SAN DIEGO -- Jake Cronenworth, who broke out in 2020 as one of the sport’s most impactful infielders and the Padres’ long-term answer at second base, built quite a case to be named the National League’s top rookie.
On Monday night, he came up short. That distinction instead belongs to Milwaukee right-hander Devin Williams, who was named the NL’s Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award winner by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The results were, perhaps, something of a surprise considering Cronenworth’s overall value and the volume of his contributions. Williams was as dominant as any reliever in the sport, posting a 0.33 ERA across 22 appearances.
But Cronenworth was a regular in the Padres infield and his 1.4 WAR topped the other two finalists. He batted .285/.354/.477 while dazzling defensively -- starting at first base, then at second, and occasionally playing shortstop, too.
The wait goes on for the Padres, who haven’t had a Rookie of the Year winner since Benito Santiago in 1987 and haven’t had a major award winner since Bud Black took home NL Manager of the Year in 2010.
San Diego has two more finalists for hardware in Jayce Tingler (Manager of the Year) and Manny Machado (MVP). Those awards will be announced Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, with the Cy Young winners unveiled on Wednesday.