SF Giants: Mike Yastrzemski named 2020 Willie Mac Award recipient

SF Giants, Mike Yastrzemski (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SF Giants, Mike Yastrzemski (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

SF Giants’ outfielder Mike Yastrzemski was named the 2020 Willie Mac Award recipient.

The SF Giants have become accustomed to seeing surprise standouts in each of the past two seasons. But none have managed to find success more than outfielder Mike Yastrzemski.

A little over a year ago, Yastrzemski was an unknown struggling minor-league ballplayer who the Giants acquired in a low-profile swap of elder minor-leaguers.

His biggest claim to fame was his grandfather, the great Carl Yastrzemski, and he was contemplating an early retirement having spent seven years in the minors without even sniffing the major leagues.

Fast-forward to present day and he’s a legitimate National League MVP candidate who’s fresh off a breakout season with the Giants. And to add to his growing list of accomplishments, he’s now the team’s 2020 Willie Mac Award recipient.

The Giants announced on Saturday that Yastrzemski was this year’s winner marking the fourth consecutive season where the recipient was won the award in his first season with the club.

The Willie Mac Award, of course, is one of the most prestigious awards the Giants give out each year. Named after the legendary Willie McCovey, the honor awarded to a player who is deemed the most inspirational and selected in a vote by teammates, coaches, and fans.

Mike Yastrzemski is certainly a worthy choice by the SF Giants.

Yastrzemski is one of the MLB’s most unlikely success stories having made his major-league debut just last season at the ripe age of 29. Now, at age 30, he’s doing things that no one thought he was capable of.

The former Baltimore Orioles draft pick is 11th in fWAR (2.5), 10th in OPS (.952), tied for first in triples (4), and eighth in extra-base hits (28) despite missing a week of the season.

He currently leads the Giants with 35 RBI and 38 runs and is tied for second with 10 home runs on the season. No one saw this type of production out of a player who was acquired for essentially nothing in March of last year.

Moreover, his clubhouse leadership had endeared him to fans and teammates alike with Yastrzemski taking over a pseudo-leadership role following the departures of both Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval.

He’s only been here for a little over a year, but Yastrzemski is the leader of this Giants team both on and off the diamond.

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And now, he has the Willie Mac Award to show for it.