Nelson Cruz was chosen the Twins most valuable player for 2019, and also won the team’s Bob Allison Award for leadership.
Taylor Rogers won the team’s top pitcher award, and Luis Arraez was named the rookie of the year on Tuesday in voting by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Cruz, signed before the season to a two-year contract, hit 41 home runs, drove in 108 runs and batted .311. He led the Twins in all three categories, among players who qualified for a batting title (502 plate appearances).
Rogers had a 2.61 ERA and 30 saves in 60 appearances. Arraez, primarily an infielder, hit .334 in 366 plate appearances.
Catcher Mitch Garver, who had 31 home runs, won most improved player; center fielder Byron Buxton was chosen defensive player of the year, and pitcher Kyle Gibson won the media’s Good Guy Award.
“Everyone is very deserving of the awards,” Garver said via text message. “Rogers did everything and more that we needed for a closer, and he’s one of the best lefthanded relievers in the league. Nelly was, as we expected, a huge role model and leader on and off the field. We couldn’t have done everything we did this year without those two guys.”
The Upper Midwest player of the year is Nick Anderson, who was born in Crosby and grew up in Brainerd. Anderson, 29, pitched 68 games in his rookie season for Miami and Tampa Bay and struck out 110 in 65 innings. He also made four postseason appearances for the Rays.
Award winners will be honored at the Twins Diamond Awards on Jan. 23 at the Depot, before Twins Fest weekend.
Former Twin Justin Morneau will get the Kirby Puckett Award that day for Twins alumni community service, and the team’s minor league players of the year — outfielder Trevor Larnach and pitcher Randy Dobnak — also will be recognized.