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MLB Award Winners

September 30, 2018

Since this will most likely be my last post before the Postseason kicks off, I would like to run over my picks for all the awards in the MLB this season, including a possible revision to my earlier NL MVP pick. There may be some caveats in here, as the NL field is yet to be set, but for the most part each of these guys has (in my eyes) earned their hardware.

 

MVP

NL: Christian Yelich

He’s had one of the best second halves in MLB history and it has propelled the Brewers right into their first Postseason appearance since 2011. Yelich is one of the few new faces on a team that nearly clinched last year and his career-high mashing, combined with his amazing defense and overall positive clubhouse presence, has undoubtedly given Milwaukee the shot in the arm they needed.

 

AL: Mookie Betts

This is really no contest. He’s the best player on the best team and he’s having a career year. Martinez has been really great too but Betts’ speed and defense put him on a whole other level. He’s 30/30, hitting over .300, and has one of the best attitudes in baseball. When your OPS is over 1.000 and you’ve struck out only 90 times….yeah, you’re pretty good. His 11 wins added don’t hurt either.

 

Cy Young

NL: Jacob deGrom

C’mon guys. He has a 1.70 ERA, .91 WHIP, 269 strikeouts...who cares that his record is 10-9? He’s a 10-WAR pitcher who has been the only relevant player on the Mets this year. This award is supposed to go to the best pitcher in each league, and we haven’t seen numbers like this since former Met Doc Gooden rolled through 1985. This award should be a no-brainer.

 

AL: Blake Snell

I’m really hesitant to go with the young Tampa Bay stud here, as he’s only pitched 175 innings, but it would feel like stealing to not give him the Cy Young. Sure, Verlander and Cole and Sale are all more popular picks, but Snell has a sub-2.00 ERA, a sub-1.00 WHIP, over 20 wins and over 200 strikeouts - all numbers that would and should garner a pitcher this honor any year. He is the new head of a really surprising young Rays’ staff (though not to me) now that Chris Archer is gone, and he should continue to dominate for years to come.

 

Rookie of the Year

NL: Ronald Acuña Jr.

If he were a few years older and had played the full season people would be calling for him to be MVP. The Braves have had a hole in LF since Justin Upton was traded away, and even he didn’t completely solve their problems. Acuña is playing like a star and his performance along with other young breakouts have fueled Atlanta’s fevered run to the Postseason.

 

AL: Miguel Andujar

Another guy playing at a near-MVP level, Andujar has been churning out XBHs since he was called up. Chase Headley was certainly not a replacement up to par with the departed A-Rod, but Andujar has come into a position of need for the Yankees and produced. His defense definitely has room for improvement, but his ability to just flat out hit should win him the award.

 

Hank Aaron Award (a.k.a best slugger)

NL: Christian Yelich

He leads the NL in batting average, is second in RBIs and is tied for third in homers. He has been the best all-around hitter and quite rightly deserves an award that recognizes such.

 

AL: J.D Martinez

In a lot of other years, he would be the MVP. Nevertheless, Martinez has proven his power and average combo are here to stay, posting the second highest batting average and home run total in the AL and driving in the most runs. There’s a reason he got paid $110 million to DH folks…

 

Reliever of the Year

NL: Jeremy Jeffress

Jeffress quietly had an extremely dominant season that was perhaps overshadowed by fellow bullpen-mate Josh Hader’s explosive start. He has posted a 1.31 ERA over 72 games pitched and has struck out 86 batters. For a team that has dealt with a plethora of pitching injuries and is looking to make a deep Postseason run, Jeffress has been a constant at the back end of the bullpen.

 

AL: Blake Treinen

While Jeffress’s 1.31 ERA and 86 strikeouts are impressive, they pale in comparison to what the A’s closer has done this year. Treinen has a 0.79 ERA over 67 appearances this year and is two strikeouts away from reaching 100...as a reliever. Tack on 37 saves and Cy Young chatter and I think we’ve found the best man for the award.

 

Manager of the Year

NL: Brian Snitker

This seems like another easy one. Snitker took over a Braves team that lost 90 games last year and has already won 90 with two remaining this season. Managing all his new young phenoms as well as the high expectations that come with a new ballpark ain’t easy, but Snitker sure made it look like it. I don’t know who had more fun this season, him or Ozzie Albies..

AL: Bob Melvin

This award could’ve gone to a number of guys, from Alex Cora to Aaron Boone to Kevin Cash, but the A’s went from cellar dwellers to pushing the defending World Series champs in one season with basically the same roster. Cora and Boone both had stacked teams to begin with and Cash’s squad didn’t really come all that close to the Postseason (though the AL was extremely strong this year). Melvin was in Oakland when they were on top of the baseball world in 2014 and was still there when they lost 90-plus games the next two seasons. Now the organization is looking to extend him beyond when his contract expires in 2019, and with good cause.

 

The Rest (Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers)

NL Gold Glove

C: Yasmani Grandal

1B: Freddie Freeman

2B: Javier Baez

3B: Nolan Arenado

SS: Nick Ahmed

LF: Corey Dickerson

CF: Lorenzo Cain

RF: Nick Markakis

(no pitcher because who cares)

 

AL Gold Glove

C: Mike Zunino

1B: Matt Olson

2B: Ian Kinsler

3B: Matt Chapman

SS: Andrelton Simmons

LF: Alex Gordon

CF: Mike Trout

RF: Mookie Betts

(no pitcher because who cares)

 

NL Silver Slugger

C: J.T Realmuto

1B: Freddie Freeman

2B: Javier Baez

3B: Nolan Arenado

SS: Trevor Story

LF: Christian Yelich

CF: Lorenzo Cain

RF: Bryce Harper

(no pitcher because who cares)

 

AL Silver Slugger

DH: J.D Martinez

C: Salvador Perez

1B: Matt Olson

2B: Jose Altuve

3B: Alex Bregman

SS: Francisco Lindor

LF: Michael Brantley

CF: Mike Trout

RF: Mookie Betts

 

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