With Major League Baseball nearing the end of its 2016 season, Maxwell Cromett and Willy Goldstein give their picks for Season Awards.
Most Valuable Player
MC: American League: Mookie Betts — Boston Red Sox
At the age of 24, Betts batted .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBIs on the season. Add in his 26 stolen bases and superb defense, Mookie made the best case for the American League’s most valuable player.
WG: American League: Mookie Betts — Boston Red Sox
Another 24-year-old here. The Red Sox right fielder had a breakout sea- son showing previously unknown power for his five foot nine inch frame by hitting 31 home runs and knocking in 113 runs.
MC: National League: Kris Bryant — Chicago Cubs
In just his second season in the league, Bryant hit .292 with 39 HR and 102 RBI, part of a prolific Cubs offense that was second in the NL in team batting. At the age of 24, he only looks to improve next year, and could very easily make a case for back to back NL MVPs.
WG: National League: Kris Bryant — Chicago Cubs
The 24-year-old third baseman takes home the hardware as the best player on the best team. He doesn’t hold the best batting average at .292 but hit 39 home runs in his second full year in the bigs. He now tries to lead the Chicago Cubs out of their 108 year World Series drought.
Cy Young Award
MC: American League: Rick Porcello — Boston Red Sox
Porcello paired a solid 3.15 ERA with a 22-4 win/loss record to put him slightly above the Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber (3.14 ERA and a 18-9 record). However Kluber could hold the last laugh, as the Indians hold a 2-0 series lead between the two teams.
WG: American League: Zach Britton — Baltimore Orioles
With no standout starters in the AL, Britton deserves this for a year in which he went a perfect 47-47 in save situations. He also finished with a miniscule earned run average of 0.54.
MC: National League: Max Scherzer — Washington Nationals
Scherzer’s 2.96 ERA was only the eighth best in the NL, but combine that with his 20-7 win/loss record, 284 strikeouts, and 0.97 WHIP, and you are looking at the Cy Young winner. He anchored a Nationals staff that dealt with injuries to ace Stephen Strasburg.
WG: National League: Jon Lester — Chicago Cubs
Lester had one of the best years of his career posting 5.3 wins above re- placement. This could have just as easily gone to Lester’s staff mate Kyle Hendricks, but Lester gets the nod because of a slightly higher WAR, strike-out total, and innings pitched.
Manager of the Year
MC: American League: Buck Showalter — Baltimore Orioles
Their early playoff exit aside, Showalter is a manager who finds a way to lead his team to victory any way he can. Similar to Chicago Cubs mastermind Joe Maddon, he was able to trod out a lowly pitching rotation and still make the second Wild Card spot.
WG: American League: Terry Francona — Cleveland Indians
The veteran manager took a team not expected to do much, being in the same division as the defending champions, and took them to the top of the division. He has put them in a position to win a championship.
MC: National League: Joe Maddon — Chicago Cubs
Not much debate here, as Maddon led his team to an MLB best 103 victories, and like Showalter, was able to use his creativity to win the NL Central by a ridiculous 17.5 games.
WG: National League: Dave Roberts — Los Angeles Dodgers
The rookie manager took the Dodgers back to the playoffs as division champions for the fourth consecutive year while dealing with the most injuries out of any team. He also made the most pitching changes in a season in MLB history with a bullpen that was tops in the league. Not bad for his first year.
Rookie of the Year
MC: American League: Gary Sanchez — New York Yankees
Sanchez appeared in only 53 games, but hit an astounding 20 home runs, and almost single handedly powered a sinking New York team into playoff contention. One of the greatest debuts for any rookie ever, and enough to earn this award.
WG: American League: Nomar Mazara — Texas Rangers
The Rangers outfielder has been a key contributor to the AL West champions batting .260 and hitting 20 home runs. I would love to give this to Yankees sensation Gary Sanchez, but he only played in 53 games.
MC: National League: Corey Seager — LA Dodgers
The younger brother of the Seattle Mariners Kyle Seager, Corey quickly established himself as one of the top shortstops in the league. Seager hit .308 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs in his first full season with the Dodgers.
WG: National League: Corey Seager — Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager had a great year finishing third in the NL in WAR and batting .308 while hitting 22 home runs. He was the best hitter on the Dodgers and will likely be a top 5 MVP vote.
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