As expected, Cardinals Gold Glover Brendan Donovan finished a distant third in the race for NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award In Monday. However, the fact that Donovan was even a runner-up was a win considering the under-the-radar prospect’s rise to become an all-time standout for the Cardinals.
Donovan, the 213th player selected in the 2018 MLB Draft from the University of South Alabama, played well for the Cardinals during spring training in March but did not make the roster. opening day.
The 25-year-old was recalled to MLB on April 25 and has played well enough to stay with the Cardinals. Not only did Donovan make modern MLB history in his first week by making his first four starts at each of the four inside positions, but he also used his defensive versatility to become the first rookie in the Cardinals’ storied history. at Win a gold glove.
Atlanta’s Michael Harris II, who led NL rookies in hits (123), added hits (49) and RBIs (64) and tied for first in home runs (19), won the NL Rookie of the Year award. He was closely followed by teammate Spencer Strider, who set a new NL/AL record for rookies with 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings. As for Donovan, he finished third earning 22 third-place votes in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, good for 22 points. Harris II (22 first-place votes) got 134 points, while Strider (eight first-place votes) got 103 points.
Humble and generally unwilling to savor much of the singular spotlight shone on him this season, Donovan said he’s already focused on next season and becoming an even better player for the Cardinals.
“I’ve seen things this year that will never happen again in the game of baseball. To do this as a rookie was an honor and a blessing. I’m really excited for what the future holds.
Seattle’s rising star Julio Rodríguez has won the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Orioles receiver Adley Rutschman and Guardians standout Steven Kwan finished second and third, respectively.
Donovan became just the third rookie since 1900 to play at least six games at six defensive positions, according to Elias Sports. Donovan went in 854 MLB 1/3 innings over six positions and had just seven errors. It earned him the first Rawlings NL Utility Gold Glove and made him the only Cardinals rookie to earn a defensive honor.
“We take balls on the ground and I was like, ‘Hey man, what do you think I can do to get better? “, Donovan recalled. “He said, ‘Treat these ground balls like a game. then when you go into a game, nothing has changed and it’s like you’ve always been training.” Get enough game reps like that, and you’ll get better.
Donovan’s defensive excellence continued at home plate, where he showed incredible patience and maturity as a hitter. He led NL rookies in walks (60) and on-base percentage (.394), while ranking second in hits (110) and runs (64). His biggest moment of the season came when he scored a Grand Slam to help the Cardinals snap a three-game losing streak and beat the Padres. Four nights later, the Cardinals clinched the NL Central crown.
“It’s going to sound crazy because I just won a gold glove, but I want to get better defensively,” Donovan said. “Offensively I have to keep softening things up – whether it’s the approach or better hitting the breaking stuff.”
Additional BBWAA Award Winners for each league will be announced over the next three days at 6 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. CT on MLB Network. Managers of the Year will be revealed on Tuesday, followed by Cy Young Award winners on Wednesday and MVPs on Thursday. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and his teammate Arenado are among the three finalists for NL MVP.