The stud Brewers reliever who broke out during the 2020 season somehow was beaten out for two different All-MLB reliever spots.
Awards season had been kind to breakout Brewers reliever Devin Williams so far in the 2020-2021 offseason. That’s not surprising considering how dominant he was last season.
It started off with a very much expected win of the Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year. He followed that up with a more surprising, but still very much deserved NL Rookie of the Year award win after that.
Next, it was time for NL Cy Young voting where Williams grabbed three fifth place votes, proving that even among starters he was considered one of the best pitchers in the league. But surely when the MVP voting came out, that’s where the honors would stop, right?
Nope, he even secured a vote for NL MVP too.
So when the second annual All-MLB team finalists were announced and Williams joined fellow Brewers hurlers Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes on the list, there was no way that when the votes were tallied, Williams wouldn’t make the All-MLB first team, right?
All was not lost for Williams on the night, however. The All-MLB second team was announced shortly thereafter where his name ended up being found.
Don’t get me wrong, Liam Hendriks and Nick Anderson had phenomenal years, with the former joining Williams in winning a Reliever of the Year award in the American League. But how on earth did both beat out “The Airbender” for a spot on the team?
All three had fantastic seasons in 2020, but when you look at the numbers, Devin Williams’ exclusion from the All-MLB team was an absolute snub.
How does the old saying go? It’s, “the numbers don’t lie,” right? Well if that’s the case, Williams’ case for making the All-MLB team over either Hendriks or Anderson is pretty strong.
In pitching 27 innings, which was more than the 25 1/3 by Hendriks and 16 1/3 by Anderson, Williams led the trio with a miniscule 0.33 ERA (1.78 for Hendriks, 0.55 for Anderson) and a 0.86 FIP (1.14 Hendriks, 1.35 Anderson).
Williams also led the three relievers with a .090 batting average allowed (just a shade under Anderson’s .091 mark) and was the best at limiting the big hits as he allowed the lowest slugging percentage (.157, better than Anderson’s .182) of the three.
Mostly, it was the sheer dominance over other batters that stood out. His 17.7 strikeouts per nine led the other two by far (14.3 for Anderson, 13.1 for Hendriks), as did his 53% strikeout rate which was the best of any pitcher in MLB history who threw at least 20 innings.
The voting for the All-MLB team was done by a 50-50 split of fan voting and a panel of experts according to MLB’s site. So it’s impossible to tell exactly how Williams got snubbed. Instead, one of the most dominant relievers on earth will have to settle for All-MLB second team in 2020.
In the end, it really doesn’t mean much, especially considering all the awards that Williams won prior to this. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that when it comes to the All-MLB team, Devin Williams got snubbed, period.