Another regular season is finished, and as per usual it was an exciting year in Major League Baseball. No hitters, walk-offs, retiring stars and rising rookies are just the norm for any season. With the regular season concluded and playoffs upon us, it is time to select the MLB's award winners.
American League MVP: Mike Trout, OF, Angels
Other candidates: Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros, Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox
MVP is defined as the Most Valuable Player to his own team. It isn't the Most Valuable Player to his own team, assuming that team is good. That's why Mike Trout is the American League Most Valuable Player. His numbers are off the chart, and while the Angels are indeed horrible, imagine where they are without Trout. He's the best player in baseball, and frankly there isn't a ton of debate. If this is August, it's Altuve's award to lose, but a lackluster September slid him down below Trout. Mookie Betts is a fantastic player and is going to win his fair share of MVP's, but he's not going to beat Trout this year.
National League MVP: Daniel Murphy, 2B, Nationals
Other candidates: Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs, Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
For the past couple months, I've been trying to figure out why Kris Bryant seems to be running away for the NL MVP. Every time I look at the numbers, I struggle to figure out why that's the case. Bryant has Murphy beaten in THREE offensive categories. Dingers, runs scored and WAR. Every single other statistic and that includes sabermetrics (of which I'm not a fan) has Murphy getting the upper hand. Slugging, OBP, OPS, average, RBI, wOBA, WRC+, all are in favor of Murphy. Bryant has had a great year, as has other candidate Nolan Arenado with his 133 RBIs and unbelievable glove at third, Murphy is just simply better.
American League Cy Young: Zach Britton, CP, Orioles
Other candidates: Corey Kluber, SP, Indians, Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers
I'm normally very much against relievers winning the Cy Young except extreme cases and this year is one of those extreme cases. Saying Zach Britton is good is wrong. Zach Britton is not good, Zach Britton is untouchable. Britton is the most dominant closer the league has seen since Eric Gagne in the mid 2000's. 47 times Britton took to the hill in a save situation. 47 times Britton walked off the hill having converted the save. In 67 innings, Britton gave up FOUR earned runs. The other factor is that no AL starter has been truly dominant or incredible. Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander have both been very good, but both's ERA's do sit over 3.00. Rick Porcello has been good as well, but his most striking stat is the 22-4 record. Not to take anything from Porcello, but it does help Porcello that he pitches for the highest scoring offense in the league. Zach Britton is just too dominant not to award the Cy Young.
National League Cy Young: Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals
Other candidates: Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs, Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
On the National League side, it's a tight race. Scherzer and Hendricks are the front runners and while Hendricks has the ERA edge, Scherzer has him badly in strikeouts. Hendricks gets the job done, but doesn't do it via strikeout registering 170 while Scherzer has 284. Besides, doesn't it always seem like Max Scherzer has a no-hitter through six or seven innings? Bumgarner has been good as per usual, but doesn't have the numbers to fight along Hendricks and Scherzer. Hendricks, like Mookie Betts will have his time to win his awards, but it's not quite his year.
American League Rookie of the Year: Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
Other candidates: Michael Fulmer, SP, Tigers, Tyler Naquin, OF, Indians
Up until August, the battle for AL ROY was between Michael Fulmer, Tyler Naquin, Nomar Mazara and to some Edwin Diaz. Then August began and the phenomenon that is Gary Sanchez began. In 197 at-bats, (excluding his brief May stint) Sanchez hit 20 home runs and drove in 42 runs. That is the same amount as other rookie Nomar Mazara, who's been in the bigs since April. It's not just power either, he gets on base well, he hits for good contact and has a cannon from behind the dish. Michael Fulmer has been effective all year, and if it wasn't for Sanchez the award would be his. Tyler Naquin has quietly had a very consistent year at the plate and in the field, and will be a staple in the Indians outfield for years. Sanchez however, is a budding superstar and will be one of the games best for years to come.
National League Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
Other candidates: Aledmys Diaz, SS Cardinals, Trea Turner, SS/OF, Nationals
Corey Seager has a fair argument to be in the MVP talks, but he's going to snag Rookie of the Year. In August, I said that Aledmys Diaz was going to edge him out. Diaz however, slipped throughout August and September while Corey Seager just kept on hitting. As a matter of fact, Trea Turner surpassed Diaz too and has made the race a lot closer than what would be expected. Lightning quick on the base paths, with a surprising amount of power, Turner was fantastic after being promoted in July. If he had stretched it all out over the whole year it'd be incredibly tight and he may even edge out Seager, but Corey has been a stud and will get himself the ROY.null