There can be no question that Devin Williams was the best reliever in baseball this year. The righty with the obscene changeup dominated to the tune of ONE earned run over his 27.0 innings pitched, together with 53(!) strikeouts and just 9 walks. It’s as dominant a season as we’ve seen from a reliever, and the guy is teammates with Josh Hader.
But does that make him Rookie of the Year over, for example, Jake Cronenworth, who hit very well over 54 games and played multiple positions for the Padres? I think there could be a fair debate (each wound up worth 1.4 fWAR for what that’s worth), but it’s Williams who takes home the award from the BBWAA:
It’s official: Devin Williams is your 2020 NL Rookie of the Year!
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 9, 2020
Williams, 26, was a 15th rounder all the way back in 2013, struggling up the ladder as a starter, and only in 2019 becoming a full-time reliever at AA. Pretty freaking remarkable what he turned into upon that conversion.
Get this? Williams is the first non-starter, non-closer pitcher to win Rookie of the Year honors.