One BWAA voter egregiously didn’t include Spencer Strider in his Top 3 rookies

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Michael Harris II won the NL Rookie of the Year award on Monday, and his teammate Spencer Strider came in second. The Stockbridge native surely didn’t anticipate winning the award when he started the season with the Braves Double-A affiliate. Harris becomes the ninth player in Braves history to win the award, and it was somewhat surprising.

Oddsmakers and analysts alike felt it was Strider’s award to lose. I had a different point of view. I felt Harris was more critical to the team’s overall success than Strider. Before he took over centerfield, the outfield was a complete mess. Harris solidified the defense and provided some much-needed life at the bottom of the batting order. The club flipped a switch when he arrived in Atlanta.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters gave Harris 22 of 30 first-place votes, while Strider received the other eight. It’s the first time teammates finished first and second since Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman did it in 2011, and just the fourth pair since the balloting began in 1980.

Both players easily win this award if the other isn’t in the race. What Spencer Strider did as a rookie was out of this world, going 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA over 131.2 innings. He broke Randy Johnson‘s record for the fastest pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts while also becoming the 10th rookie since 1969 to reach that mark. Moreover, his 13.81 strikeouts per nine innings were the second-highest for a pitcher with at least 100 innings.

Both players were rewarded during the season with lucrative contract extensions. First, it was Harris who signed an eight-year deal worth $72 million in the middle of August that could be worth $102 million over ten years. Then, it was Strider who signed a six-year, $75 million extension in early October that could run through 2029.

I could talk all day about how special these two players are and what they deserve because they’re two of the best players in all of baseball, not just rookies. So it’s almost unbelievable that one voter from the BWAA didn’t include Spencer Strider in his top-three NL rookies…

There are 30 total votes given. Harris had 22 first-place and eight second-place votes, while Strider garnered eight first-place and 21 second-place votes. That is one of the most egregious decisions I’ve ever seen, but nobody should be surprised. The geriatric men who control baseball are delusional. I’d love to hear the reasoning behind the one voter not including Spencer Strider, who is already one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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