Yandy Diaz rightfully getting MVP consideration
While several players contributed to the Rays' success offensively, no one did it better than Yandy Diaz in 2023. Diaz led the American League with a batting average of .330, becoming the first Rays player to win a batting title. He also set career highs in almost every major hitting category, slugging 22 home runs and 78 RBIs to go with his team-high 173 hits. He also earned the first Silver Slugger of his career, taking the honors as the top-hitting first baseman in the American League.
The accolades didn't stop there for the Rays' first baseman. After winning the batting title and putting together a strong season, Yandy Diaz was rightfully in consideration for the AL's Most Valuable Player. While Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani was the unanimous decision, Diaz placed sixth in voting, appearing on 28 of the 30 ballots.
He was third on four ballots, but most of his votes were for a sixth-place finish. Diaz might not be as widely celebrated as Randy Arozarena, but his contributions to the team are recognized and appreciated by the fanbase. He was the firestarter for many rallies down the stretch, simply with his ability to get on base. The Baseball Writers' Association of America noticed and gave Diaz the recognition he deserved.