Yaz among nine All-MLB outfield finalists after breakout 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
While most of us can't wait for 2020 to end, Mike Yastrzemski likely wishes the best year of his baseball career could continue.
In addition to Yastrzemski, the other eight finalists are: Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers), Michael Conforto (New York Mets), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies), Eloy Jiménez (Chicago White Sox), Juan Soto (Washington Nationals), George Springer (Houston Astros) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels).
First and Second-Teams will be announced Wednesday at 4 p.m. PT. Voting was conducted by fans and a "panel of experts."
After a solid rookie season with the Giants in 2019, Yastrzemski became an MVP candidate this past season, finishing in eighth place in the voting.
Yastrzemski played in 54 out of 60 games during the shortened 2020 season, and he slashed .297/.400/.568 with 14 doubles, 10 homers and 35 RBI. Among all position players in baseball, Yastrzemski finished with a 2.5 WAR, according to Baseball Reference, which was eighth best in MLB.
On top of his production on the field, Yastrzemski made a huge impact off the field. At the end of the season, he was named the 2020 Willie Mac Award winner, which is given annually to the Giants player deemed most inspirational.
Yastrzemski faces stiff competition to be one of six players named to either the First or Second-Team All-MLB. Betts and Trout likely are locks for the First Team. While Yaz could be the third member of the First Team, Soto or Acuña Jr. probably will fill that final spot. Most likely, Yastrzemski is ticketed for the Second Team.
Whether or not Yastrzemski makes either of the All-MLB teams Wednesday, 2020 has been a dream year for him. After spending six seasons in the Baltimore Orioles' minor league system, he was traded to the Giants on March, 23, 2019. He was just hoping for a chance to establish himself as a major leaguer at the age of 28. Now, he's earned a spot among the best players in baseball.
See, 2020 hasn't been all bad.