The 2014 season may not have gone the way the Toronto Blue Jays planned, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the season was a total bust. Some of the Blue Jays players enjoyed some solid individual accomplishments on the season, and some not so memorable moments. On Thursday, some of both types were recognized when the Blue Jays racked up seven nominations in the Greatness in Baseball Yearly awards (GIBBYs).
The GIBBYs, formerly known at the This Year In Baseball Awards, are presented yearly by Major League Baseball for a number of categories, including MLB MVP, Hitter of the Year, Starting Pitcher of the Year, Closer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, and other categories. There are also some satirical awards given to Oddity of the Year and Cut4 Topic of the Year. The awards are voted on through a mix of media, fans, alumni, and front office personnel.
With that in mind, the Blue Jays got a big bump in the nominations from resident superstar Jose Bautista, who raked in five nods on his own. Bautista was recognized in the categories for MLB MVP, Hitter of the Year, and Walk-off Hit of the Year, along with two Cut4 nominations for his toy wrestling match with Houston Astros mascot Orbit and for his throw from right field to nail Kansas City Royals DH Billy Butler at First Base.
Also receiving nominations were Ryan Goins, who made an incredible bare-handed grab on September 8th, and Melky Cabrera, who didn’t have his thunder buddy with him when a loud boomer shook Tropicana Field and the Blue Jays’ left fielder cowered at the plate.
For Jose Bautista, the nominations for MVP, Hitter of the Year, and Walk-off Hit of the Year is just a nod to the outstanding season the Blue Jays right fielder put up in 2014. After two injury-filled seasons, Bautista came back with a vengeance this season, putting up a .286/.403/.524 with 35 home runs and 103 RBI. Additionally, Bautista was one of just two players in baseball to register more walks (104) than strike-outs (96), fellow nominee Victor Martinez was the other. All and all, Bautsita was worth 6.3 wins above replacement, his highest total since 2011.
For all its worth, Bautista faces some heavy competition for MLB MVP and Hitter of the Year, with likely American League MVP MIke Trout, possible Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, and Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates among the fellow candidates.