TORONTO — Edwin Encarnacion’s breakout season was rewarded Wednesday with his unanimous selection as Blue Jays player of the year in voting by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Encarnacion enjoyed a career year in 2012, posting a .280/.384/.557 slash line with 42 home runs and 110 RBIs, one of the highlights in a largely miserable season for the club. Jose Bautista, player of the year winner in both 2010 and ’11, finished a distant second with Brett Lawrie in third.
Most improved player honours also went to Encarnacion by a large margin, as he picked up 12 of 13 first-place votes to easily outdistance right-hander Brandon Morrow, who totalled eight points.
Pitcher of the year honours went to Casey Janssen, who edged Morrow by just three points, while Aaron Loup beat out fellow reliever Steve Delabar for rookie of the year.
Long-time third base coach Brian Butterfield, who left for the Boston Red Sox last month, received the John Cerutti Award as someone associated with the day-to-day workings of Blue Jays baseball who displays the goodwill, co-operation and character exemplified by the late left-hander.
Janssen, who pitched to a 2.54 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 22 saves over 63.2 innings, picked up six first-place votes and 31 points to squeak by Morrow, who garnered five first-place votes and 28 points. Ricky Romero won the award the past two years.
Loup, who posted a 2.64 ERA in 30.2 innings over 33 games, picked up eight first-place votes and 25 total points while Delabar collected two first-place votes and 19 total points. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 14.1 strikeouts per nine in 27 games after coming over from Seattle in a July 30 trade for outfielder Eric Thames.
Points were awarded on a 3-2-1 system.