The Nationals had a year to remember in 2017, with a stellar offense led by Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper, and an imposing starting rotation led by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The duo combined to slash .309/.408/.561 with 54 home runs.Rendon ended up putting together one of the single
The Nationals had a year to remember in 2017, with a stellar offense led by Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper, and an imposing starting rotation led by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The duo combined to slash .309/.408/.561 with 54 home runs.
Rendon ended up putting together one of the single greatest offensive games of the season in April, with a six-hit, 10-RBI game, while Harper continues to blossom as one of the premier faces of baseball. Rightfully so, the duo is up for a pair of honors at this year's Esurance MLB Awards -- with Rendon nominated for Best Performance and Harper up for Personality of the Year.
• Vote for this season's best stars and moments in the Esurance MLB Awards
Scherzer led the National League with 268 strikeouts, two complete games and a 0.90 WHIP, to go along with a 16-6 record and a 2.51 ERA.
Video: 2017 MLB Awards: Best Pitcher: Strasburg
The man who constructed one of the NL's best rosters is also nominated, with general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo up for Best Executive.
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 (SABR) members.
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 on Sept. 18 at mlb.com/awards, serving as the grand entrance of a program that unveiled nominees for Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Major Leaguer, Postseason; and Best Postseason Moment following the Fall Classic's final out. The ninth inning of voting began around BBWAA Awards week, which opened when the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winners were unveiled Monday, Nov. 13. Voting in the Best Executive, Best Rookie and Best Manager categories went live earlier this week, preceding balloting in the Best Pitcher category, as well as Thursday's Best Major Leaguer nominee reveal.
MLB Awards season will culminate on Friday, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Rendon's RBI total on April 30 set a Nationals record, while he tied the franchise marks for hits and home runs in a game. He was the only Major Leaguer this season to collect six hits in a game, and joined Cincinnati's Scooter Gennett as the only player to drive in 10 runs in 2017.
"[In] high school, I had three home runs. But that's high school," Rendon said. "Not the RBIs, I don't think."
Meanwhile, Harper continues to mash the ball in Washington. And when he isn't showcasing his power, he continues to captivate with his swagger and style. His hair flips are magnificent, and he even wore cornrows for a brief period of time. Add in a pink suit at the red carpet, and Harper has been one of the flashiest players around.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.