Three Blue Jays up for 2013 GIBBY Awards
Toronto's Encarnacion, Lawrie and Kawasaki nominated for year-end honors
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion is front and center as the Blue Jays' main representative for the 2013 GIBBY Awards.
Toronto's first baseman received a nomination for Hitter of the Year and also for his performance during a game against the Astros, when he hit two home runs in the same inning.
Encarnacion picked up the nominations following a season in which he established himself as the club's most valuable offensive player and proved that his 2012 breakout campaign certainly wasn't a fluke.
The 30-year-old Encarnacion finished the year ranked among the American League leaders in almost every offensive category. He was third in home runs (36), sixth in RBIs (104), fifth in OPS (.904) and fourth in walks (82).
Encarnacion does face stiff competition for player of the year. Some of the prominent nominees include New York's Robinson Cano, Baltimore's Chris Davis, Los Angeles' Mike Trout, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt.
The signature game for Encarnacion came during a victory over the Astros on July 26. Encarnacion led off the seventh inning with a solo homer and then came up later in the frame and proceeded to club a grand slam. The only other time that a player had gone deep twice in the same inning in franchise history was on Oct. 3, 1993, when Joe Carter had two in the second.
The two homers earned Encarnacion a nomination for the top Hitting Performance of the Year. Some of the other nominees include Will Middlebrooks' three-homer game against the Blue Jays, Jean Segura's six-hit game and Cabrera's three home run game vs. Texas.
Major League Baseball's A-listers will take home 2013 GIBBY trophies -- the ultimate honors of the industry's awards season -- based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research.
This year's GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year's best starting pitcher, hitter, closer, setup man, rookie, breakout hitter, breakout pitcher, comeback player, defensive player, manager, executive and postseason performer.
GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year's top play, storyline, hitting performance, pitching performance, oddity, walk-off, Cut4 topic, regular-season moment and postseason moment from MLB.com's Must C highlight reels.
In the past five years, fans have cast more than 50 million votes across the various GIBBY categories, none of which was restricted to individual League affiliation. Fans can vote through Sunday, December 1.
Winners will be presented their GIBBY trophies at the MLB.com Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards extravaganza during the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie received a nomination for Play of the Year for his work during a game against the Yankees on Aug. 22. Lawrie ranged to his right and went into foul territory before jumping and firing over to first in time to get Chris Stewart.
It also wouldn't have been an appropriate awards season for Toronto without some kind of recognition for Munenori Kawasaki. Toronto's fan favorite earned a Cut4 nomination for his postgame interview on Sportsnet, when he took out a book of English words to describe his walk-off hit against the Orioles on May 26.