Three Washington Nationals players will be honored by the Washington, D.C. media with a 2016 end-of-season award, the first season in which balloting for such awards was conducted. Second baseman Daniel Murphy was voted the 2016 Nationals Player of the Year, right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer the 2016 Pitcher of the Year, and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was selected for the 'Good Guy' Award, given to a player who is exceptionally accommodating to the media and the community.
The players will receive their awards in an on-field ceremony before Sunday's regular-season finale.
Murphy, who joined the Nationals as a free agent this past offseason, has put together an MVP-caliber first season in the District. The second baseman is currently leading the National League in slugging percentage (.596), on-base plus slugging percentage (.987), and doubles (47). He also ranks second in the NL in batting average (.347), go-head RBI (31), plate appearances per strikeout (10.19), and strikeout percentage (9.8, 2nd-lowest), and third in multi-hit games (56), and RBI (104).
As he's compiled one of the most productive seasons for a second baseman in Major League history, Murphy has particularly excelled within the Nationals' division, the NL East, of which Washington secured its third title in the previous five seasons just a week ago. Murphy has posted his best batting average (.372), slugging percentage (.648) and OPS (1.070) against divisional foes - and that includes at least one hit in all 19 games the Nationals played against the New York Mets, Murphy's former club.
Scherzer's second season in D.C. was quite an encore to his first. As he nears completion on a Cy Young-worthy campaign, he continued to assert himself as one of the best pitchers in the game, whose among some of the greats in its history. Scherzer added yet another feat to his resume this season, striking out 20 Detroit Tigers on May 11 - making him just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to own a 20-strikeout game - and became just the second ever to be able to say he threw a no-hitter (June 20, 2015 vs. PIT; Oct. 3, 2015 at NYM), and a 20-strikeout affair. He and Randy Johnson are the only two who can make that claim.
Scherzer also enters his final start of the regular season leading the National League in strikeouts (277), innings pitched (223.1), walks + hits per innings pitched (0.94), opponent on-base percentage (.248), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.13), and quality starts (26). Scherzer's 18 outings of at least 7.0 innings pitched while allowing two earned runs or fewer are the most in the Major Leagues.
Zimmerman, the Nationals' longest-tenured player, receives the inaugural 'Good Guy' Award from the D.C. media. Zimmerman earned the initial award for his "always-professional dealings with members of the media, and for representing the Nationals organization with class both on and off the field."
Through his work with the ziMS foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, as well as the many other ways he gives back to the D.C. community, like his contributions to completely renovating what is now known as 'Ryan Zimmerman Field' at the Randall Recreation Center, Zimmerman is the Nationals' 2016 Roberto Clemente Award nominee. It's the fourth time that Zimmerman has been selected as the team's representative for the award (2007, 2012, 2013, 2016).