Nolan Arenado was the big winner for the Rockies on Friday night as he captured a pair of Esurance MLB Awards while teammate Chad Bettis also took home one.The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of
Nolan Arenado was the big winner for the Rockies on Friday night as he captured a pair of Esurance MLB Awards while teammate Chad Bettis also took home one.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com; and Society for American Baseball Research members.
:: 2017 MLB Awards winners coverage ::
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Voting led off with seven categories (Personality of the Year; Best Defensive Player; Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; Best Fan Catch; Best Player-Fan Interaction) on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled the Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment categories following the Fall Classic's final out.
The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, giving fans the opportunity to help determine the Best Major Leaguer, Pitcher, Rookie, Manager and Executive. Winners were announced on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday night.
Arenado, who was nominated in five categories (more than any nominee this year), won the Best Defensive Player category and also captured Best Play, Offense.
"I just want to say thank you for the Esurance [Best Defensive Player] Award," Arenado said. "I want to thank the fans and Esurance. It's a great award and I'm very thankful that you guys voted for me. I'm going to continue to work hard and try to make you guys happy. I really appreciate this -- thank you."
The 26-year-old was also nominated for Best Play, Defense; Best Performance; and Best Major Leaguer.
"I found myself voting for Nolan Arenado in every category he was a nominee for," MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian said. "I can't get around the come-from-behind walk-off [homer] -- the first ever to complete a cycle -- and the play he made against the Giants on June 28 is the perfect example of the kind of generational talent he is defensively."
While Arenado's overall play on defense earned him the first Esurance Award over Andrelton Simmons and Byron Buxton, it was the historic moment he delivered on Father's Day that earned him his second.
Arenado capped a cycle that day by hitting a walk-off, three-run homer in the Rockies' dramatic come-from-behind win over the Giants.
"Obviously, it's one of the best moments of my career," Arenado said at the time. "I've had some big homers, but this by far is the best."
Arenado beat out some stiff competition in Chris Coghlan's somersault leap over Yadier Molina to score and Marwin Gonzalez's game-tying homer in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the World Series.
Bettis won the Best Moment category for his return start following treatment for cancer.
Bettis captured the attention of baseball Aug. 14 when, after a journey that included nearly nine months of chemotherapy, he returned to a big league mound and tossed seven scoreless innings against the Braves at Coors Field.
"I don't think I was really in tune with what was going on until about the fifth," Bettis said after the game. "Just so many emotions, and I was trying to get them under control, but it was taking much longer than was expected. It was great."
The voters obviously agreed.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.