…now for the National League. Full disclosure: The Blowhard watches a whole helluva more American League baseball than National League. This may be quick…
Most Valuable Player:
- Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
- Daniel Murphy, Washington
- Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
- Nolan Arenado, Colorado
- Freddie Freeman, Atlanta
- Joey Votto, Cincinnati
- Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
- Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets
- Buster Posey, San Francisco
- Corey Seager, LA Dodgers
10 guys is definitely steep here, as from what I can tell it’s Bryant and then 9 other guys to fill out the ballot. Murphy 2nd? Why not? He led the league in OPS. He was 13th in WAR? Oh no!! I can’t in good conscience put Arenado at #2. Sure, his numbers are once again great. But again…Colorado. I felt like Murphs deserved to be higher than Rizzo and it feels like 2-4 is the next “tier” after Bryant.
5-7…MVP’s? I don’t know. These guys all had great years, but their teams were awful. I have friends that would probably put Freeman 2nd, since he was 3rd in both OPS and WAR and well, it doesn’t matter that his team finished 26 and a half games out of first. They also probably would put Jon Lester 3rd, since he is…Jon Lester. You know who you are.
8-10 I was just throwing darts. Even considered Wilson Ramos. Ryan Braun had some decent numbers, but…
Speaking of Lester, he may well have been worthy of a top 10 nod, along with Max Scherzer. And perhaps Madison Bumgarner. Didn’t feel it here though. If you do, I wouldn’t argue with it. Like I said, the whole list was basically a crapshoot anyway.
- Max Scherzer, Washington
- Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
- Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
- Johnny Cueto, San Francisco
- Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
Here’s a ballot that could use the 10 spots. Not that all of those 10 could be considered the winner of the Cy Young. But there were several others in the league that warranted “end of ballot” consideration. These include, Noah Syndergaard, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Martinez, Jake Arrieta and the late Jose Fernandez. Perhaps Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon too, if you like your closers. We know I don’t though.
I see this as between just Scherzer and Lester. And, of course, as a Boston homer, I would’ve loved to give this to Jon. But after going deeper into the numbers there was no way I could do it. Lester had a better ERA by about a half a run. But that’s where it ends. Max had a better WHIP by a smidge, pitched about 26 more innings, had one more win, almost 90 more strikeouts…and for those who like WAR, it was 6.2 to 5.3 in favor of Max. The competition in their divisions were similar with one playoff or near playoff team, one average team and 2 putrid ones. Plus the Cubs won their division handily and surely faced less pressure…not a major consideration, but it was all part of the equation that added up to Max.
Bumgarner and Cueto were a pretty clear next tier to me. Hendricks got the last spot largely because he led the league in ERA by a healthy margin and was 2nd in WHIP by a slim margin. Pushed him ahead of Noah for me. But I didn’t lose a ton of sleep over 5th place.
Rookie of the Year:
- Corey Seager, LA Dodgers
- Kenta Maeda, LA Dodgers
- Trea Turner, Washington
Seager was the clear-cut choice here. No other hitter played enough to qualify, while Seager played the whole year at a high level. I don’t love putting Maeda second, not after 8 years of pitching in the Japanese leagues. Yes, Japan is not the majors. But it’s probably better than Triple-A teams stateside. Either way, the rules say he is eligible for this award. Since he was also around for a full season and put up some pretty good numbers on a playoff team, he gets the runner-up position.
Third place could have gone a few ways, but I picked Turner. Showed great speed (33 steals) and good power (13 dingers) in about half a season. Throw in the high average (.342) and that sealed up third for me. Trevor Story was on his way to throwing up some monster numbers before missing the last 2 months or so with injury, but…Colorado. Aledmys Diaz also threw up decent numbers before he missed the better part of the last two months himself. And he was an All-Star, for whatever that’s worth. Seung-hwan Oh had a very nice year in relief for the Cards. After 9 years in Korea and 2 in Japan. Plus…reliever. Junior Guerra, Steven Matz, etc. There were a bunch of NL rookies who offered pretty good contributions for a half or three-quarters of a year.
Manager of the Year:
- Dusty Baker, Washington
- Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs
- Bruce Bochy, San Francisco
Between Baker and Maddon and I hate Maddon, so gimme Baker. Nah, that’s not the reason. But it’s hard to vote for a guy that won the division by 17 and a half games and was on cruise control for pretty much the whole season. That’s what I think anyway. Sure, he had to keep the team full of All-Stars focused and all. Sometimes that can be hard (see Francona, Terry and Torre, Joe, among others). But I went with Baker for the top slot. Dusty took over for Matt Williams and guided the Nationals to 12 more wins…despite a MAJOR drop off from 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper.
If you wanted to put Terry Collins of the Mets 3rd, that would be ok. He had to deal with many injuries, specifically in his rotation, where among all his young studs 43-year-old Bartolo Colon ended up making the most starts. The team suffered injuries in his lineup as well. And Collins still got them to the playoffs. Bochy didn’t necessarily have to deal with a boatload of injuries. But he did have to deal with a subpar everything, other than Posey, Bumgarner and Cueto. Either one works for 3rd for me.
That about sums it all up…