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Aaron Judge wins two top Players Choice Awards

Sep 4, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New American League single-season home run king Aaron Judge was selected the majors’ player of the year and the AL’s outstanding player of the year in the Players Choice Awards on Friday.

In voting among members of the Major League Baseball Players Association, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was chosen the National League’s outstanding player.

Judge bashed 62 home runs, topping the AL mark of 61 set by the Yankees’ Roger Maris in 1961. The New York Yankees outfielder also led the league in RBIs (131), runs (133), on-base percentage (.425) and slugging percentage (.686) while batting .311.

Like Judge, Goldschmidt was in contention for his league’s Triple Crown for much of the season. He wound up third in the NL in batting average (.317), tied for fifth in home runs (35) and second in RBIs (115).

Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander won the AL outstanding pitcher and comeback player of the year. Coming off Tommy John surgery at age 39, Verlander led the league in wins while going 18-4 with a majors-best 1.75 ERA.

Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez won the AL outstanding rookie honor. Rodriguez, 21, hit .284 with 28 homers, 75 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 132 games.

Miami Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcantara won the NL outstanding pitcher award after going 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA and a major-league-best 228 2/3 innings pitched.

The NL outstanding rookie honoree was Atlanta Braves right-hander Spencer Strider, who finished 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA in 31 games (20 starts).

Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who missed the second half of the 2021 season and the first month of the 2022 campaign due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was selected the NL comeback player of the year. He batted .266 with 15 homers, 50 RBIs and 29 steals in 119 games.

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor received the Marvin Miller Award for “leadership (that) most inspires others to higher levels of achievement.”

Former major league pitcher and MLBPA executive Steve Rogers was the recipient of the Curt Flood Award, given annually to “a former player, living or deceased, who in the image of Flood demonstrated a selfless, longtime devotion to the Players Association and advancement of players’ rights.”

–Field Level Media