Friday, September 30, 2011

Balk 5 - Award predictions

American League Cy Young
Justin Verlander 

Do I really need to write anything here? Weaver put up a great fight, but it was Verlander's award since August.

National League Cy Young
Roy Halladay

Kershaw has a lower ERA, WHIP, and more Wins and Strikeouts. He won 2 more games, a .07 lower ERA, .06 lower WHIP, 28 more Strikeouts, and gave up 19 more Walks. He also had 9 starts against the Padres and Giants. Call me biased, but the schedule Halladay faced was more imposing in a more difficult park yet he still gave up fewer walks and homers than Kershaw. Doc also had 8 complete games against Kershaw's 5.

National League MVP
Matt Kemp

I don't think I really need to explain this pick. Some give it to Braun, but it's Kemp's season considering the lack of supporting cast, management controversy, and position difficulty.

American League MVP
Jacoby Ellsbury

Sorry Bautista, but Jacoby played in 8 more games with no DH appearances compared to your dozen. 154 games in center produced 0 errors compared to Bautista's 8 errors in fewer games in the field. Attention all Yankee candidates, the fact that there is more than one of  you means none of you were "most valuable" to the team let alone league. Jacoby also hit .358 during the Red Sox September slide. Without that performance the Wild Card race doesn't go down to the final game and the Sox collapse is even more epic.

National League Rookie of the Year
Craig Kimbrel

The Braves decided to pitch their rookie closer until his arm fell off and fell out of the wild card race as a consequence. But throughout the season Kimbrel was dynamic and lockdown with his 46 Saves, securing himself his own piece of hardware if not a post season appearance.

American League Rookie of the Year
Mark Trumbo

I know Eric Hosmer, Michael Pineada, and J.P. Arencebia are getting a lot of media time in the AL ROY debate, simply put they shouldn't be in the mix. Arencibia was a monster for game appearances but batted .229 on the year. Pineada won his last game in July and had a second half ERA of 5.12 as the season wore down on him. Ivan Nova is tougher but with 7 starts the year before I don't really count him as a rookie. Hosmer has been on fire since August. Great, I'm sure the Red Sox wish there weren't a previous 3 months in the season too but unfortunately there were. Trumbo as a rookie won his team's MVP award and had them on the cusp of a decisive series before breaking a bone in his foot. For a guy expecting to only be a place holder for star Kendrys Morales for a few weeks at the start of the season, I think that's ROY material if I've ever seen it.

National League Comeback Player of the Year
Ryan Vogelsong

Journeyman who last pitched in 2006 for a MLB club turned vital part of the Giant's rotation and All-Star in 2011. He went from AAA player to innings eater who was flat out dominate at times throughout the season. Easy call even though I know some throw Berkman's hat in the ring.

American League Comeback Player of the Year
Jacoby Ellsbury

An injury wasted 2010 didn't slow Ellsbury down from propelling himself not only into the MVP debate, but easily secures his comeback award. 

American League Silver Sluggers

Catcher Victor Martinez
First Miguel Cabrera
Second Dustin Pedroia
Short Asdrubal Cabrera
Third Adrian Beltre
Right Field Jose Bautista
Center Field Jacoby Ellsbury
Left Field Alex Gordon
Designated Hitter Michael Young

A few comments. Victor Martinez is a no brainer despite being not a full catcher. Cabrera same deal. Pedroia vs Cano came down to a higher OBP, more steals, and almost the same number of RBI despite the horrendous April and September the Sox went through. The parity of production despite the epic decline of the team really pushed Pedroia over the top. 

National League Silver Sluggers

Catcher Miguel Montero
Pitcher Daniel Hudson
First Prince Fielder
Second Brandon Phillips
Short Jose Reyes
Third Aramis Ramirez
Right Field Justin Upton
Center Field Matt Kemp
Left Field Ryan Braun

I don't think any of these actually need to be explained.

American League Gold Glovers

Catcher Matt Wieters
First Adrian Gonzalez 
Second Dustin Pedroia
Short Jhonny Peralta
Third Adrian Beltre
Right Field Nick Markakis
Center Field Peter Bourjos
Left Field Alex Gordon
Pitcher Dan Haren

National League Gold Glovers

Catcher Yadier Molina
First Joey Votto 
Second Neil Walker
Short Troy Tulowitzki
Third Placido Polanco
Right Field Jay Bruce
Center Field Matt Kemp
Left Field Ryan Braun
Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda