#AwardWorthy: Vote for Pirates
PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen, who drove the Pirates to their third consecutive postseason appearance, is a multiple nominee in the prestigious 2015 Esurance MLB Awards.
The face of the Pittsburgh franchise, in fact, continued to rack up nominations long after concluding his fifth straight All-Star season.
McCutchen's freshest appearance on the Esurance ballot -- his sixth overall mention -- is for Best Social Media Post, inspired by Daniel Murphy's home run in a fifth straight postseason game. McCutchen wrote on his @TheCUTCH22 Twitter account, "Is that Murphy or Babe Ruth hitting ... I can't tell."
The Pirates center fielder is also nominated for Best Major Leaguer and Best Everyday Player, and is joined on the ballot by Gerrit Cole (Best Starting Pitcher) and Jung Ho Kang (Best Rookie).
The Pirates are well represented in the other categories, in which McCutchen gets three more nods. Cutch's 14th-inning walk-off homer against the Cardinals on July 11 is nominated for Best Offensive Play, and Greg Brown's description of the dramatic blow is a nominee for Best Radio Call. Also, McCutchen's gesture of presenting his batting gloves to two adoring young fans at the conclusion of a game in San Diego's Petco Park is nominated for Best Player-Fan Interaction.
The men who assembled and guided the team that posted the Majors' second-best record, Neal Huntington and Clint Hurdle, are recognized in the nominations for Best Executive and Best Manager, respectively.
McCutchen matched his career high with 96 RBIs, and the five-time All-Star's value to the Bucs' lofty standing was reflected in their 48-12 record when he drove in a run.
In only his second full Major League season, Cole established himself as the Pirates' young right-handed ace. His 19 wins matched the most for a Pirates pitcher since 1991, when John Smiley won 20.
After starting the season as an occasional reserve player -- and before suffering a season-ending left knee injury on Sept. 17 -- Kang broke through as a regular, and also broke a significant barrier by making an impact as the first position player to transition from the Korean Baseball Organization to the big leagues. From the All-Star break until the premature end to his season, he was among the Majors' top rookies with 25 extra-base hits -- and his season total of 41 was the most by a Pirates rookie since Neil Walker had 44 in 2010.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, 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) voters.
Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Everyday Player, Starting Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Breakout Player, Bounceback Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.
Winners will also be recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Interview, TV Call, Radio Call, Player-Fan Interaction, Video Board Moment and Trending Topic.
Voting will remain open through Nov. 13 by visiting mlb.com/awards. Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Nov. 20.