MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams won the NL Rookie of the Year award on Monday night.
Featuring a devastating changeup and a four-seam fastball that gets into the upper 90s, Williams was practically unhittable during the pandemic-shortened season. The 26-year-old right-hander went 4-1 with a microscopic 0.33 ERA, striking out 53 in just 27 innings.
Williams is the first player to win the award for Milwaukee since Ryan Braun in 2007. He is the first reliever to take home the honor in either league since Craig Kimbrel for Atlanta in 2011.
San Diego Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth and Philadelphia Phillies infielder Alec Bohm finished tied for second in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The Managers of the Year will be announced by the BBWAA on Tuesday night, followed by the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and the MVPs on Thursday.
Williams, a St. Louis native, was selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2013 draft.
Williams teamed with closer Josh Hader to form a shutdown tandem at the back end of the Brewers’ bullpen. He allowed one earned run in 22 appearances — a home run by Pittsburgh’s Colin Moran on July 27.
Williams broke into the majors last year, finishing with no record and a 3.95 ERA in 13 relief appearances. He struck out 14 in 13 2/3 innings.
Cronenworth hit .285 in 54 games for San Diego, helping the Padres reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Bohm, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft, batted .338 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 44 games for the Phillies.