To me, the MVP is really synonymous with "Player of the Year." It shouldn't have any bearing on the team's success. With that said, my AL MVP goes to Josh Hamilton. It's hard to deny a line of .359/.411/.633, especially when that guy played 40 games in centerfield. Second goes to our own Robbie Cano: not only did he OPS .914, but played tremendous defense at a valuable position and played all but two games. Third is Miguel Cabrera: he had a huge 1.042 OPS in a pitcher's park but drops a bit due to his poor defense.
In the NL, it's Joey Votto, Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez. FYI, Votto didn't hit one infield pop-up this season. Yes, you read that right. Pujols had, for him, a sub-par year, yet was still good enough to be a serious MVP candidate. A-Gon had a .904 OPS in a huge ballpark while playing solid D.
Click below to see who our writers picked for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year...
Has to go to Felix. What he did, regardless of being in a pitcher's park, was remarkable: 2.27 ERA in 249.2 ip (both league-leading). CC is second: the only pitcher who threw more innings was Felix and he had a 3.18 ERA in a hitter's ballpark (134 ERA+). Third might surprise you: Jered Weaver, who led the league in Ks (233) to go with a 3.01 ERA and 224.1 innings.
In the NL, Roy Halladay ekes out the award from Ubaldo Jimenez. 'Doc' had a lower ERA, more innings (the most in baseball) and the best K/BB rate in the league. Third goes to St. Louis' Adam Wainwright, who beat Josh Johnson for third place - despite a higher ERA - due to throwing about 50 more innings.
AL: Danny Valencia. Heard of him? He batted .311/.351/.448 while playing a solid thirdbase for Minnesota. He only played 85 games, but his quality made up for the lack of playing time.
NL: Jason Heyward. Superstar in the making.
AL: Ron Gardenhire. Somehow the Twins win every year despite a lackluster roster.
NL: Dusty Baker. Anyone that can win a division with Bronson Arroyo heading the rotation deserves recognition.
1. Josh Hamilton
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Robinson Cano
I had stated pretty categorically throughout the season that individual awards should go to the best individual performance regardless of team success or failure. As such, I spent most of the season in the Miguel Cabrera camp, but the numbers that Josh Hamilton has accumulated (albeit, in an injury shortened season) are still enough to justify giving him the award. A .412 OBP, .448 wOBA, 183 wRC+, +7.2 fielding runs in left/center field, and an 8.0 WAR are enough to trump even Cabrera's incredible season. Our hero, Cano, comes in third in my book. Although he put together a very impressive season, his sheer production was definitely a tier below Cabrera and Hamilton.
1. Joey Votto
2. Albert Pujols
3. Ryan Zimmerman
Joey Votto, sporting a .423 OBP and a 175 wRC+ and 37 HR is the entirety of the Cincinnati Reds offense. While I still don't really care about MVP candidates being on a playoff team, Votto putting up those types of numbers with absolutely no lineup protection is truly remarkable. As for Albert, he had himself a ho-hum season. A line of .313/.415/.598, 169 wRC+, 42 HR, 7.3 WAR was arguably his worse season since 2002, which is really a tribute to how remarkably consistent and productive he is. And in third place, I decided to give the nod to the most underrated player in baseball. Zimmerman put up nearly identical offensive numbers to Robinson Cano, and plays a sparkling 3rd base (+13.6 fielding runs). Don't be surprised if he ends up at the top of this list within the next few seasons.
AL Cy Young
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Cliff Lee
3. CC Sabathia
Felix Hernandez gave one of the best pitching performances in years and deserves to be recognized. I don't care that the Mariners are crap or that he doesn't have a shiny win/loss record. It does absolutely nothing to diminish his performance, and is not in any way a reflection on Hernandez being a "winner." Cliff Lee also put up an absolutely incredible season, displaying some historic control (0.76 BB/9), and in most years, his performance was Cy Young worthy. Again, the Yankee comes in third, and it is again for the same reason. Sabathia is an incredible pitcher and has been a huge part of the Yankees success, but the two before him simply outperformed him by every metric.
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay
2. Adam Wainwright
3. Josh Johnson
Halladay and Wainwright have put up almost identical pitching ratios, however, the true value in Roy Halladay is in the massive amount of innings that he is able to eat up (250.2). While Wainwright was no slouch (230.1 IP), an extra 20 innings of dominant pitching have me convinced that the award should go to Roy. Josh Johnson posted a 2.30 ERA and 2.42 FIP in 183.2 innings for the Marlins, and for a good chunk of the season was the best pitcher in the league. Somehow he always seems to get left out in the "best pitchers in baseball" discussion, but he certainly belongs there.
AL ROY - Wade Davis
NL ROY - Buster Posey
AL Manager - Ron Washington
NL Manager - Bud Black
1. Robinson Cano -- His numbers aren't better than Miguel Cabrera's, and he doesn't have as many RBI as A-Rod. But, he has had a phenomenal season. He gets it because of his importance to this team with A-Rod's injuries, and the struggles of players like Curtis Granderson much of the year.
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Vlad Guerrerro
1. David Price
2. Felix Hernandez
3. CC Sabathia
I know the Sabermetricians will kill me. And I know the overwhelming statistical numbers, other than wins. I just can't buy the argument that wins don't matter. The game is about winning. The team with the best stats doesn't get the trophy at the end. The team with the most wins does. So, wins have to be part of the discussion.
1. Austin Jackson
2. Neftali Feliz
3. Brendan Boesch
Pretty good year for A-Jax. Not bad for a buy who probably would not even have been in the big leagues if the Yankees had not traded him.
1. Ron Gardenhire
2. Buck Showalter
3. Ron Washington
Amazing what the Twins keep doing, and Gardenhire is the constant. Showalter gets a nod for turning around the Orioles after taking over midseason.
1. Josh Hamilton. Hamilton could have been the best hitter in all of baseball this year if it wasn't for his injury. He hit .454 in June and .418 in July. His .372 batting average with RISP and 31 home runs in 5 months of baseball aren't bad either.
2. Robinson Cano. Does this even need to be explained? Cano was the Yankees offense for the first half of the season. Would have put him in 1st if he didn't slow down in the 2nd half.
3. Miguel Cabrera. Absolute beast at the plate, but I refuse to put a non-playoff team player as MVP.
1. Felix Hernandez. In the Cy Young rule book or whatever, the rule is that it is based on stats, not value to the team. Felix has the best ERA, most strikeouts, least walks, and best WHIP. Enough said.
2. CC Sabathia. Surprisingly has a better WHIP, more strikeouts, and less walks than David Price. Sure, Price won the head to heads, but CC has the stats going for him.
3. David Price. Jon Lester isn't good enough to pass him, in my opinion.
Rookie of the Year:
1. Neftali Feliz. This guy is amazing. Broke the rookie save record, only blew three saves all year, just an outstanding pitcher.
2. Brennan Boesch. Has a pretty awesome name, and also really contributed for the Tigers this season.
Manager of the Year:
1. Ron Washington. I picked the Mariners to win the AL West, then the Angels, then the Rangers. He and the Mariners made me look stupid.
2. Ron Gardenhire. He really did a great job this year dealing with the injuries to Morneau and Nathan.
3. Terry Francona. I hate to say it, but the Red Sox are a much better team than they should be. So many injuries, almost Mets-like, but still a playoff contender into the last month of the season.
MVP: Longoria, Cano, Hamilton
NL: Votto, Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
MVP goes to the impact players on contenders.
AL CYA: Sabathia, Price, Lee
NL: Halladay, Cain, Oswalt
Contention is important. WHIP, IP, and impact.
ROY: Wade Davis
NL: Buster Posey
MOY: Ron Gardenhire
NL: Bobby Cox
Who gets your vote?