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Diaz Named Rays MVP By Tampa Bay Chapter Of BBWAA

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the winners of the local season awards prior to Sunday’s game with the Toronto Blue Jays.  First baseman Yandy Diaz was unanimously picked as the winner of the Don Zimmer MVP Award, as the most valuable player for the 2023 season.  Reliever Kevin Kelly was also a unanimous pick as the Outstanding Rookie of the season, while starter Zach Eflin was named the winner of the Paul C. Smith Champion Award, given to the player who “best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.”

Don Zimmer MVP Award

1st – 1B Yandy Diaz*
2nd – RHP Zach Eflin
3rd – 3B Isaac Paredes
4th – OF Randy Arozarena

Outstanding Rookie

1st – RHP Kevin Kelly*
2nd – RHP Taj Bradley
3rd – INF Osleivis Basabe

Paul C. Smith Champion Award

1st – RHP Zach Eflin
2nd – 2B Brandon Lowe
3rd – DH Harold Ramirez
4th – 1B Yandy Diaz
5th – OF Luke Raley
6th – OF Josh Lowe

(* – received all first place votes)

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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