Oct 5, 2023 - Sports

The 2023 Chicago baseball awards

Photo of a baseball players swinging a bat

Cody Bellinger at Wrigley Field in September. Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Chicago baseball season is officially over, as neither the White Sox nor the Cubs made the playoffs — again.

  • So we're bringing you something even better than the postseason: our second annual Axios Chicago baseball awards.

Hitting

Here were the offensive leaders:

Batting average: Cubs' Cody Bellinger (.304) — the only player on either team to hit over .300.

Home runs: Sox' Luis Robert Jr. (38) — a breakout year for the young Sox slugger (and the only bright spot).

Runs batted in: Cody Bellinger (97) — a tremendous season for the impending free agent who signed a one-year deal to resurrect his ailing career.

Strikeouts: Luis Robert (172) — feast or famine for the Sox' best hitter.

Stolen bases: Nico Hoerner (43) — Hoerner led both teams for the second year in a row.

Pitching

This year belonged to the man of steel himself, Justin Steele. The Cubs ace may just win the NL Cy Young.

  • Earned run average: Steele (3.06).
  • Wins: Steele (16).
  • Strikeouts: White Sox starter Dylan Cease (214).
  • Saves: Cubs reliever Adbert Alzolay (22).
  • Worst stats: Not one Sox starter had 10 wins, and not one Sox closer had 10 saves. Ouch.
Photo of baseball players on the field.
Teammates restrain Tim Anderson after a fight on Aug. 5 in Cleveland. Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Best (well, least lousy) manager: Cubs skipper David Ross' squad may have collapsed down the stretch, but his South Side counterpart Pedro Grifol lost 101 games. So we hold our nose for Ross.

Best pile-on: Former White Sox manager and now television analyst Ozzie Guillén. Ozzie poured gasoline on the dumpster fire that was the Sox season, eloquently saying after one particular loss that even the parking attendants should be fired.

Biggest no-show: Oscar Colás. He was supposed to be the Sox answer in right field, but the opening day starter only played in 75 games and hit a measly 5 home runs.

Worst injury: Anytime Eloy Jiménez ran to first base? Joking aside, the injury to Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman's ribs was not only mysterious, but ill-timed, as the Cubs started their nosedive soon after.

Most embarrassing moment: Tim Anderson had a disaster of a season hitting just one home run. But it was his ugly on-field fight that resulted in him being knocked out cold that injured not only him, but all of Chicago's pride.

Weirdest statue: Once again, the honor goes to the Harry Caray monument at Waveland and Sheffield. Are the little Harry Carays trying to drag the big Harry Caray to the underworld? Spooky.

Photo of a statue outside of a stadium
Harry! Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios
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