The 2012 MLB Awards are in and the Washington Nationals won their fair share. Washington finished with four players winning major awards and Davey Johnson taking Manager of the Year. For an organization that has not won much of anything on and off of the field this is a vintage year.
The awards began with Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche winning his first Gold Glove. LaRoche led NL first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage while only committing seven errors. A perfect score is 1.000 which means LaRoche was almost perfect.
Washington had three Silver Slugger Award winners for best hitter at their position. LaRoche won his second award with a .271 batting average, 33 home runs and 100 RBI. Like his Gold Glove, LaRoche won the Silver Slugger for the first time. Shortstop Ian Desmond won the award at shortstop with a .292 average, 25 home runs and 73 RBI. This is his first major award. Desmond was also voted to the NL All-Star team for the first time in 2012.
The third Silver Slugger Award went to pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Though he is expected to win the Cy Young Award as baseball’s best pitcher, Strasburg’s first trophy was won with his hitting. Strasburg finished the season with a .277 average, one home run and seven RBI.
The NL Rookie of the Year Award went to Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper. The 19 year old phenom was not expected to play in Washington this season, but was called up in April. In 139 games he batted .270 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI. Harper won the award on the strength of a September in which he batted .330 with seven home runs, seven doubles, three triples and 14 RBI.
The final award went to Johnson as he won NL Manager of the Year on Tuesday. By leading the Nationals to 98 victories and an NL East pennant, he was the odds on favorite to win the award. Johnson told anyone who would listen in spring training that if Washington did not make the playoffs he should be fired. They made the playoffs and he was rewarded as Manager of the Year.
2012 was a very good year for the Nationals and their fans. The team finished over .500 for the first time since coming to Washington in 2005. Their 98 wins were the most in all of baseball. The Nationals made their first playoff appearance in D.C. For the first time in eight years, fans were excited over baseball in Washington.
All of this led to four players and the manager taking home some well earned hardware as the Nationals won their fair share of awards.