Devin Williams Wins the 2020 Rookie of the Year Awards

Author: Sonali Pathak


Devin William becomes the 2020 Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year Award winner. With this win, he becomes the first relief pitcher to have been named the ROY after the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel in 2011 took home the title. In addition to that, after Alvin Davis and Dwight Gooden in 1984 renamed the title in the honor of the man who broke away the color barrier. Kyle Lewis Williams was the first Black ballplayer to receive the honor. 

Here’s what William said on winning the title:

Talking about him winning the title, William said, “I feel like you need someone who looks like you to show you it's possible. Growing up, I had guys like Derek Jeter and other biracial and Black players who just kind of opened the door to that possibility for me. When you don't see anyone who looks like you, it doesn't feel like it's attainable, in a way."

He further added, “To me, it's all the same. It holds the same weight. There are analysts who may argue with that. Everyone is given the same number of games this year so what you did with them is what you did with them. I saw some people saying I didn't have that many innings and things like that, but I did with mine what I did, and they did with theirs what they did. We all had the same opportunity.”

While attending an honor in Jamaica Williams shared that he had never thought of receiving this honor with the circumstances he was brought by a single mother in St. Louis. 

Devin Williams Innings through MLB 2020

Williams won over the Phillies’ Alec Bohm and the Padres’ Jake Cronenworth and received 95 total points and 14 of 30 first-place votes in the BBWAA’s system. He received the AL award by beating Cristian Javier of the Astros and Luis Robert of the White Sox. For Williams 26, may not be the last award of the postseason -- there’s much more to come. 

Since his debut, Williams has been the perfect second-round pick in 2013 for the Brewers. In 2020, Williams put up an appreciable .33 ERA/.86 FIP combination with a 61.1% ground-ball rate and 17.67 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 over 27 innings. In the fWAR (1.4), ERA, K/9, and FIP Williams ranked first among all the top qualified relievers. He is the only pitcher to have won ROY without registering a save or making a start. 

Williams is the third player from the Brewers and the first Brewers pitcher to have won the Rookie of the Year Award. In 2007, it was Ryan Braun to have won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1992. This is the second award of the season for Williams with the NL Reliever of the Year Award being the first award. William on winning his second award of the season said, “It shows how good of a pen we have if I can win both of these awards and I'm not even good enough to be our closer.”


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