Now that things have settled down since the World Series, the MLB Awards are handed out just a couple weeks after. We are now in the free agent frenzy, where many prominent guys are available, and will most likely get over-paid.
Anyways, the awards come out right as the frenzy begins, and really, the timing is very convenient. The awards I am covering are the ones that were released earlier this week and just a few minutes ago.
I cover both AL and NL.
- Rookie of the Year
- Manager of the Year
- Cy Young Award
The Gold Glove and Silver Sluggers were released last week, and those usually go out to the right people. This year, regarding the four topics above, some of them I don’t agree with.
However, all of the winners are all well deserving of their awards. Though I may not agree with some, the winners did prove they are the best at what they do.
Rookies of the Year
NL: Jacob deGrom
deGrom was drafted by the Mets in 2010, and had worked his way up through the Minor Leagues until early May, when the Mets called him up. He was pitching for the Las Vegas 51’s of AAA, and had started 4-0 with them, with an ERA of 2.58.
The Mets were going to have him serve as a reliever, but bumped him to the starting rotation due to Dillion Gee’s injury. Let’s just say that the promotion paid off.
deGrom had a great first start. It really couldn’t have gone better, for him at least. Yankees rookie Chase Whitley was making first career start on the other side, also.
deGrom pitched seven innings, gave up only four hits, and allowed one run in the 1-0 Mets loss. Even with the negative outcome, he pitched phenomenal. Unfortunately, it took him and his team awhile to get going. Out of deGrom’s seven first starts, four were losses, and three were no desciions. It left the rookie at 0-4 on the season, but he didn’t care. deGrom only got better, and by the end of July, he had worked his W-L to 5-5.
He lost one more game the rest of the year, and easily deserved this award. deGrom has a bright future. He’s on a team that has some interesting pieces, but is probably a couple years away, and really, he could be a couple years from being a complete pitcher.
AL: Jose Abreu
This guy, oh boy, this guy, he didn’t even play like a rookie this past year.
Gives me chills talking and writing about him.
And really, he wasn’t. He’s 27; not really a kid. Abreu had played since 2003 professionally in Cuba, and had already caught the eye of many peole down there. He was named MVP of his Cuban league in 2010, know for his amazing home run hitting, which he totally displayed this year. Abreu had played on Cuba’s National team for the 2013 World Basbeall Classic, and hit three home runs during that event.
Last October, he left Cuba, knowing that many MLB teams had eyes on him. Abreu signed a monster six-year, $68 million contract with the White Sox, and would play first base for them.
Even from the start, Abreu looked like all he was going to do was hit the baseball. In his 8th career game, he hit two HR’s in a 15-3 win over Colorado. On the 25th of April, in another two home run game of his, he hit a walk-off grand slam, giving the White Sox a 9-6 win over Tampa Bay.
Really, their isn’t much to say. He finished the year with 36 HR’s and 107 RBI’s, batting .317. He lead the AL in slugging with .581.
Oh yea, did I mention his defense? He fielded 99.4% of ball coming to him, and turned 105 double plays. His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was 5.5 this year, which isn’t insane, but is substansional.
Look, he’s got a chance to become a star. Some people saw this coming. 36 HR’s isn’t a bad way to start a career, so, just let it continue!
Manager of the Year
NL: Matt Williams
This was totally the right call. The voters really did get it right here. Though the Nationals had a disappointing NLDS loss to the Giants, they held the NL’s best record this year, and really got people jumping about next year.
I’m totally biased. Williams played for the Diamondbacks, my favorite baseball team, during their championship run in 2001. Obvisouly winning, it was his final team before being hired by them seven years later to coach third base, which is what he played.
Williams benched him for the remainder of the game. Harper was nursing a quad injury, and really had no chance, so it did deserve criticism.
Though, Matt Williams was establishing himself as a no excuses or tolerance manager. He wanted his players to give it their all, which really, is what all managers should do.
Besides that incident, Williams knows how to coach a team. He’s a champion and a accomplished veteran. He knows what he’s doing, and if you look at the odds, people agree.
AL: Buck Showalter
We see this in basketball. Their is one coach in the league who should be awarded Coach of the Year every year. His name is Gregg Popovich. Just give it to him every year, no else is better than him.
In baseball, Buck Showalter is always up there. Really, we should just just give it to him every year, and give someone else 2nd and count that.
However, this year, I didn’t believe he deserved it. The Orioles had a great year, but (going into College Football Playoff Committee mode) look at their division! Who’s good in that division? There’s an automatic 30 wins to add because your better than everyone else.
Now, I’m not saying Ned Yost deserved it, either.
I tweeted that.
I was talking about Showalter winning in the first sentence.
I’m not going to go on about who I thought should have won it. For now, let’s talk about why Showalter did deserve it.
(Wait, didn’t I already talk about this?)
The O’s won 96 games this year, and held a 12 game lead over the 2nd place Blue Jays at the end of the season. They dominated before losing in the ALCS to the storybook Royals.
It’s funny because, I hated them going into the Playoffs. I thought their injuries would overcome the team, and that the Tigers would knock them out early. But Buck kept them rolling. He steered that ship. They caught the wrong team at the wrong time.
Cy Young Award
NL: Clayton Kershaw
I think it was pretty obvious who was going to get this one. Clayton Kershaw isn’t only the NL’s best pitcher, but he’s the MLB’s best pitcher. Kershaw has an incredible range of pitches and velocities, while putting up ridiculous numbers.
This past season, Kershaw went 21-3, and had a 1.77 ERA. 21 wins and his ERA was the best in the NL this year. Other statistics he led in were FIP and WHIP. He had six complete games, which ALSO was first. He dominated everyone this year. Three losses is ridiculous. He is ridiculous.
Though, he has never pitched well in the Playoffs. This past year, the Dodgers relied on him heavily, and Kershaw didn’t live up to it. He lost two games, going 0-2, and had a miserable ERA of 7.82. He got some heat for it, and really, he should have. The league’s premier pitcher had a awful time when it mattered most. You deserve that criticism and heat, no matter how good you really are.
Even with Kershaw’s struggles, the regular season stats don’t lie. His WAR wound up at 7.5, which is a ton for a pitcher who plays in 30 games a year. He’s in his prime. That’s no doubt. Kershaw’s got a lot of baseball left, and is still chasing that oh-so glorious ring. He’ll get it, eventually. Trust me on that.
AL: Corey Kluber
I found this shocking, but in the end, I realized it was the right choice. For any average baseball fan, (for example the kids who find it boring, yet think they know a whole lot come October) Kluber may have been an afterthought, or maybe haven’t even been heard of.
Kluber though, had a incredible season. After going 11-5 in 2013, Kluber broke out over the summer, winning a AL high 18 games. He didn’t lead every category like Kershaw, but it was how Kluber won his games. After June, he only lost three games, and in all of his wins, he pitched over six innings, most of them going into the 8th and 9th.
He doesn’t blow games. Kluber is someone who you can rely on for at least seven innings. That’s what gets you a Cy Young. He earned it.
Statistically, Kluber had a ERA of 2.44. He only led the AL in wins, starts, and FIP, but it’s not that his stats were bad. C’mon, don’t complain about it, there still amazing.
As I said at the top, I was surprised when Kluber’s name was announced, but it’s nice for a change, and if you break it down, his numbers were better than Felix Hernandez’s. Feilx is still the king, but the next big-time pitcher in the AL may be upon us.
AL: Mike Trout
It’s kind of hard to believe this is Mike Trout’s first MVP, but it’s also kind of hard to believe that this past season was only Trout’s 4th. He is so good, it’s hard to put in words.
The vote was unanimous. 30 out of 30 voters picked him, making Trout the youngest to ever win unanimously. This past year, he had 111 RBI’s, which led the AL. Trout also led his league in runs (115) and total bases (338).
And to mention his outstanding defense, he caught 99.4% of balls hit at him. Those catches though, didn’t come easy. We’ve seen Trout make ridiculous catches in the past, and this year, it just continued.
The dude earned it. Seeing Michael Bradley win would have been cool, but Trout just had the better numbers and the credibility.
Trout is only going to get better. He may not be in his prime yet. Think about that. A little scary, eh? This may just be the start, and he’s already the best player in the AL. I wonder what he will be in five years? 20?
NL: Clayton Kershaw
I obviously already wrote about Kershaw, because he won the NL Cy Young Award. I’m not going copy and paste what I already said, but I believe it’s little unfair to Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen. The Cy Young is a pitcher’s award. The MVP is open to everyone. Let’s switch it. Again, any position player who’s up against Clayton Kershaw is going to lose. Kershaw plays 30 games a year! Just saying.