PHILADELPHIA -- The more Alec Bohm played this season, the more his Phillies teammates gushed.
“The bigger he gets, the better he gets, he’s going to be a possible MVP player for us,” Bryce Harper said in September. “I know that’s high praise, but I believe in him as a player and person.”
“You look at him and it looks like he’s been playing ball up here for 10 years,” Zach Eflin said.
Bohm is a finalist for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Monday night. He joins San Diego second baseman Jake Cronenworth and Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams. The winner will be announced Nov. 9.
Bohm made a strong case for himself. He hit .338 with four home runs, 23 RBIs, an .881 OPS and a 136 OPS+ in 180 plate appearances. He ranked first among NL rookies (minimum 100 plate appearances) in batting average, on-base percentage (.400), slugging percentage (.481), OPS, hits (54) and RBIs; second in runs (24) and doubles (11); and fourth in home runs and walks (16).
But Bohm truly made his mark by coming through in the clutch.
He had a walk-off sacrifice fly to beat the Nationals on Sept. 3 and a walk-off single to beat the Red Sox on Sept. 8. He batted .452 (19-for-42) with runners in scoring position. He ranked fourth among all players in baseball in Win Probability Added, which measures the change in probability caused by a batter during a game. Only Mike Yastrzemski (2.935), Freddie Freeman (2.705) and Brandon Lowe (2.407) ranked ahead of Bohm (2.287).
“He’s been great since he came up,” Harper said. “Great hitter. You’ll think I’m crazy, but with the long hair and the No. 28, plus he’s got a great swing, he reminds me a lot of Jayson Werth. It’s kind of that little swing in a big man’s body. His two-strike approach, the way he goes to right field and then hits homers to right and left, as well.”
Bohm is trying to become the Phillies’ first Rookie of the Year since Ryan Howard in 2005. Other Phillies to win the award include Scott Rolen (1997), Dick Allen (1964) and Jack Sanford (1957).