MLB

Braves pitcher Mike Soroka named top Canadian baseball player in 2019

Calgary-born Mike Soroka of the Altanta Braves has won the Tip O'Neill Award as Canadian baseball player of the year. A year ago, fellow pitcher James Paxton claimed the honoure, presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Calgary-born starter had 2.68 ERA, placed 2nd in NL rookie of year voting

Mike Soroka of the Braves is the second straight pitcher to win the Tip O'Neill Award as Canadian baseball player of the year, presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka has won the Tip O'Neill Award as Canadian baseball player of the year.

The award, presented annually by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, is in the hands of a pitcher for the second year in a row after James Paxton claimed the honour in 2018.

The Calgary-born Soroka finished second in National League rookie of the year voting and sixth in Cy Young voting. Soroka was 13-4 with a 2.68 earned-run average, striking out 142 in 29 starts for the NL East-winning Braves this year.

The Tip O'Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James "Tip" O'Neill, one of Major League Baseball's first legitimate stars.

"When I had been told I would be the recipient of the 2019 Tip O'Neill Award, it really did put me back in a sense of awe," Soroka said in a statement. "Having had the opportunity to grow up through the Canadian baseball program, I have always felt a sense of pride when there are Canadians excelling in this game. I am always sure to mention to anyone watching other games in the clubhouse when a Canadian is at the plate or on the mound.

"I am beyond humbled to have the honour of sharing this award with some of the greats of not just Canadian baseball, but Major League Baseball period. This sense of pride has stemmed from others who represented Canadian baseball so well before me, and is something I hope to carry on as well."

Soroka was strong in his lone post-season start, limiting the St. Louis Cardinals to one run on two hits while striking out seven in seven innings.

A first-round pick in 2015, Soroka made his major-league debut late last year before breaking camp with the Braves this year.

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