The Dodgers didn’t know what they were going to get from A.J. Ellis this year, at 31 years old and an everyday major-league catcher for the first time in his life.
Seamlessly, Ellis has asserted himself as one of the National League’s best defensive backstops and an on-base machine — in the process giving Dodgers necessary stability at the most important defensive position and an everyday number eight hitter. He’s also handled a pitching staff that ranks third in the NL in ERA (3.42) and second in opponents’ batting average (.239).
For these reasons, Ellis was named the winner of the seventh annual Roy Campanella Award, given to the Dodger player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher. The award, which was voted upon by Dodger uniform personnel, will be presented to Ellis by Campanella’s daughter, Joni Campanella Roan, during pre-game ceremonies Saturday night.