On August 13, 2020, Phillies’ third baseman Alec Bohm was called up from his minor league team to make his Major League Baseball debut against the Baltimore Orioles. But backtracking before such an honor in baseball, Bohm was drafted in 2018 by the Phillies third overall. He hailed from Wichita State University, a junior when drafted, carrying excellent stats for that particular season. Bohn carried a .339 batting average, with 55 Runs Batted In (RBI), and hitting 16 home runs. The Phillies had faith in him, and he took it upon himself to prove them right.
Flash forwarding back to the 2020 MLB season, Bohm beat out third baseman Jean Segura for that position, pushing Segura to second base and ultimately benching Scott Kingery. Bohm’s stats spoke for themselves; he had a .338 batting average during his rookie season, driving in 23 runs, and hitting a total of 4 home runs and 54 hits over 44 games. He was considered a real difference maker, and his talent didn’t go unnoticed, especially by the fans. More importantly, his talent didn’t go unnoticed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, as they voted for Bohm to be one of the three finalists for National League Rookie of the Year.
However, when the winner was announced, Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams took home the gold. Some say it was a well-deserved win, some say it was Philly getting snubbed yet again, some were pulling for the other candidate, Padres’ shortstop Jake Cronenworth. It is hard to compare players with different positions, especially when a pitcher doesn’t play any offense. It is very rare to see a relief pitcher win ROTY, considering he only plays one or two innings in the games he does play. Yet we can’t ignore Williams’ fire on defense, he allowed one earned run in 22 games, resulting in his Earned Run Average being a very small 0.33. These are impeccable stats, something rare, providing a strong campaign as to why he should have and ultimately did win. Jake Cronenworth also had great stats explaining why he also was a finalist. In 54 games, the shortstop drove in 20 RBIs and hit 4 home runs, while maintaining a .285% batting average.
All three of these rookies put up a hard fight and all were deserving of this award. To Philly fans this prompted the question though: was Alec Bohm robbed? Philly is historically known for being the underdogs, constantly undermined, but was that the case this time? I posted a poll on social media asking the simple question of whether the third baseman was robbed or not, and 83% of voters strongly believed he was. Many voters used the fact Bohm led all rookies in offensive stats to back up their claim, but it is important to remember the winner doesn’t not have offensive stats, he is strictly a defensive player. Many of the “no” voters did believe he deserved to win, but it wasn’t necessarily a robbery.
All three of these players made a case to win, but Williams was too dominant for Bohm to steal the win away from him. I personally believe Alec Bohm was not robbed, but he very much deserved it. Whether the voters believed a relief pitcher shouldn’t win Rookie of the Year or them being notoriously loyal to their beloved Philly athletes, it’s safe to say Bohm had a breakout rookie season. This left many fans excited for the future of him along with the Phillies, despite losing ROTY, there is a chance for him to win more awards in his bright future.
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