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and wRC+. His performance at the dish was the best of any player in the AL.

Bailey Digh

National League Hank Aaron Award: Ronald Acuña Jr.

(Photo via Ian D’Andrea/Flickr)

I maintain that Acuña was the best offensive player in the league this year, even though Matt Olson had more home runs (54 to Acuna’s 41) and RBIs (139 to Acuna’s 106). Acuña had a higher batting average, more hits, a higher on base percentage, a higher wRC+, and a higher OPS than Olson in 2023. While a fair bit of the counting stats are in Olson’s favor, I don’t think Acuña lags far behind enough in those categories to justify having him below Olson for the Hank Aaron Award.

Mauricio Palmar

HR go brrrrr.

Carson Melinder, voted for Olson

AL Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year: Felix Bautista

(Photo via AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Félix Bautista was the the hardest reliever to hit in the AL this season. He led the league with a .188 opponent’s batting average, 16.23 K/9, 4.45 WPA, and 2.8 fWAR, while having the second-lowest ERA (1.48) among AL relievers. He was nasty.

Bailey Digh


Kristian Lloyd

NL Billy Wagner Reliever of the Year: Devin Williams

(Photo via Ken Mattison/Flickr)

Devin Williams and Hader are actually neck-and-neck. Williams has 36 saves, Hader has 33. Williams had 87 strikeouts, Hader had 85. Williams had a 1.53 ERA, Hader had a 1.28. Williams had 2.6 bWAR, Hader had 2.4. Williams had a 2.66 FIP, Hader had a 2.69. The gaps are just so marginal in every single possible category I could use to differentiate the two, but Williams manages to get the edge in a majority of them, so I believe he’s the Reliever of the Year.

Mauricio Palmer

Doval was an electric closer all year for a team that underperformed but still should be recognized for the accomplishments.

Diego Franco-Carreno, voted for Doval

American League Rookie of the Year: Gunnar Henderson

(Photo via Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Gunnar Henderson was not only one of the best rookies in the AL this season, but was one of the better players in his league. His 4.6fWAR led all first-year players and ranked 14th overall in the AL. At the plate, he posted a 123 wRC+ while hitting 28 home runs and scoring 100 runs. In the field, he was a good defender as both a third baseman and shortstop. Henderson also provided value on the bases with a 5.2 BsR and tallying six runner runs, the most in all of baseball. The 22-year-old impacted his team in every way possible.

Bailey Digh

Volume matters a decent bit for me, and Henderson had over 600 plate appearances on the year. In those plate appearances, he was a well above average hitter on the year, finishing with a 125 wRC+ on the year. Gunnar was also a fantastic defender at both shortstop (10 DRS) and third base (3 DRS), as well as providing a fair bit of value on the basepaths. Just a really well rounded player, and the fact that he has the most fWAR and bWAR of all AL rookies illustrates that point really well. The Silver Slugger doesn’t really matter all that much to me, but it’s still a cool accolade to boost his resume on top of all that.

Mauricio Palmer

On a pure rate basis, there was no rookie in the American League as productive as Zack Gelof. In just 69 games, the Athletics second baseman compiled 2.9 fWAR thanks to his electric 5 tool play. His 133 wRC+ and 3.3 BsR were second and fourth respectively among AL rookies (Min 300 PAs) while his

Elizabeth Tsai, voted for Zack Gelof

National League Rookie of the Year: Corbin Carroll

(Photo via Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Carroll established himself as a top 20 player with his rookie season.

Kristian Lloyd

Corbin Carroll was one of the 15-20 best hitters in all of baseball, this will not be the only award he will receive votes for. An incredible season for both himself and the DBacks, this is well earned.

Carson Melinder

Carroll is the obvious choice here, but shoutout to Nolan Jones for a great season. Cleveland really could have used a 4-war hitter this year.

Joey Bohley, gave Jones a second place vote

If not for players like Acuna, Betts, and Freeman having all-time years, Corbin Carroll would not only be Rookie of the Year, he would be the National League MVP.

Michael Fitzpatrick

American League Manager of the Year: Brandon Hyde

(Phot via Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

While managing a roster that cost less than most and consisted of mostly young players, Brandon Hyde was not only able to help the Orioles meet expectations this year, but also helped them exceed what most thought they were actually capable of. Following up an 83-win year with an AL-best 101-win season was an insane jump to make given the Orioles’ young roster. Hyde deserves a lot of credit for keeping his team on the right path for the entire 2023 season.

Bailey Digh

I think Manager of the Year is a regular season award, and Brandon Hyde had the most impressive regular season of the three by far. The Orioles were the only AL team to reach 100 wins this season, and Hyde managed to do so with the toughest circumstances of any contender in the American League. He was working with a barebones rotation that featured regular starts from arms such as Cole Irvin and Kyle Gibson, and a lineup composed almost entirely of young players in their first couple of years of major league experience. Winning the league’s toughest division in spite of all this merits a Manager of the Year selection.

Mauricio Palmer

He’s still got it.

Carson Melinder, voted for Bochy

He’s always been the best manager, why vote anyone else?

Kristian Lloyd, voted for Cash

National League Manager of the Year: Skip Schumaker

(Photo via Skip Schumacher/X (formerly (still) Twitter))

Skip Schumaker did an unbelievable job with the talent that he was given. Paired with an incredible FO in Kim Ng, working with a constrained budget and options, they were able to make shrewd choices at the deadline that gave them just their 4th playoff appearance in franchise history.

Carson Melinder

Skip the skip lead a Miami team with little expectation to a wild card spot that they had no business being in. He did a great job and should be recognized for it.

Diego Franco-Carreno

Craig Counsell is regarded as one of, if not the best, managers in baseball today. He showed that in 2023 by managing a team that was on opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to hitting and pitching. Milwaukee was a below-average offense as a team this year, while being an above-average pitching staff. With the Brewers, every pitching decision was more important than they were for other teams because Milwaukee didn’t boast a high-powered lineup. Counsell took that team and helped them put together the third-best record in the NL, something not every manager would have been able to accomplish.

Bailey Digh, voted for Craig Counsell, who is no longer the Brewers manager

American League Cy Young Award: Gerrit Cole

(Photo via Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Cy Young’s a simple award. Cole had the most innings pitched, the lowest ERA, and the most strikeouts. I usually look deeper than that to analyze players, but when looking at award season, those are really the only stats you need to determine the rightful Cy Young.

Mauricio Palmer

Not only has he somehow never won, Cole once again continued to show that even as he ages, his ability to develop his arsenal to maximize his present ability earned him his first Cy Young Award.

Carson Melinder

The argument for Sonny Gray is much closer than it seems. With that said, it’s a Cole World out here.

Payton Ellison

Gausman was an absolute stud on the mound, and in a bit of a weaker year, I think he has a great chance!

Diego Franco-Carreno, voted for Gausman

National League Cy Young Award: Blake Snell

(Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Blake Snell led the majors with 99 walks this year, but they didn’t come back to bite him as he stranded 86.7% of the runners he allowed to reach base safely. Leaving those runners on allowed Snell to do what pitchers are supposed to do: prevent runs. His 2.25 ERA was tops in the NL and MLB, while his .180 opponent’s batting average was also first. He allowed just 0.75 HR/9 and struck out the second-most hitters in the NL, 234, despite finishing 10th in innings pitched at 180. The left-hander was sixth in fWAR (4.1) and first in bWAR (6.0) among NL pitchers as well. Snell is very deserving of the second Cy Young Award of his career.

Bailey Digh

The same logic applies here with Snell. The volume wasn’t as great for him compared to starters like Gallen or Webb, but he has the lowest ERA by nearly a full run, and his 234 strikeouts sits at the top of the Nationals League by a margin of 14 Ks. No amount of walk issues are enough to dissuade me from picking him as my Cy Young.

Mauricio Palmer

While not the best at any one thing amongst NL pitchers, Gallen finished top 10 in WHIP, strikeout rate, hits per nine, walks per nine, and ERA while pitching the second most innings in the NL. A great combination of bulk and efficiency.

Joesph Zilva, voted for Gallen

American League Most Valuable Player: Shohei Ohtani

(Photo via Mogami Kariya/TOSA)

I don’t know if I need to elaborate much for this. Ohtani’s the best hitter in the league by a fairly sizeable margin, and he moonlights as one of the few shutdown aces left in the sport. He had the highest OPS, the most home runs of any American League hitter, and he had 167 strikeouts with an ERA in the low 3s. There was never another option.

Mauricio Palmer

Shohei Ohtani is the best baseball player in the world. In 2023 he showcased that and was the most valuable player in the AL. He pitched 132 innings, while striking out 31.5% of the hitters he faced and posting a 142 ERA+. At the dish, he led the AL with a 6.6 fWAR, 44 home runs, .412 on-base percentage, .654 slugging percentage, .433 wOBA, and 180 wRC+. His .304 batting average was third, while he scored the fourth-most runs, 102, and had the fourth-highest win probability added and the highest RE24 among AL hitters. Overall, Ohtani’s 10.0 bWAR was the best in baseball. It’s hard to not pick him when voting for this award.

Bailey Digh

Greatest overall baseball player I have ever seen play. MVP for life until proven otherwise.

Carson Melinder

Should be his third consecutive MVP. No one will ever match Ohtani in value.

Kristian Lloyd

Seager was an incredible hitter all year long and helped lead Texas to the playoffs where just 2 years ago they were living in the Basement of the AL West.

Diego Franco-Carreno, voted for Seager

National League Most Valuable Player: Ronald Acuña Jr.

Outside of putting together the first ever 40-homer, 70-steal season, Ronald Acuña Jr. proved to be one of the best players in the NL this year by leading the league with a 6.87 WPA and 73.57 RE24, while being tied for the best fWAR (8.3). Acuña was also towards the top of the NL in categories like extra-bas hits and home runs, while he led the league in on-base percentage, OPS, runs, hits, and total bases. The overall performance of Acuña in 2023 was the most valuable of any player in the NL.

Bailey Digh

The race was close for a minute back in August, as people kept debating about whether Acuna’s stolen base mark was enough to push voters away from Mookie Betts, the better offensive performer at the time. Then Betts went cold for the month of September (and October as well if I’m being frank), and Acuna went on a heater in September to seal the award. The 40/70 statistic is a cool achievement, but this result would have been the same if Acuna had just 25 stolen bases instead of 70. He was simply the best offensive performer in the league.

Mauricio Palmer

While Acuna was better offensively, Betts added so much more value to the Dodgers with his versatility and defense. Betts not only filled in at second base and shortstop when the team needed, but he also provided plus defense at each position as well.

Joseph Silva, voted for Betts

If there’s room for it, I want to have a serious discussion about Francisco Lindor. Very rarely does someone of that contract stature prove to be worth it, and yet that’s all he has done since being acquired by the Mets. Hopefully he settles for a third place MVP finish to compensate for his lack of ASG and GG selections.

Carson Melinder, yes, we made room for the discussion

Here is the schedule this week for the remainder of the BBWAA awards announcements, all telecast on MLB Network at 6 pm ET:

November 13: Rookie of the Year
November 14: Manager of the Year
November 15: Cy Young Award
November 16: Most Valuable Player

Make sure to tune in to our Twitter for more thoughts on these award winners, and let us know if you think we got our voting right!

Payton Ellison

Payton Malloy Ellison is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in journalism. He has been writing his entire life, and about sports in various genres and settings for five years, starting with monthly coverage for the NBA and Major League Baseball on Grrindtime. He has been the Managing Editor for Diamond Digest for two years, written and edited articles produced live content and assisted in growing the brand for four years. He has also served as the sports director for the New Paltz campus radio station, WFNP The Edge, and had provided play-by-play and color commentary for SUNY New Paltz basketball.

Jordan Lazowski

2019 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and current Editor-in-Chief. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I haven't left since. Lifelong White Sox fan, self-proclaimed nerd, and Lucas Giolito's biggest supporter. Feel free to reach out and talk baseball! Twitter: @jlazowski14

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