Shawn Tolleson selected Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year

Texas Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson was selected as the Rangers Pitcher of the Year today by the DFW chapter of the BWAA.  He’s the first relief pitcher to win the award since Joaquin Benoit in 2007.

Tolleson was in a tough mix of other potential selections such as Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Cole Hamels.  But, Tolleson was undoubtedly the star in the bullpen this season.  At the beginning of the season it was expected that Neftali Feliz would be the Texas Rangers closer for the season.   Near the end of the 2014 season it was already evident that Feliz had lost some zip on his fastball and wouldn’t make it as a closer, at least for the Rangers.  That opened the door for Shawn Tolleson and he had no problem filling that role.  He was quick to impress this season and barely disappointed when he was called in to finish the game.  

He finished the season with 35 out of 37 saves with an ERA of 2.99.  He’s the first Rangers pitcher to record 30 or more saves as late as 5/20 in the season.  He finished 2nd in the American League with save percentage at 94.6%, 3rd in relief innings at 72.1 and 5th in saves at 35.  His save percentage is the highest in Texas Rangers history with 20 or more save opportunities.   Besides the numbers it was nice to have a closer that was fierce and determined.  Every time he was on the mound with a lead if felt like they were going to win.  It was as stressful as the last few years.  It seems like the Rangers finally have a closer that fits the description.  Tolleson can truly close the door on their opponents.     I’m looking forward to seeing him on the mound again in the 9th inning next season.  Can’t wait for 2016…Let’s go Rangers!

Watch: Shawn Tolleson strikes out Mike Trout looking in the 9th inning for the first out – 09/05/15

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