Forsythe, Karns, Archer honored by BBWAA

Forsythe, Karns, Archer honored by BBWAA

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the winners of its annual awards on Friday. Logan Forsythe won the Don Zimmer Most Valuable Player Award, Nathan Karns won the Outstanding Rookie Award, and Chris Archer won the Paul C. Smith Champion Award.

Forsythe followed Ben Zobrist, who won the MVP Award in 2014.

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"Surprised [to win the award] at first," Forsythe said. "It's a big honor. ... I just thank my teammates for motivating me. They kept me going out there every day, playing for them. So it's a great honor and I'm happy to have it."

Karns followed 2014 winner Jake Odorizzi.

"To be nominated and voted to be, in people's eyes, to be the lead runner among the rookies coming into the season was not even on my radar," Karns said. "You have to understand where I was coming from at the beginning of the year. 'Just try to make the team.'"

The Paul C. Smith Champion Award is presented to the Rays player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. The award is named for Paul C. Smith, who covered Tampa Bay for until his death on Feb. 26, 2005.

Archer followed last year's winner, Evan Longoria.

"It's a special honor," Archer said. "That's one of the biggest compliments you can get, people noticing what you do outside of physically on the mound. It meant a lot and I'm very appreciative of everybody who was involved in that selection."

The announcement of the winners took place at a luncheon on Friday, and the players were formally presented their awards by chapter chairman Marc Topkin prior to the Rays' game against the Blue Jays on Friday night.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.