Williams was announced as the National League Rookie of the Year on Monday. Williams faced just 100 batters to win the award, but he struck out a remarkable 53 of them. He gave up just one earned run all season in 27 innings of work, holding opposing hitters to a .089 batting average. The righty earned 14 out of 30 first-place votes and 27 top-three votes overall. Alec Bohm and Jake Cronenworth tied for second behind him.
Williams was named the 2020 National League Reliever of the Year on Saturday, Marc Carig of The Athletic reports. Williams allowed only one earned run across 27 innings of work in the shortened campaign. He thoroughly dominated opposing hitters, punching out 53 batters while walking only nine. Although Williams was unable to pitch in the postseason due a shoulder injury, he is expected to be ready for the 2021 campaign without undergoing surgery.
Brewers general manager David Stearns said Monday that Williams won't require any procedures for his right shoulder and should be in store for a relatively normal offseason, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Williams was surprisingly left off the Brewers' 28-man roster for the team's wild-card series with the Dodgers last week after he was revealed to be dealing with right shoulder soreness. Fortunately for the standout setup man, Stearns clarified that Williams' injury was only a minor concern, going as far to say that the 26-year-old likely would have been included on the Brewers' NLDS roster had Milwaukee advanced past the Dodgers. Instead, Williams will likely just get some extra rest and rehab over the next few weeks before starting his offseason training program in earnest, looking to build on a 2020 campaign in which he emerged as arguably the best reliever in the majors. Thanks to the development of a unique changeup featuring a slider-like spin, Williams finished his rookie season with a 0.33 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 53:9 K:BB in 27 innings.
Williams was left off the Brewers' wild-card roster Wednesday due to right shoulder soreness, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. The news of Williams' injury comes out of nowhere, as the 26-year-old wasn't known to be dealing with any issues coming out of his final appearance of the regular season Friday. His absence for the three-game series is a major blow for the Brewers, as Williams was arguably the best reliever in baseball this season. In 27 innings out of the bullpen, he struck out 53 batters (good for a 53.0 percent strikeout rate, as he faced exactly 100 batters) while allowing just a single earned run.
Williams (4-1) picked up the win in the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the Cardinals, giving up two hits over two scoreless innings of relief. He struck out one without walking a batter. His emergence as a right-handed version of Josh Hader gives the Brewers' bullpen a bright future, even if they'll ultimately fall short of the playoffs. Williams has posted a 0.33 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 53:9 K:BB with nine holds in 22 appearances (27 innings).
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