September 30, 2013

Picking Major League Baseball's Award Winners

By - Jaquan Murphy

Now that we've reached the end of Major League Baseball's regular season, it's time to hand out some awards.

While some of these picks may be somewhat under the radar, all of these players deserve recognition for their stellar play this year.

And the winners are...

American League Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Photo by: Mike Janes
Last year's AL MVP did more than enough to defend his title this season, even if he did fall short of a second-consecutive Triple Crown. Cabrera's offensive dominance is simply unmatched, and the combination of a .348 average partnered with 44 homers and 137 RBI on a first-place finishing club is what separates the 30-year-old from the rest of the field.

Runner-Up: Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

If not for another great year by Cabrera, Davis would be the talk of the baseball world, seeing as how 53 home run/138 RBI seasons aren't exactly common in the post-steroids era. He was also pivotal in keeping the Orioles in the playoff picture until the final week of the season, which is always a big plus as far as MVP voting goes.

National League Most Valuable Player: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Many players may have put up better numbers than McCutchen, but none were more valuable to their team's overall success; his WAR of 8 reflects that. And it's not like a .317 average, 21 homers and 83 RBI are numbers to dismiss. The three-time All-Star showed his worth in other aspects of the game as well, stealing 27 bases and posting a .982 fielding percentage. Besides, when you're one of the primary reasons your team managed to end a 20+ year postseason drought, you deserve some love from the BBWAA.

Runner-Up: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

This may come as a surprise to some people, but it really shouldn't. Freeman sits tied for fourth in the NL with a .319 average, to go along with 23 home runs and 107 runs batted in on a first-place Atlanta Braves team. On a squad where many of the other bats have battled either injuries or inconsistency, the 24-year-old has remained a steady stick in Atlanta's lineup.

American League Cy Young: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

What do you get when you partner a 21-3 record and 240 strikeouts with a 2.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP? The best pitcher in the American League in 2013, that's what. Justin who?

Runner-Up: Bartolo Colon, Oakland A's

Logging his most wins (18) since 2005 and his lowest ERA (2.65) since 2002, Colon proved that he can still be a force on the mound, even at 40. The veteran helped anchor a young A's pitching staff, and played a big role in Oakland winning the American League West for the second-straight year.

National League Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Perhaps the easiest decision of all the awards this season, Kershaw's stat line is nothing short of spectacular; 16 wins, 1.83 ERA, 232 strikeouts, 0.92 WHIP. The 24-year-old left-hander also takes home his third-consecutive ERA title, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since Greg Maddux did it from 1993 to 1995.

Runner-Up: Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

The Marlins were so terrible that Fernandez has no chance of actually winning the award, earning a decision in just 18 of his 28 starts. However, everything he could control, he controlled beautifully. His 2.19 ERA and 0.98 WHIP show that this kid will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come, barring some sort of unforeseen injury or setback.

American League Rookie of the Year: Wil Myers, Tampa Bay Rays
Runner-Up: Cody Allen, Cleveland Indians

National League Rookie of the Year: Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
Runner-Up: Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

American League Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox
Runner-Up: Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

National League Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
Runner-Up: Don Mattingly, Los Angeles Dodgers

In a season packed full of outstanding performances, these men took their games to another level, and showed that they're more than deserving of hardware to honor their hard work and phenomenal contributions to their respective teams this year.

It'll be interesting to see if the voters see things the same way.


  1. Some really great performances this season ... and at least the Marlins have *something* to be grateful for! :)

  2. Agreed on all counts. If the diamondbacks had played better down the stretch I would have to give the NL MVP to Goldschmidt though. That's probably the toughest award here to predict.