Handing out D-backs postseason awards

November 7th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert's D-backs Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The D-backs' brain trust has already turned its attention to the 2024 season as the General Managers Meetings get underway Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. We’ll start looking ahead soon, too, but before we do, let’s take a look back at what was a magical month of October for the D-backs and hand out some playoff awards.

Most Valuable Player: Ketel Marte

Hard to make a case for anyone else as Marte set a Major League record by hitting safely in 20 straight postseason games dating back to the 2017 season.

Marte was named MVP of the National League Championship Series, and his OPS of .914 for the postseason was nearly 150 points better than the next closest D-back.

Cy Young: Merrill Kelly

A number of pitchers impressed this postseason -- I see you, Kevin Ginkel -- but Kelly came up big when the D-backs needed it most. Whether it was setting the tone against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Division Series, locking down a win-or-go-home Game 6 against the Phillies in the NLCS or picking up the team’s lone World Series win, Kelly delivered.

Breakout Player: Brandon Pfaadt

What can you say about Pfaadt? The right-hander overcame a tough start to his big league career to finish the season strong. Then, outside of the first two innings against the Brewers in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series, the rookie was outstanding. He came up big twice for the D-backs in the NLCS, and you could see his confidence continue to rise with each appearance.

Bounceback Player: Tommy Pham

Hats off to Pham, who was benched in Game 5 of the NLCS and responded by going 9-for-26 the rest of the postseason -- including a home run in Game 6 against the Phillies, another homer in Game 1 of the World Series against the Rangers and a memorable Game 2. 

It’s worth remembering what a good teammate Pham was when he asked manager Torey Lovullo to pinch-hit for him in Game 2 of the Fall Classic so that Jace Peterson could get a World Series at-bat. Pham was 4-for-4 at the time and could have become the first player to go 5-for-5 in a World Series game.