It’s been a little over two weeks since the baseball season came to an end, and if you’re like me – that’s way too much time without baseball. Fortunately, the MLB saves a little something for the end of the season, a last look at the previous season.
The MLB Awards are given over the course of a couple weeks, culminating with both MVP recognitions for the American and National Leagues. So far, the following awards have been given out across the league: the Cy Young, Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Gold Glove Awards, Defensive Awards, Silver Sluggers, and Comeback Players of the Year. The league offers many more awards, in categories ranging from pitching to designated hitters.
There was a lot of anticipation this year for the Cy Young Award, an award given to the best pitcher in both the American League and National League. With contenders such as Dallas Keuchel, David Price and Sonny Gray in the AL, and Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for the NL. Keuchel, a lefty for the Houston Astros was announced as the winner for the AL. Shortly after, Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs won the award for the NL.
In the American League, Carlos Correra was named Rookie of the Year. Correra represented the best of the best in the youth of the league, being called up at just 20-years-old. The shortstop for the Astros beat Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, 17 votes to Lindor’s 13. This is the second time an Astros player has won the award, the first being Jeff Bagwell in 1991.
Rookie of the Year in the National League was not unanimously given to Kris Bryant. The Cubs as a team deserved a lot of attention this year as they fought their way into the playoffs and made it all the way to the NLCS (where they were swept by the New York Mets in four quick games). Bryant, the third basemen for the Cubs, didn’t start with the rest of his team on Opening Day. Despite the late start, the 23-year-old finished the season with a .275 average and recorded 26 homeruns.
“I just fed off the good games and tried to forget about the bad games, and it turned out to be a really good year for me,” Bryant told MLB.com.
While on the topic of the Cubs, Joe Maddon, general manager for Chicago received Manager of the Year for the National League. This is Maddon’s third time receiving the award. Over in the American League, Jeff Banister won the award for his rookie season as manager for the Texas Rangers. Banister is the fifth manager to win the award in the first season as a manager.
The MVP titles are yet to have been given out, but the finalists were announced earlier this week. In the National League, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper and Joey Votto were nominated. This is the first time since 1959 that none of the MVP candidates for the NL made it into the postseason. I’m going to go with Harper for this award. The outfielder for the Washington Nationals just had that good of a season. Harper finished the season with 118 runs, 42 homeruns, 99 RBI’s a .330 batting average and a .649 SLG. It’s also worth noting that Harper is just 23-years-old (the same age as Votto was at his debut). The other candidates also have impressive numbers, but Harper has gold stars across the board, giving him my vote. Then again, the MLB has never considered my opinion when selecting award recipients.
For the American League, Lorenzo Cain, Josh Donaldson and Mike Trout came in as the top three nominees. Donaldson, of the Toronto Blue Jays, likely has the best shot at the award. The third baseman recorded 123 RBI’s, 41 homers and he swept the Players Choice as the Outstanding Player of the AL. The center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels is the reigning champion of this award. However, he came up behind Donaldson in RBI’s (90), and extra-base hits (84). Cain, the center fielder for the World Champions (Kansas City) is not to be counted out but could be considered the underdog in the battle for MVP.