Now Commenting On:

Kimbrel named Delivery Man of the Year

Kimbrel named Delivery Man of the Year

Kimbrel named Delivery Man of the Year

ATLANTA -- Craig Kimbrel was named Major League Baseball's Delivery Man of the Year on Thursday afternoon. Kimbrel is the first member of the Braves' organization to win this honor, which has been given annually to the game's top closer since 2005.

Further establishing his dominance in this role, Kimbrel converted 50 of 54 save opportunities and posted a 1.21 ERA in 68 appearances. The 25-year-old right-hander's 50 saves matched Baltimore's Jim Johnson for the most in the Majors and made him the youngest closer to record this total.

Kimbrel began this past season in impressive fashion, converting nine of the 10 save opportunities he garnered in April. He proved human when he allowed a ninth-inning home run against David Wright on May 3 and back-to-back two-out home runs in a loss to the Reds four days later.

But after blowing a ninth-inning lead in both of those games, Kimbrel set a Braves franchise record by converting each of his next 37 save opportunities. In fact, he converted 40 of his final 41 opportunities on the way to becoming just the 11th pitcher to record a 50-save season.

During his final 54 appearances, Kimbrel posted a 0.54 ERA and limited opponents to a .151 batting average. Three of the four runs he surrendered in the 53 2/3 innings completed during this span were scored by the Nationals during the ninth inning of a Sept. 17 game in Washington.

Kimbrel stands as the only pitcher in Major League history to record 40 saves in each of his first three full seasons. Kimbrel leads the Majors with 138 saves during this span. Johnson ranks second with 110.

Kansas City's Greg Holland and Texas' Joe Nathan were the only other closers to receive votes for this year's award.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español