…so now that the World Series has concluded, Major League Baseball is about ready to announce their award winners. The Gold Glove awards (yaaaaaaawn) were announced last night. The Blowhard of course feels like he should add his two cents, starting with the American League…and remember, the postseason does not count:
Most Valuable Player:
- Aaron Judge, NY Yankees
- Jose Altuve, Houston
- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland
- Carlos Correa, Houston
- Mike Trout, LA Angels
- Nelson Cruz, Seattle
- Brian Dozier, Minnesota
- George Springer, Houston
- Josh Donaldson, Toronto
- Corey Kluber, Cleveland
Again, a 10 person ballot, so we did what we needed to do here. Turns out MLB had the same top 3, though it appears there are really only two candidates in Judge and Altuve. Spots 3 through even 20, I suppose you could have all kinds of different orders. Since Ramirez had the same OPS as Altuve and was on the best team in the league, I went with him third.
Anyway, back to the top two candidates. It appears that Altuve may have a leg up on the real ballot, based on what is being talked about nationwide. And sure, he was consistent all year long, while Judge was miserable in August and not so good in July either. Altuve hit 62 points higher. And Judge struck out 124 more times. But if you take a deeper dive, Judge’s OPS was 92 points higher, he scored 16 more runs (with Altuve being probably in a better overall lineup), walked a ton more and of course…the 52 homers. For those of you who believe in sabermetrics and the WAR stat, Judge was on top 8.8 to 7.9.
You probably can’t go wrong either way. But what sealed it for me? Judge hit .311, with 15 homers, 32 RBI’s and a 1.352 OPS is September as the Yanks made their playoff push. I know, he may have been hitting some of those bombs against minor league callups. But one also probably should consider the pressure of a playoff race as a factor as well. Along with the fact that everyone else is hitting off the same bums too. Anyway…
As for the rest…the true MVP may well have been Correa if he hadn’t missed over 50 games. Trout obviously still stakes a real claim to being the best player in baseball. So despite Mikey missing almost 50 games himself, he’s still gotta be there. Another member of the “about 50 games missed” club is Donaldson. His team sucked after having high expectations at the start of the season. But his numbers were sick in the games he did play. So I found a place for him.
I felt that someone from that inexplicable Twin playoff team had to be in the Top Ten…so that’s why Dozier is here. And he won a Gold Glove too…YAAAAY! Cruz and Springer…I suppose Francisco Lindor, Gary Sanchez, Jose Abreu, Justin Upton, Jonathan Schoop, Edwin Encarnacion or whoever else could have filled those spots. Lastly, as I’ve said in the past, I don’t love including pitchers in the MVP race. Once every 5 days for a starter and once every 3 days or so for a closer aren’t the same as playing every single day. But for one, I included 3 guys that missed about a third of the season here. And for two, if a pitcher’s performance deserves consideration, then it deserves consideration. Kluber’s 5-0, 0.84 in September helped him to deserve consideration.
- Corey Kluber, Cleveland
- Chris Sale, Boston
- Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland
- Luis Severino, NY Yankees
- Craig Kimbrel, Boston
This race seems pretty cut and dried to me. As opposed to last year where Kluber, Rick Porcello or Justin Verlander were pretty tight and any one of them could have won. Porcello did and boy do the voters probably feel foolish about that now. Maybe not, since each year is different. But we all know Porcello was horrific this year. Kind of makes me personally want to take the award away from him last year.
As for this year, Sale had his 300 strikeouts and all and had probably had a healthy lead in this race as the summer wore on. But Kluber’s stretch run blew him past Sale to take the Cy. Severino will be third in the real world, as he has already been announced as the third finalist. I’m going with Carrasco though, maybe for the sole reason that I hate the Yankees, I don’t know. Kimbrel was pretty dominant this year, so even though I don’t love relievers in this spot, his performance was hard to ignore. If you put Verlander there, I could live with that. But Ervin Santana or Drew Pomer…nevermind.
Rookie of the Year:
- Aaron Judge, NY Yankees
- Trey Mancini, Baltimore
- Andrew Benintendi, Boston
There really is no 2nd and 3rd here. Judge will be unanimous. Mancini had a higher OPS than Benintendi (.826 to .776), so I went with him 2nd. Plus, I was continuously furious with Andrew for all the boneheaded plays he made on the bases this season. Deserves to be knocked down. There really weren’t any other choices here. Yuli Gurriel is apparently technically a rookie this year. But since he is 33 years old, has played professionally since he was about 8 and had exactly 130 at-bats in 2016 (if he had 131, he would not have been considered a rookie in 2017), I’m passing on him for my ballot. Honorable mention goes to Matt Olson of Oakland here, since he hit 24 bombs in only 59 games and 216 plate appearances this year. Maybe I should have put him second…
Manager of the Year:
- Paul Molitor, Minnesota
- A.J. Hinch, Houston
- Terry Francona, Cleveland
Hinch’s Astros won the World Series. Tito’s Indians had the best record in the league. But Molitor is the ONLY choice here. The Twins made the playoffs this year after losing 103 games in 2016. How did they do that? I have no idea. Have you seen that squad?
Dozier had a good year. Miguel Sano was having a good year…until he missed the last 6 weeks or so with some sort of shin problem. Byron Buxton woke up in the second half (and won a Gold Glove…YAAAAY). Jose Berrios developed some and Santana had a nice year leading the rotation.
But the rest? Brandon Kintzler was an All-Star closer for the team…then was dealt to the Nationals at the trading deadline. The corpse of Joe Mauer is still around…and did hit .305. Kind of an empty .305 though. The rest of the pitching staff was pretty horrendous…and they actually gave a 44-year-old Bartolo Colon 15 starts, AFTER he went 2-8, 8.14 in 13 starts for the Braves.
I can’t see how this team finished anywhere near the playoffs. So Molitor should win this thing unanimously. Though I’m sure some idiot voted for John Farrell because the Red Sox finished first this year. After all, Nick Cafardo probably has a vote, eh?
Next: The National League
Posted on November 8, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged A.J. Hinch, Aaron Judge, American League, Awards, Boston Red Sox, Chris Sale, Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, Cy Young, Houston Astros, Jose Altuve, Major League Baseball, Manager of the Year, Mike Trout, Most Valuable Player, Paul Molitor, Rookie of the Year, Terry Francona, World Series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.