Wednesday evening, Major League Baseball announced on MLB Network their All-MLB Team presented by CohnReznick. The Chicago teams each had a player make a team. Chicago Cubs Yu Darvish made All-MLB First Team as starting pitcher and Chicago White Sox’s José Abreu made All-MLB Second Team at first base.
This “All-League” style of awards has been popular for many years in the NBA and NFL for many years but is rather new to the MLB. It is just the second year of their existence after they debuted last winter.
The process begins with a set of nominees being shared in early November. The voting is split in half between fans and a panel of experts. Up until November 13 at 2 p.m., fans had the opportunity to vote for who they wanted to see win.
The two teams consist of one catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and a designated hitter, plus three outfielders, five starting pitchers, and two relievers.
No Chicago team had a player on either of the 2019 teams but after two strong seasons that changed.
Yu Darvish fell short in Cy Young voting but that should not take away from an excellent 2020 performance. In 12 starts, He went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA, and 96 strikeouts. His career-best 2.23 FIP even lead the league. Other starting pitchers on the first team include Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, Max Fried, and Jacob DeGrom.
José Abreu did manage to win some hardware this offseason after being named A.L. MVP and Hank Aaron award winners. After an extension last offseason, it was debated on how he’ll perform, and let’s just saw those awards were not given, they were earned.
Abreu put on a hitting clinic in 2020. While playing in all 60 games, he led Major League Baseball in hits, runs batted in, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, and total bases while being around the top five in several others. To add to that in over a third of the games, he had multiple hits.
He finished the season slashing 317/.370/.617/.987 with 43 runs, 11 doubles, 19 home runs, 60 RBI, 18 walks, 59 strikeouts.
Fellow MVP winner Freddie Freeman was named to the first team leaving José Abreu on the second team.