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Reynolds finishes 4th in NL ROY Award voting

@adamdberry
November 11, 2019

PITTSBURGH -- Any other year, Bryan Reynolds might have been a strong candidate to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award or at least a sure-fire top-three finisher. But this was not any other year. Reynolds, the Pirates’ standout rookie outfielder, placed fourth in the Baseball Writers' Association

PITTSBURGH -- Any other year, Bryan Reynolds might have been a strong candidate to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award or at least a sure-fire top-three finisher. But this was not any other year.

Reynolds, the Pirates’ standout rookie outfielder, placed fourth in the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voting for NL Rookie of the Year honors. The 24-year-old received one second-place vote and six third-place votes to accrue nine total vote points, according to the balloting results released Monday night.

Alvarez, Alonso win Rookie of the Year Award

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso was the winner after crushing a Major League-leading 53 home runs with 120 RBIs in 161 games. Braves starter Mike Soroka, who posted a 13-4 record and 2.68 ERA in 29 starts, finished second. Voters rewarded dynamic Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. with a third-place finish after he hit .317 with a .969 OPS and 16 steals in an injury-shortened season (84 games). Astros DH Yordan Alvarez won the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League.

Here are the Rookie of the Year vote totals

The fourth-place finish might seem underwhelming for Reynolds considering all that he accomplished. The switch-hitting rookie, acquired alongside reliever Kyle Crick from the Giants in exchange for Pirates icon Andrew McCutchen in January 2018, slashed .314/.377/.503 with 16 homers, 37 doubles (a franchise rookie record) and 68 RBIs in 134 games. He led Pittsburgh with 3.9 Wins Above Replacement.

It does, however, feel like an appropriate outcome for a player who doesn’t seek the spotlight and is perfectly content doing his job in relative anonymity.

“I don’t care about getting attention. I want to go out there, get hits, have good at-bats and play well,” Reynolds told MLB.com in September. “I’ve never really cared about getting the recognition, because it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I just want to try to play my best and let what happens happen.”

Amid a disappointing season for the Pirates, Reynolds and fellow rookie Kevin Newman -- who did not receive any votes -- were consistent bright spots. Reynolds and Newman were the first set of qualified rookie teammates to both hit at least .300 in the same season since Fred Lynn and Jim Rice did so for the Red Sox in 1975. The last set of NL rookie teammates to bat .300 while qualifying for the batting title were Buzz Arlett and Les Mallon with the 1931 Phillies.

And if this was indeed an underwhelming result for Reynolds, consider the expectations for Reynolds this time seven months ago. Reynolds began the season in Triple-A Indianapolis, down the Pirates’ outfield depth chart, and even he figured he would not arrive in the Majors until September. But injuries forced the Pirates’ hand, and Reynolds made his big league debut after only 13 games in Triple-A.

Reynolds assumed he would be sent back down after 10 days, but he never gave the Pirates a reason to make the move. He kept hitting until the end of the year, claiming a permanent spot in Pittsburgh’s outfield and establishing himself as one of the club’s core players moving forward.

“The success he’s had is a tribute to, obviously, his talent,” third baseman Colin Moran said in September. “His first year in the big leagues, it’s not an easy task. He came up, and I don’t know if it was the plan for him to stay the whole year. I think it’s always cool when a guy comes up and just forces their hand, like, ‘All right, I’m not going anywhere.’ It’s hard not to be impressed when somebody does that.”

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.