Bautista nominated for multiple GIBBY Awards
Honors include Most Valuable Player, Hitter of the Year
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista had another memorable season, and this time it has resulted in his name being all over MLB.com's 2014 Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBYs).
Bautista has picked up five nominations for the annual awards. A return to health allowed Toronto's veteran slugger to re-establish himself among the game's elite.
The 34-year-old has been nominated for Major League Baseball's Most Valuable Player and Hitter of the Year. He also was nominated for Walk-off hit of the year, in addition to a pair of quirky Cut4 awards for his interaction with fans and the Astros mascot.
The recognition for Bautista is appropriate following his first full season since 2011. Unlike the previous two years, Bautista managed to stay healthy and appeared in 155 games.
Bautista was Toronto's top hitter and found himself among the league leaders in almost every major offensive category. He ranked second in on-base percentage (.403), fourth in OPS (.928), tied for fifth in home runs (35) and tied for seventh in RBIs (103).
In a year when the Blue Jays lost Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie to serious injuries, it was Bautista who became the stabilizing influence on a lineup that ranked fourth in the American League with 723 runs. He was named to the All-Star team for a fifth consecutive year, but this was his best run since a 2011 season that saw him hit 43 homers with a 1.056 OPS in 149 games.
Bautista wasn't the only Blue Jays player to receive some attention when the nominations for the GIBBY Awards were announced. Second baseman Ryan Goins was nominated for Play of the Year for his barehanded effort that helped preserve a shutout for Marcus Stroman on Sept. 8.
Goins was positioned up the middle with two outs when the Cubs' Javier Baez hit a little flare to the right side of the field. The ball then took a bad bounce off the turf at Rogers Centre, but Goins was able to corral it with his bare hand and make the play.
Melky Cabrera also got a mention in the oddity category for his reaction to a thunder and lightning storm at Tropicana Field. Cabrera was in the batter's box when loud thunder echoed through the building and caused the veteran outfielder to duck and then look around in fear.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2014 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 25 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, bounceback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top regular-season play, outfield throw, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment, postseason storyline, postseason walk-off and postseason play. Fans can watch these and more by accessing MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past several seasons, fans have cast millions of votes across the GIBBY categories, none of which is restricted to individual league affiliation. That's how you know the GIBBYs consider the best of the best.
All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates, a fact many consider to be a testament to the competitive balance around the game.
Fans can vote as many times as they want through Nov. 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET by visiting mlb.com/gibbys, and winners will be announced live on the MLB Network and MLB.com on Dec. 6.
Several categories -- Play, Oddity, Walk-Off and Cut4 Topic -- opened balloting with at least one nominee per club. After a week of voting, the four lists were trimmed to 10 finalists per group by a panel.