Three times Arizona Diamondbacks players were robbed of awards

Let's look at three different times an Arizona Diamondbacks player was robbed of an award they deserved more than the voted upon winner.

Arizona starting pitcher Randy Johnson throws duri
Arizona starting pitcher Randy Johnson throws duri / JEFF HAYNES/GettyImages
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Brandon Webb
2003 Rookie Of The Year

Brandon Webb will go down in baseball history as one of baseball’s most “what could have been” stories. After his 2008 season, Webb had over 30 bWAR, three straight All-Star appearances, a Cy Young award, and two more second-place finishes. But injuries derailed what once looked like a potential Hall of Fame career. On top of that, Webb should have been able to add Rookie Of The Year to that impressive but short resume.

Webb came up and dominated opposing batters, owning just a 2.80 ERA, 3.34 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP across 180.1 innings of work. The right-hander also had some solid peripherals, including a 22.9% strikeout rate, 9.1% walk rate, and 0.60 HR/9. Webb, in total, racked up +4.3 fWAR and +5.9 bWAR.

Florida Marlins’ lefty Dontrell Willis took home the National League ROY award this season after pitching to a 3.30 ERA, 3.45 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP. Willis had a 21.3% K-rate and 8.7% walk rate, as well as a quality 0.73 HR/9. He would pitch 160.2 innings and finish the year with a +3.4 fWAR and +4.4 bWAR.

Willis had a strong rookie season in his own right, but it was not better than Webb’s rookie year. Webb pitched more innings and owned a better ERA, FIP, WHIP, strikeout rate, and home run rate. The difference in walk rate was less than 1%. However, Webb still finished with a better K:BB ratio.

But Willis had a 14-6 record, while Webb finished the year 10-9, which likely swayed the vote in Willis’ favor. Something like this wouldn’t happen today. If a pitcher was leading his competition in every meaningful category besides win/loss record, they’d more than likely take home the award. But this was still an era when voters let wins and losses dictate their vote, at least significantly more than it does today. Baseball is a team game until it comes to the pitcher. Then it’s all on him to win or lose the game, apparently. This isn’t the first time win/loss record stole an award from a Diamondback pitcher. Heck it won’t even be the last time on today’s list.