Yandy Diaz placed sixth in American League MVP voting, which was revealed Thursday evening. The sixth-place finish equaled Evan Longoria (2010, 2013) as the highest in team history.
Anaheim’s Shohei Ohtani was a unanimous winner with Texas teammates Corey Seager and Marcus Semien coming in second and third, respectively. Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez was fourth and Houston’s Kyle Tucker, a Plant High alum, came in fifth, 41 points ahead of Diaz.
Diaz, who had four third-place votes, garnered 137 voting points. Longoria had 103 points in 2013 and 100 in 2010.
The 32-year-old first baseman, who won the fourth Silver Slugger Award in team history, was the first player in Rays history to win a batting title. Diaz’s .330 average edged Seager and was the highest for a qualifying Tampa Bay player, besting Jason Bartlett’s .320 in 2009.
Diaz established career highs in homers (22), RBI (78), hits (173) and OPS (.932). He was top five in the AL in on base percentage (.410, second), OPS (third), slugging percentage (.522, fourth) and hits (fifth). He was also third with 53 multi-hit games, including a league-best 19 of three-plus hits.
Diaz played a superb first base while making 116 starts at the position. His .996 fielding percentage was sixth in MLB.
MVP voting capped a week of awards announcements. Zach Eflin finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting, revealed Tuesday evening. The Yankees’ Gerrit Cole won the award in unanimous fashion.
Signed as a free agent by the Rays last December, the 29-year-old Eflin had a career year in going 16-9 with 3.50 ERA. His 1.02 WHIP was second in the AL.
Kevin Cash was third in voting for manager of the year. Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde won the award, which was announced Wednesday. Texas’ Bruce Bochy was second.
Despite numerous injuries, especially to the starting rotation, and with Wander Franco being on place on administrative leave in August, Cash led his club to 99 wins, the second most in team history. The Rays made the playoffs for a fifth straight season.
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