Braves’ Freddie Freeman wins Players Choice award as top player in MLB

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman won Player of the Year and National League Outstanding Player in the 2020 Players Choice awards.

Freeman hit .341/.462/.640 with 13 homers, 53 RBIs and 51 runs scored while playing in every game of the 60-contest slate. He led MLB with 23 doubles and ranked second with a 3.4 fWAR. He led a historically potent Braves offense that guided the franchise to its third consecutive NL East title. He achieved such despite missing most of the preseason summer camp while batting COVID-19.

The 31-year-old overcame the setback to assemble the best season of his career. The players voted Freeman over Jose Abreu of the White Sox and Shane Bieber of the Indians for the Player of the Year award. His peers voted him NL Outstanding Player over Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.

“It’s absolutely incredible you guys voted me to be Player of the Year,” Freeman said in a video via the MLBPA, which included interviews with other award winners about what separated Freeman. “To me, I think it’s just because I’ve been nice to all you guys at first base over the years. But it really does mean a lot to me, my family. This is incredible to be voted to win this award by my peers.

"So I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for this. It’s very humbling you think of me like this. I really appreciate it.”

Freeman is the second Braves player to win Player of the Year since the award’s inception in 1998, joining outfielder Andruw Jones (2005). Jones also won NL Outstanding Player the same season. Since 1993, Freeman is the third Brave to win NL Outstanding Player after Jones and Chipper Jones (1999).

This season’s balloting for the Players Choice awards was conducted online in mid-September. Players Choice award winners will designate charities to receive grants totaling $60,000 from the Players Trust, according to the MLBPA.