ATLANTA – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, became the first winner of the Juan Marichal Award, which since 2021 recognizes the most outstanding Dominican player of the year in the United States Major Leagues.
Guerrero Jr. received 97 of 100 first-place votes and 594 points to beat the San Diego Padres shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr., and the Washington Nationals outfielder, Juan Soto. Tatis got two first-place votes, 55 second, and 326 points, while Soto got the other first-place vote, 34 second, and 44 third, for a total of 305 points.
Fifteen of 44 eligible players received votes for the Juan Marichal Award, which recognizes the most outstanding Dominican of the year in MLB. pic.twitter.com/IfXm2nrncK
– Enrique Rojas / ESPN (@ Enrique_Rojas1) October 31, 2021
The third baseman Rafael Deversof the Boston Red Sox; the gardener Teoscar Hernandez, Guerrero Jr.’s teammate in Toronto, and third baseman for the Cleveland Indians, Jose Ramirez, they were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Fifteen players received votes from a jury made up of Dominican and foreign journalists.
Guerrero Jr., 22, hit .311 with 48 home runs, 111 RBIs and 123 scored in a fabulous season that earned him one of the leading candidates for the AL Most Valuable Player award that will announce in two weeks the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
The son of the Hall of Famer of the same name made it into the final weeks of the season trying to catch the triple batting crown and ended up leading his league in home runs, runs scored, OBP (.401) and slugging (.601), and he was second in hits (188) and sixth in walks (86).
“I want to congratulate you on that great year you had at the Major League level with Toronto. It was a season to remember,” Marichal told Guerrero Jr. in a statement.
“I am very proud to be recognizing how you put the name of our country up high,” added the once great pitcher and one of three natives of the Dominican Republic with plates in Cooperstown.
Despite dealing with a serious shoulder injury that limited him to 130 games, Tatis Jr. hit .282 with 25 steals, 97 RBIs and 99 runs and led the NL in home runs with 42. Soto hit .313 with 29 home runs , 111 scored and 95 RBIs and led the old circuit in walks (145) and OBP (.465).
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins the Juan Marichal award