The LA Angels have honored their best pitcher each season with the Nick Adenhart Award. Adenhart was a pitcher for the Angels when, in 2009, he was killed in a drunk driving accident. This season, Yusmeiro Petit received the honor for his versatile, effective pitching.
The LA Angels struck gold with Yusmeiro Petit. Petit eventually was voted as the most valuable pitcher on the Angels team by his teammates. He won the award alongside Andrelton Simmons and Mike Trout, who shared team MVP honors.
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Petit did everything for the Angels bullpen this season. He closed games, pitched multiple innings, left runners on base. He was the glue guy that led the Angels bullpen to a top-five ranking in 2017.
Petit won this award with a 2.76 ERA in 2017. He went 5-2 out of the bullpen, and was one of, if not the, best pitcher in high leverage situations. Unlike Keynan Middleton or Blake Parker, Petit is a quiet assassin. He comes in and does his work, without showing much emotion. That approach worked for him, and led him to 101 strikeouts and only 18 walks.
When Petit came in, he owned games. With ten strikeouts per nine innings, Petit was the perfect option for coming into a game with runners on base. He inherited 20 baserunners this season, and did not allow a single one to cross home plate. He cleaned up other guys’ messes, and that more than likely earned him a few votes from his fellow relievers.
Petit was also able to fill in as the closer when the Angels needed him. When Bud Norris collapsed as the closer, Petit had five save opportunities. He converted on four of them. Of players that had at least five save opportunities, Petit’s 80% rate was third best on the Halos.
While some fans will preach that Blake Parker or even Parker Bridwell deserved the award, Petit was the right choice. He did everything for the Angels, and saved his team (and other relievers) more than a few times. At 32, nobody knows how long he can maintain this effectiveness, but the Angels will be happy to find out.