West Australian Liam Hendriks has made history, becoming the first pitcher to claim the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year award in consecutive seasons.
Hendriks was named the 2021 winner after a dominant debut season with the Chicago White Sox.
He went 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA, an AL-leading 38 saves, 113 strikeouts, a 0.73 WHIP, .174 opponents average and just seven walks in 69 regular-season relief appearances.
Hendriks claimed the same honour with the Oakland Athletics in 2020 and became the first White Sox pitcher to be named AL Reliever of the Year since the award began in 2014.
In 2019 he finished runner up to New York Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman for the award.
Hendriks led qualified MLB relievers in strikeouts, and AL relievers in WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratio (16.14) in 2021.
His strikeout-to-walk mark established a Major League record (minimum 100 strikeouts), surpassing the previous mark set by Clayton Kershaw (15.64) in 2016.
Hendriks joined Kenley Jansen in 2017 (109 strikeouts, seven walks) as the only pitchers in history to strike out 100-plus batters with seven or fewer walks in a season.
The former Perth Heat Australian Baseball League arm did not issue more than one walk in any appearance in 2021. He was almost impossible to hit down the stretch with just one run allowed in his final 19 appearances, including 10 hits, one walk, and 31 strikeouts in 21 innings.
He saved 12 straight during that stretch and finished off the team’s division-clinching victory in Cleveland.
Hendriks was named to his second career All-Star team, becoming the first Australian selected for the showcase twice.
He was also named AL Reliever of the Month in May and September/October.