Josh Hader and Liam Hendriks Named Relievers of the Year

Josh Hader in 2020
Josh Hader in 2020. Photo by John Fisher/CSM/Shutterstock (10775090u)

Both the stats and the eye test showed that no one was better at the end of the games in 2021 than Milwaukee Brewers lefty Josh Hader and Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks. And the panel of voters for the AL and NL Reliever of the Year awards agreed.

The MLB announced on Wednesday that Hader and Hendriks were named the best relievers in their respective leagues for this past season. Hader got the Trevor Hoffman Award as NL Reliever of the Year, while Hendriks was named the recipient of the Mariano Rivera Award as the AL Reliever of the Year.

Introduced for the first time in 2015, the Reliever of the Year honor is awarded by a panel of former relievers. The panel for 2021 consisted of Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, John Franco, Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, and Billy Wagner.

Josh Hader, who was named NL Reliever of the Year on two previous occasions, played 60 games this past campaign and finished 42 of them. He posted a career-best 1.23 ERA while making 102 strikeouts and having 34 saves.

Liam Hendriks finished 58 out of 69 games he played in 2021. He had a 2.54 ERA to go with 113 strikeouts and 38 saves. This year’s AL Reliever of the Year award was second in Hendriks’ career.