Brewers right-handed reliever Devin Williams and Mariners center fielder Kyle Lewis have won the 2020 Jackie Robinson National League and American League Rookie of the Year awards, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Monday.
Williams was up against Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm and Padres infielder Jake Cronenworth, who tied for second place in the balloting. This is not the first postseason award for the 26-year-old Williams, who already took home NL Reliever of the Year honors.
A second-round pick in 2013, Williams has turned into a gem for the Brewers since debuting in the bigs a year ago. He put up a brilliant .33 ERA/.86 FIP combination with 17.67 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and a 61.1 percent groundball rate over 27 innings in 2020. Among qualified relievers, the hard-throwing Williams ranked first in ERA, FIP, K/9 and fWAR (1.4). He’s the first pitcher to ever win ROY without making a start or registering a save.
Lewis, now 25, became a Mariner when they selected him 11th overall in 2016. Injury issues slowed Lewis for a bit after that, but he has done nothing but hit since Seattle first called him up in 2019. This past season, Lewis slashed .262/.364/.437 (126 wRC+) with 11 home runs, five stolen bases and 1.7 fWAR over 242 plate appearances. That was enough for Lewis, who won unanimously, to finish ahead of White Sox center fielder Luis Robert and Astros righty Cristian Javier for AL ROY honors.