Nats' Strasburg, Soto share Babe Ruth Award as postseason MVPs
Two members of the World Series champion Washington Nationals received some additional hardware Wednesday.
Right-hander Stephen Strasburg and outfielder Juan Soto were voted co-winners of the 2019 Babe Ruth Award as the overall postseason MVPs, the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced.
They'll receive the award at the 97th annual New York BBWAA dinner Jan. 25 in Manhattan.
Strasburg, who also won the World Series MVP, was a force on the mound for Washington throughout its playoff run. In a performance that bolstered both the team and Strasburg's own free-agent stock, he went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts (tied with Gerrit Cole for the playoff lead), while limiting opponents to a .221 average.
The 31-year-old tossed three relief innings during the wild-card game to set the stage for the Nats' comeback against Milwaukee, then saved their season again with an 8 1/3-inning gem in Game 6 of the World Series at Houston.
Soto, one of baseball's rising young stars, welcomed himself to October in a big way. The 21-year-old slashed .277/.373/.554 with five homers, eight extra-base hits, and 14 RBIs during the postseason, including a 1.178 OPS and three round-trippers in the World Series. It was his go-ahead, bases-clearing single in the eighth inning of the wild-card game that kick-started the Nats' improbable run to the title.
The Babe Ruth Award was created by the New York BBWAA chapter in 1949, six years before MLB created the official World Series MVP award. After acting as a secondary Fall Classic MVP for several decades (the winners of the two honors didn't always match up), it was changed to cover the entire postseason beginning in 2007.