Bryant, Schwarber both up for Best Rookie; Arrieta for Best Major Leaguer, Best Starting Pitcher
By Quinn Roberts
PITTSBURGH -- Is the Cubs' Kris Bryant the top rookie in the Major Leagues, or is it teammate Kyle Schwarber? How about the best starting pitcher? Cubs fans would definitely vote for Jake Arrieta. Or how about the best everyday player?
Bryant, Schwarber, Arrieta and Anthony Rizzo are the Cubs players nominated in the 2015 Esurance MLB Awards.
Arrieta is nominated in five categories: Best Major Leaguer, Best Starting Pitcher, Best Breakout Player, Best Social Media Personality and Best Performance. Rizzo is a candidate for Best Everyday Player, while Bryant and Schwarber are nominated for Best Rookie and Best Offensive Play.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.
Other individual awards include Best Defensive Player, Bounceback Player, Manager, Executive, and Postseason Performer. Joe Maddon was nominated for the managerial award, while Theo Epstein was nominated for the executive award.
Winners will also be recognized for the year's Best Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Interview, TV Call, Radio Call, Player-Fan Interaction, Video Board Moment and Trending Topic.
The Cubs garnered a plethora of nominees in social media categories. Arrieta's no-hitter and the team's pajama party were nominated for Best Social Media Post. The Cubs organization is nominated for Best Social Media Personality. And Jon Lester throwing his glove to Rizzo at first base when he was unable to get the ball out of his glove got the nod for Best Trending Topic.
Cubs fans also had their share of nominations. Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, was nominated for Best Celebrity Fan. A female fan at Wrigley Field earned a nomination for Best Fan Catch when she spilled her beer after using her beverage cup to pull in a foul ball. After that, she downed it for all to see -- with the ball still in the cup.
Chicago also received a nomination for the Best Video Board Moment in a tribute to Harry Caray. The Cubs created an interactive tribute to Caray in a July game when former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster did his best Caray impression to introduce the legendary announcer who, via archived footage, led the crowd in seventh-inning stretch festivities.
Finally, the team received a nomination for the Best TV Call, when Bryant cracked his first career walk-off homer. Cubs play-by-play announcer Len Kasper and analyst Jim Deshaies added their own flavor to the dramatic event.
Voting will remain open through Nov. 13. Fans can vote by visiting mlb.com/awards. Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Nov. 20.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.