Bautista headlines Blue Jays' annual award winners

Slugger named Player of the Year; Buehrle takes Pitcher of Year honors

Bautista headlines Blue Jays' annual award winners

TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was named the Blue Jays' Player of the Year on Wednesday afternoon by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Bautista received all 13 first-place votes en route to becoming a unanimous winner. Edwin Encarnacion finished second in the voting, while Melky Cabrera and Jose Reyes were third and fourth, respectively.

Veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle picked up the honor for Pitcher of the Year, and Marcus Stroman was named the club's top rookie. Casey Janssen received the John Cerutti Award, which is handed out to someone who displays the goodwill, cooperation and character exemplified by the late left-hander.

Bautista was a relatively easy choice after yet another successful season in which he finished among the league leaders in almost every major offensive category. He ranked second in on-base percentage (.403), fourth in OPS (.928), tied for fifth in home runs (35) and tied for seventh in RBIs (103).

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Buehrle barely edged out R.A. Dickey for top honors on the pitching staff. The veteran left-hander received six first-place votes and finished with a total of 27 points, while Dickey had five first-place votes and 25 points. It was one of the closest votes by the Toronto chapter in recent memory.

The 35-year-old Buehrle finished the year with a 3.39 ERA over 202 innings. It marked the 14th consecutive season Buehrle pitched at least 200 innings and had wins in the double digits. Stroman finished third in the voting, while Brett Cecil and Drew Hutchison also received consideration.

Stroman was the unanimous winner for Toronto's Rookie of the Year. The only thing that stopped Stroman from receiving more attention in the Pitcher of the Year Award voting was that he didn't enter the starting rotation until the end of May. The results from his rookie season were impressive, as he finished the year with an 11-6 record and a 3.65 ERA. Stroman also struck out 111 and walked 28 over 130 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Aaron Sanchez was second in voting for the Rookie of the Year Award. Outfielder Dalton Pompey finished third, with outfielder Kevin Pillar and left-hander Rob Rasmussen rounding out the top five.

The final award of the day went to left fielder Cabrera, who was named Toronto's most improved player. Left-hander J.A. Happ was second in the voting and right-hander Todd Redmond was third. Cabrera, who had a tumor removed from his back last year, made a full recovery this season and finished with a .301 average and an .808 OPS in 139 games.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.