Knuckleballs

Unpredictable, rare, and occasionally effective…but always entertaining.

AL and NL Awards

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Over the next two weeks, Major League Baseball will announce the award winners for the 2010 season.  There’s always a lot of debate about these awards; most of them, we’ll forget about quickly.

I don’t know enough about how much impact managers have and I don’t care enough about Gold Gloves to have too much of an opinion about those.  But here would be my official ballots for the other awards.  3 spots on the ballot for rookies, 5 for pitchers, 10 for the MVP award.  Without further ado:

American League Rookie of the Year

1.  Austin Jackson

2.  Brian Matusz

3.  Danny Valencia

This crop of rookies isn’t great, but these guys had good seasons.  The argument for Jackson centers around his 675 plate appearances and .293 batting average (helped by a .396 BABIP).  Playing a good centerfield for an entire season puts him over Matusz for me, who went 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA in the very difficult AL East.  He made 32 starts, pitched 175 innings, and is already Baltimore’s best starting pitcher.  Valencia hit .311 at third base for the Twins and solidified a position that was killing them in the first half of the season.  Valencia played just 85 games, which just isn’t enough playing time for me; it’s also my argument against Neftali Feliz, who might have been the best (and be the most talented) of all these guys, but who pitched just 69 innings to get his 40 saves.  Whoever wins will be fine with me.

National League Rookie of the Year

1.  Jason Heyward

2.  Buster Posey

3.  Jamie Garcia

Unlike the American League, the National League had a host of good rookies.  In addition to the three above, Mike Stanton, Stephen Strasburg, Starlin Castro, Ike Davis, Alcides Escobar, Gaby Sanchez, Jhoulys Chacin, and Mike Leake all had promising starts to their careers.  Jaime Garcia pitched 163 innings with a 2.70 ERA and still should finish a distant third.  I’m not going to complain about either of the first two guys winning.  Posey played the more difficult position and was the heart of his team’s offense.  Heyward was slightly better, much younger (doing what he did at age 20 is very rare), and played the entire season.  I know that Posey missing the first two months wasn’t his fault, but Heyward played, and played well, and thus gets the edge.

American League Cy Young

1.  Felix Hernandez

2.  Francisco Liriano

3.  Cliff Lee

4.  CC Sabathia

5.  Justin Verlander

Apologies to David Price, Jered Weaver, and Jon Lester.  Hernandez wins because he finished in the top three in the American League in the following categories:  ERA, hits per 9 innings, WHIP, strikeouts, complete games, innings pitched, FIP, xFIP, and WAR.  Yeah, that’ll do.  He finished 13-12, which will be tough for some voters to choose over the 21-7 Sabathia, but he’s the only answer.

National League Cy Young

1.  Roy Halladay

2.  Adam Wainwright

3.  Josh Johnson

4.  Tim Lincecum

5.  Ubaldo Jiminez

Hernandez’s season was good; Halladay’s was better.  A 2.44 ERA in 250 innings, he struck out 219 hitters and walked only 30.  He threw 9 complete games and 4 shutouts in 33 starts.  He finished second in the NL in WHIP (1.04), third in ERA, and first in xFIP.  All of the guys on this list were really good this season, but Halladay was the best.  219 K to 30 BB in 250 innings?  Legit.

American League Most Valuable Player

1.  Josh Hamilton

2.  Evan Longoria

3.  Miguel Cabrera

4.  Jose Bautista

5.  Adrian Beltre

6.  Robinson Cano

7.  Felix Hernandez

8.  Joe Mauer

9.  Cliff Lee

10.  Shin-Soo Choo

Despite missing the final month of the season, Hamilton was clearly the best player in the American League this season.  Playing 133 games is the only reason that this award wouldn’t be Hamilton’s, and no one else makes a really strong case.  Hamilton can play defense (both left and center), run a little, and can flat-out mash.

National League Most Valuable Player

1.  Joey Votto

2.  Albert Pujols

3.  Ryan Zimmerman

4.  Carlos Gonzalez

5.  Troy Tulowitzki

6.  Roy Halladay

7.  Matt Holliday

8.  Adam Wainwright

9.  Adrian Gonzalez

10.  Aubrey Huff

Votto and Pujols had basically the same season.  Look at the top two rows of this table.  I’m going with Votto because Cincinnati was better.  I’m generally not a big fan of “guy on better team should win MVP,” but these two guys are so close that it’s the only tiebreaker left.  Also, I think it’s fair to note that this was the second worst season of Prince Albert’s career, and I’m putting him second on my fake MVP ballot.

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Written by Dan Hennessey

November 9, 2010 at 11:10 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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