Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario wins 2021 Tiger of the Year

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Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario is the first player since Miguel Cabrera in the 2012 and 2013 seasons to secure back-to-back Tiger of the Year awards.

Candelario was announced Tuesday afternoon as the 2021 Tiger of the Year, as voted on by the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The 27-year-old was considered the Tigers' most consistent player last season, finishing with a team-best 3.2 wins above replacement. Candelario received nine votes, followed by infielder Jonathan Schoop (five votes), outfielder Robbie Grossman (three votes) and right-handed pitcher Casey Mize (one vote).

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Since the award's establishment in 1965, just seven players have won consecutive titles: Denny McLain (1968-69), Ron LeFlore (1977-78), Alan Trammell (1987-88), Cecil Fielder (1990-92), Travis Fryman (1995-96), Cabrera (2012-13) and Candelario (2020-21).

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Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers reacts after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sept. 18, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers reacts after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sept. 18, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida.

Candelario won the 2020 Tiger of the Year award last November after hitting .297 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 52 games during the shortened season. This time around, the switch-hitter posted a .271 batting average with 42 doubles, three triples, 16 homers and 67 RBIs in 149 games.

Tying for first place in MLB with 42 doubles helped Candelario to a .443 slugging percentage. He also chipped in 65 walks, compared to 135 strikeouts, for a .351 on-base percentage. In the field, he logged minus-4 defensive runs saved as the everyday third baseman.

Candelario became the 12th player in franchise history to produce 40-or-more doubles in a season and the first Tiger since Cabrera in 2011 to lead MLB in two-baggers.

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Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) makes a throw first base during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 27, 2021.
Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario (46) makes a throw first base during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 27, 2021.

Spanning the past two seasons, Candelario boasts a .278 batting average, .356 on-base percentage and .458 slugging percentage with 53 doubles, three triples, 23 homers, 96 RBIs, 85 walks and 184 strikeouts over 201 games.

The Tigers acquired Candelario, along with fellow infielder Isaac Paredes, in a 2017 trade with the Chicago Cubs. They sent catcher Alex Avila and reliever Justin Wilson the other way. Candelario is a .246 hitter in 482 career games.

Here are the Tiger of the Year winners since 2000:

2000: Bobby Higginson

2001: Steve Sparks

2002: Randall Simon

2003: Dmitri Young

2004: Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez

2005: Placido Polanco

2006: Carlos Guillen

2007: Magglio Ordonez

2008: Miguel Cabrera

2009: Justin Verlander

2010: Miguel Cabrera

2011: Justin Verlander

2012: Miguel Cabrera

2013: Miguel Cabrera

2014: Victor Martinez

2015: J.D. Martinez

2016: Justin Verlander

2017: Justin Upon

2018: Nick Castellanos

2019: Matthew Boyd

2020: Jeimer Candelario

2021: Jeimer Candelario

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' Jeimer Candelario wins 2021 Tiger of the Year