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Mark Melancon wins NL Reliever of the Year award

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

MLB has announced that Mark Melancon has won the NL Reliever of the Year award. Andrew Miller won the award in the AL.

After a somewhat rough April, Melancon was terrific, pitching 76.2 innings for the season, striking out 62, walking 14, and posting a 57.5 percent ground ball rate. Of course, those aren't the numbers that got him the award -- what won it was his MLB-leading 51 saves, and the fact that he was about as dependable as it got in converting them, only blowing two saves the entire year.

Of course, if you were reading Bucs Dugout back in May, this is all pretty funny. This is what I wrote about Melancon back then; feel free to reread it now and have a laugh at my expense. I will say, though, that Melancon was successful this season in large part because his velocity returned, and that was far from inevitable at the time. Melancon's velocity numbers for the season tell a pretty clear story -- he was throwing below 90 MPH in April, but by June, he'd bumped it up to almost 93. Save percentage aside, his season almost certainly wouldn't have gone nearly as well if he hadn't.

Anyway, enough about me. Congratulations to Melancon. He had a fantastic season, his third outstanding one since joining the Pirates three years ago.