The Angels improved to 80 wins in 2017 and finished five games out of the postseason on the backs of continued excellence from Michael Trout and a breakout season from Andrelton Simmons.Trout had perhaps the best power season of his career, posting a .629 slugging percentage and hitting 33 home
The Angels improved to 80 wins in 2017 and finished five games out of the postseason on the backs of continued excellence from Michael Trout and a breakout season from Andrelton Simmons.
Trout had perhaps the best power season of his career, posting a .629 slugging percentage and hitting 33 home runs in just 114 games. Although he missed several weeks with a thumb injury, he still was among the top players in baseball again, earning him a nomination for Best Major Leaguer in the Esurance MLB Awards.
• Vote for this season's best stars and moments in the Esurance MLB Awards
Meanwhile, Simmons has long been one of the game's top defensive shortstops. He won Gold Glove Awards in 2013 and '14, as well as a Platinum Glove Award in '13, and now he's nominated for this year's Esurance MLB Award for Best Defensive Player.
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, Best Manager and Best Pitcher categories went live earlier this week, preceding balloting in the Best Major Leaguer category.
MLB Awards season will culminate Friday, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com, starting at 5 p.m. PT.
Trout finished with 6.7 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball-Reference.com), despite playing a partial season, which put him in the top five in MLB for the sixth straight season. He led all American League hitters with at least 500 plate appearances with his .442 on-base percentage -- a career high -- in part thanks to a career-high walk rate (18.5 percent).
Simmons led baseball with 32 Defensive Runs Saved; no other shortstop had more than 14. He also ranked second overall in Ultimate Zone Rating with 15.5, while Detroit's Jose Iglesias came in second among shortstops with 8.6.
The Angels have played spectacular infield defense this year with Simmons leading the way. They rank first in infield UZR (19.8), and they are sixth in baseball (second in the American League) with 28 DRS.
"In my opinion, we play really good defense," Simmons said. "There's times when we make errors, but it happens. I didn't expect us to not make any errors. But we make a lot of plays that I'm like, 'Oh, that was a really tough one,' or that normally doesn't get caught or don't get turned. So that's good. Whatever I was expecting from the team defensively, we're accomplishing it."
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.