The Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May each received votes for 2020 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year, which went to Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams (95 points).
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Alec Bohm and San Diego Padres’ Jake Cronenworth were also finalists and both garnered 74 points, though the former received more second-place votes (nine to six).
Gonsolin also received one first-place vote, to go along with one for second and three for third, amounting to 11 points and good for a fourth-place finish. He was followed by May, whose eight points were a product of two votes for second place and two for third.
JJ Cooper of Baseball America, based in the Atlanta chapter of Baseball Writers’ Association of America, gave Gonsolin his lone vote for first place. The Dodgers’ last Rookie of the Year winner was Cody Bellinger in 2017.
After making his MLB debut last season, the right-hander filled more of a prominent role for the Dodgers this year. Gonsolin went 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 2.29 FIP and 0.84 WHIP in nine games (eight starts).
His emergence was a factor in the Dodgers being comfortable in trading Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline. Gonsolin earned a spot on the active roster throughout the postseason, but struggled in a hybrid role as a starter and out of the bullpen.
May impressed out of the bullpen in Game 1 of the NL Division Series, but then also had trouble sustaining any sort of consistency during the Dodgers’ run to the World Series. The 23-year-old did find his footing against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings.
Overall, May enjoyed a successful year that began with filling in for Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day. He went on to appear in 12 games (10 starts), going 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.
Dodgers maintained confidence in Gonsolin, May
While Gonsolin and May were struggling in their hybrid roles, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and players regularly expressed confidence they would contribute.
“I still trust them, I still believe in them,” Roberts said at the time. “They’ve just got to make pitches. I know they want to execute pitches. We’ll kind of look at the video and see what we can be better at. They’re still going to need to get big outs for us.
“It’s a big ask, to be quite frank. Right now with the off days, every team is going to go down a starter. So people have to adjust to certain roles. And when you’re talking about playing seven days in a row and how you can get as many outs as you can in the CS, yeah, these guys are in uncharted territory.
“A credit to them, they’re not making any excuses. They expect themselves to make pitches.”
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