Wildcards hurler Evan Layman and Panthers ace Griffin Smith take home Cy Young honors
Throughout the week, the Old Republic Wiffleball League will be handing out its yearly honors. Today we announce the Cy Young award winners from both the American and National League.
Starting in the AL, the 2020 American League Cy Young award goes to Wildcards ace Evan Layman after the veteran put together a career year on the mound. In an incredibly tight vote, Layman was able to edge out Flat Rock's Mark Richards by one vote as the final tally stood at 21-20.
After starting the season as the Wildcards second option on the mound, 2020 American League Manager of the Year Zach Rehlander made an in season switch that made Layman his go to option on the bump.
Over the years Layman has served as the Wildcards primary pitcher so this was certainly not his first rodeo. Shortly before the mid way point, Rehlander turned to Layman after starting DJ Hill on the mound for most of the season.
With the Wildcards struggling, they needed someone to turn to in hopes of steering the ship around. The move paid off in a huge way as Layman turned into a bonafide ace over the 2nd half of the season.
After starting the season 2-10, Bourissa Hills went on to have one of the more memorable 2nd half runs in ORWBL history as they finished 11-1 over the course of their final 12 ballgames, all of which were played on the road.
Layman stepped in at the absolute perfect time as Bourissa Hills simply needed someone to contain opposing offenses considering how well the Wildcards offense was rolling.
With the Cards' offense hitting on all cylinders, Layman provided them with a reliable arm on the mound that you could put out there each and every game. One of the quicker pitchers in the league, Layman's defensive ability saved quite a few runs as well.
When it was all said and done, Layman would end up finishing with a 12-4 record to go along with a 6.47 ERA in 89 innings worth of work. Layman also racked up a save in Bourissa Hills only win that Layman did not factor into the decision.
Layman's 12 wins placed him 3rd on this list for the most wins of any pitcher in all of ORWBL this season. He would end up being one of only three pitchers to reach double digit wins.
Overall, Layman racked up 12 of the 13 Wildcards win in what was their first winning season since 2010. Layman has to feel incredible about this one as he has been doing his thing on the mound in ORWBL for years now. Winning a Cy Young is no easy feet so he will certainly be looking back on his 2020 season for years to come.
Layman becomes the 3rd Wildcards player or manager to win a regular season award, joining teammates DJ Hill ( AL Rookie of the Year) and Zach Rehlander (AL Manager of the Year.)
Meanwhile over in the National League the award goes to Granger Panthers ace Griffin Smith after he helped lead the Panthers to the top record in the National League for the 4th consecutive season.
In another incredibly tight vote, Smith ended up just barely squeaking this one out, edging Elkhart's Walter Griffin III (27-24).
Smith becomes the first pitcher in ORWBL history to win the award three times as he has done so in only four years worth of work.
Six ORWBL pitchers have been able to win multiple Cy Young's over the years but Smith is the first player to get to number three.
It has been quite an incredible start to his career for the Panthers ace as he continues to surge up each and every pitching category at a very fast rate.
Smith finished the season tied for the league lead with 14 wins while also finishing with the 3rd lowest earned run average at 4.97. Anytime you can get the ERA under five in slow pitch wiffleball you know you are doing something right.
Overall Smith finished with a 14-6 record in 107.1 innings work, striking out four opposing hitters. For the 4th consecutive season, Griffin was an absolute workhorse on the mound as he has seen the bulk of the innings for Granger throughout their first 4 years in the league.
The Panthers ace has always been a strike thrower as well as he pitches at one of the quicker paces in the league. Smith has always been one of the top defensive pitchers on the mound and that was no different this year.
Granger finished the season as one of the top defensive teams in the league and they will look to continue that as they get ready to take on Elkhart BFAM in the National League Championship Series.
With the top two vote getters for the National League Cy Young award squaring off in the NLCS, look for it to be a very interesting series with top of the line defense played on both sides.
Tomorrow, we wrap up awards week as we will announce the winners of the 2020 Most Valuable Player awards.