While baseball’s official awards won’t be handed out until next week, some hardware that is arguably more respected was handed out Wednesday night in the MLB Players Choice Awards.

Players from around the league voted on the best in the majors both on the field and off it. While the finalists were similar in many cases to those in the BBWAA awards, there were quite a few surprises in the eventual winners.

Jose Altuve was the big winner of the night with three awards, but a handful of players should feel happy with their honors from each league and overall.

Rick Porcello and his league-best 22-4 record became the most outstanding pitcher in the American League, edging out postseason hero Corey Kluber and Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton.

While Britton fans were happy to see him reach the final three after being snubbed in Cy Young voting, he was unable to top a starter who racked up wins all year long. He spoke on his season with MLB Network:

Porcello also had a 3.15 ERA and led all AL pitchers with a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Boston Red Sox’s Twitter account provided its reaction to the win:

There was more of a surprise in the Outstanding Rookie battle with Michael Fulmer getting the nod over Gary Sanchez. Fulmer had impressive numbers this season, posting a 3.06 ERA and falling just short of qualifying for the best mark in the league.

Detroit Tigers teammate Matt Boyd was proud of his fellow pitcher:

However, Sanchez had one of the best starts to his career as anyone in baseball history, totaling 20 home runs and 42 RBI in just 53 games. The players either didn’t trust the short run or weren’t paying attention.

The surprises continued with Jose Altuve taking home the award for Outstanding Player over Mookie Betts and Mike Trout.

While the Houston Astros second baseman was the AL batting champ with a .338 average, many believe he will finish behind versatile outfielders Betts and Trout in the MVP voting when it is eventually announced.

Then again, MLB Stat of the Day noted how impressive Altuve has been this season:

Finally, Mark Trumbo took home the Comeback Player award over Texas Rangers teammates Yu Darvish and Ian Desmond. While Darvish was coming off an injury, Trumbo and Desmond were simply trying to bounce back from disappointing 2015 campaigns.

Of this group, however, it was Trumbo who had the most impressive numbers, totaling a league-high 47 home runs with 108 RBI in his first year with the Baltimore Orioles. Per Baseball-Reference.com, he doubled his wins above replacement from last season.

The biggest moment of the night might have been the announcement of Jose Fernandez as the Comeback Player of the Year.

The MLB Players Associated provided a touching tribute to the late pitcher:

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle previously mentioned, voting was done by the players on Sept. 20, five days before Fernandez tragically died in a boating accident.

Kyle Hendricks was named the top pitcher over Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, something that would have been quite a surprise at the start of the season.

After a solid, but unspectacular 2015 season, Hendricks led the majors with a 2.13 ERA to go with a 16-8 record for the eventual World Series winners Chicago Cubs. Per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, this ends a dominant run for Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers:

There wasn’t as much surprise in the rookie race with Corey Seager beating out Trea Turner for the award. While Turner put up incredible numbers, Seager was far superior all season long and was truly one of the best hitters in baseball at any age.

Daniel Murphy also proved to be an elite hitter this season with a league-best .985 on-base plus slugging percentage to go with a .347 batting average, 25 home runs and 104 RBI, all of which were career highs. The Washington Nationals star was better than anyone could have anticipated in his first year with the club after spending the previous seven years with the New York Mets.

This shouldn’t make it much of a surprise he was named the NL’s Outstanding Player over Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado.

Murphy spoke of his play with MLB Network:

Bryant might win the MVP thanks to his work with the champion Chicago Cubs, but Murphy was voted by his peers as the best overall player in the National League. 

Altuve continued his big night with a win in the Always Game Award, as described by Marc Berman of Fox26:

With two wins in the only two years of its existence, this honor might be renamed the “Altuve Award” before too long.

He also took home the Player of the Year Award, which counted the best between the two leagues. By this point of the night, no one should have been surprised.

The Man of the Year, which went to the player who contributes as much off the field as on it, went to New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson. As Adam Rubin of ESPN.com noted, he also received the Roberto Clemente Award for his work with the community:

The veteran outfielder donated $5 million to his alma mater’s baseball team, the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has also spent a lot of his time helping others, including earlier Wednesday, per Rubin.

With so many negative stories on athletes around, Granderson is truly an inspirational character.


Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com