2016 MLB Awards

TJ Lovenduski & Jake Dewitt

AL MVP

TJ

Jake

Mike Trout

Mike Trout

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Manny Machado

Manny Machado

Jose Altuve

Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson

David Ortiz

We both agree that no matter how his team did this season, Mike Trout still deserves to be the MVP. He finished the season with a .315/.441/.550 slash line to go with 29 home runs, 100 RBIs, 30 stolen bases, and a league leading 116 walks. Mookie Betts benefitted from being in a much better line up. The Angels, basically, only had Trout, and it’s scary to think about how bad they would have been without him. And for all the sabremetric fans, Trout’s fWAR of 9.3 was the best in baseball this season, 1.5 fWAR above Betts.

NL MVP

TJ

Jake

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant

Corey Seager

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

Corey Seager

Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado

Brandon Crawford

Anthony Rizzo

Kris Bryant was the best player on the best team in baseball. He finished the season with an fWAR of 8.3, trailing only Mike Trout. He slashed .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs, 102 RBIs, and 121 runs. But what makes him more impressive was his defensive versatility. Bryant spent time at six different positions this season. He allowed Joe Maddon to put is best lineup on the field for any specific game by being able to play multiple positions. That’s something that voters definitely need to consider when it comes to the NL MVP.

AL Cy Young

TJ

Jake

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

Corey Kluber

Corey Kluber

Chris Sale

Aaron Sanchez

Justin Verlander

Zach Britton

Masahiro Tanaka

Chris Sale

The AL Cy Young is basically a guessing game. No pitcher really ran away with the award. We both went with Porcello as our choice. He lead the league with 22 wins, but also posted a 3.15 ERA. But he also ate up innings, throwing 223 of them this season, fourth most in the American League. There really isn’t a wrong choice here though. For comparison, here’s the fWAR of these contenders (Zach Britton is excluded):

  • Chris Sale – 5.3
  • Rick Porcello – 5.2
  • Corey Kluber – 5.1
  • Justin Verlander – 4.8
  • Masahiro Tanaka – 4.6
  • Aaron Sanchez – 3.8

So as you can see, there isn’t much at all separating these guys. Expect the first-place votes to be scattered amongst at least six candidates.

NL Cy Young

TJ

Jake

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks

Noah Syndergaard

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer

Jon Lester

Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez

Madison Bumgarner

Johnny Cueto

This was a difficult award to decide on. The issue is that every major statistical category has a different leader. No one pitcher dominated every facet of the game. In the end, we both seemed to value ERA. Cubs pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, finished the season with a 2.13 ERA. But what I find most impressive about Hendricks is that he only had 170 strike outs. That tells us that Hendricks was really dialed in this season. The ability to find a way to get guys without overpowering stuff is impressive. It means he couldn’t make mistakes. Every pitch had to be where he wanted it. That deserves some recognition.

AL Rookie of the Year

TJ

Jake

Michael Fulmer

Michael Fulmer

Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez
Tyler Naquin

Edwin Diaz

This race really came down to time spent in the Majors. Gary Sanchez set a torrid pace when he was called up to the Majors. In just 53 games he hit 20 home runs and finished with an fWAR of 3.0. But, Michael Fulmer spent the entire season in the Majors and that counts for a lot. He also finished the season with a 3.06 ERA and like Sanchez, an fWAR of 3.0. But we give Fulmer the edge.

NL Rookie of the Year

TJ

Jake

Corey Seager

Corey Seager

Trea Turner

Trea Turner
Aledmys Diaz

Aledmys Diaz

This really isn’t much of a race. Corey Seager has been the best rookie in baseball this season. He’s honestly been one of the best players in baseball this season with a .308/.365/.512 slash line in 157 games. Turner played well slashing .342/.370/.567 with 33 stolen bases, but he only played in 73 games. But, we should definitely be excited to see what Turner can do next season. He has the potential to be one of the most exciting players in baseball. Aledmys Diaz looked like a strong candidate in July after batting .315, smashing 13 homers, and plating 48 baserunners. But Diaz spent significant time on the DL and appeared in just 30 games in the second half.

AL Manager of the Year

TJ

Jake

Terry Francona

Terry Francona

John Farrell

Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter

John Farrell

Terry Francona did a tremendous job in Cleveland this season. Francona lost arguably his best player, Michael Brantley, at the beginning of the season and dealt with a number of injuries to some of his key arms. Kluber also struggled at times this season. But what’s most impressive is his ability to blend the new and the old. It’s no secret that Francona somehow manages to blend the new school sabremetric approach with the old school scouting approach. It’s a difficult thing to do, but Francona does it better than anyone.

NL Manager of the Year

TJ

Jake

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon
Dusty Baker

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

Dusty Baker

Joe Maddon lead the Chicago Cubs to baseball’s best record. He also has them looking like a team that has a real shot at the World Series. They do everything well. And Maddon has shown that he’s not afraid to go against the norm. It’s hard to vote against a guy like that. Although Baker and Roberts, definitely deserve credit for their work with Nationals and Dodgers, respectively. Any of these managers are truly deserving of the award.

Stats courtesy of fangraphs.com

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Author: Thrive Nation

Amateur sports journalism blog, primarily posting about the latest happenings in EPL, MLB, NFL, and Boxing.

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