2017 MLB Awards
With the MLB Season finished, and the stats finalized we are now entering awards season. Now is the time where we see the best players stack up to see who’s going to win awards such as the Cy Young, Silver Slugger, or the coveted MVP award. For the purposes of this text I will be saying my picks for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie Of The Year awards for both the AL and the NL.
AL Rookie of the Year: The AL Rookie of the year is a pretty clear choice in my mind, and this player is also a strong choice for AL MVP. The player I chose to win AL Rookie of the Year is Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge. What can be said about Judge that already hasn’t been. In 2017 he rebounded from serious struggles the previous season, leading him to a batting average over .300 and over 30 home runs by the all-star break. With those numbers Judge got himself selected to his first all-star game where he was the AL’s starting right fielder, and was also selected to participate in the Home Run Derby, where he took home the championship in the derby. As expected, in the second half he wasn’t able to keep up the phenomenal pace he had in the first half struggling mightily. Despite these struggles Judge still finished the season strong and helped the Yankees get into the playoffs,and move on to the ALCS where they were eliminated by the Astros. Judge finished the season with a .284 batting average, and slugged 52 home runs driving in 114 runs. Judge had a very strong rookie campaign for the Yankees, and will look to keep up his pace next year, and for several years to come.
NL Rookie of the Year: As well as the AL Rookie of the Year award, I believe the NL Rookie of the Year is a clear choice as well, and this player didn’t even play the full season. This player is the Dodger’s own Cody Bellinger. Despite missing most of April due to the fact he was still in the minor leagues, Bellinger was phenomenal throughout the season. The Dodgers outfielder/ first baseman slugged 39 home runs in the regular season, good for 3rd in the NL. Bellinger also hit a respectable .267, driving in 97 runs in his shortened time in the bigs. Despite not starting the season in the big leagues, Cody Bellinger made a big impact for the Dodgers and on baseball as a whole.
AL Cy Young Award: This year’s AL Cy Young isn’t as clear cut as it’s Rookie of the Year. Although it seemed like it was a runaway earlier in the year, a strong second half from this pitcher seals the deal for their second Cy Young award, and that player is Indians ace Corey Kluber. Although it seemed like Chris Sale was finally going to win a Cy Young with his new team, Corey Kluber’s second half, and overall strong year gives him the edge over his former divisional rival. Kluber finished the season with a 2.25 ERA, the best mark in all of baseball among qualified pitchers, and racked up 18 wins, again tied for the best mark in baseball. After winning his first Cy Young Award in 2013, Kluber proved why that wasn’t a fluke as his strong pitching performances this season helped the Indians win 22 games straight, and 102 games overall in the regular season. For me, Kluber’s stellar 2017 campaign makes him the right choice for AL Cy Young.
NL Cy Young Award: The race for the NL Cy Young is between 2 aces, and 2 of the best pitchers in the entire game. One pitcher has not only won the Cy Young before, he’s actually won the Cy Young in both leagues. The other pitcher has also won a few Cy Young Awards before, but an MVP award as well. These players are Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Both these players are quite deserving as between the both of them, they led the league in ERA, wins, strikeouts, WHIP, and batting average against. Sadly only one player can be picked to win the Cy Young award, and after reviewing the stats, my pick for NL Cy Young is Max Scherzer. Mad Max as he’s nicknamed was phenomenal this year, and arguably improved upon his campaign last year where we won the NL Cy Young Award. This season Scherzer pitched just over 200 innings, finishing the season with a 2.51 ERA (second in the NL), 268 strikeouts (first in the NL), and a .178 batting average against (first in the NL). Although Kershaw had a slightly better ERA and had more wins, the Nationals righty is my pick for the NL Cy Young award.
AL MVP Award: Now for the most important award of them all, the most valuable player award. Although there were many solid candidates this season, 2 players stand out from the rest. One is a rookie sensation who took the baseball world by storm, and the other is a short but still a 5-tool player in every sense of the word. In my mind however the AL MVP should go to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. Although it was a tight race, and Judge arguably has better stats with his impressive home run total, the word valuable in Most Valuable Player award seals the deal for Altuve. Once again the mighty midget led the league in batting average by batting a phenomenal .346 in the regular season. Altuve also had 204 hits in the regular season, the most in the AL as he was the only player to surpass 200 hits in the American League this season. Although Altuve didn’t have a super high RBI total as he knocked in only 81 runs, his consistency when getting on base, his ability to get a hit, and his stellar defense makes him the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2017 season.
NL MVP Award: The NL MVP is a 3 horse race, and for very good reason. An overall strong season from 2 different first basemen keep them in the race with a slugger from South Beach’s phenomenal second half. Between Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, and Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, the MVP award should go to Stanton. Although his first half numbers wouldn’t jump out at you, they were still quite good as he earned himself an all-star game selection, and was a starter for the National League squad. The second half is when Stanton took off however, where he hit 33 home runs and drove in 74 runs. Although Stanton didn’t get a chance to taste the postseason, he was still the Most Valuable Player in the NL. By mashing the baseball at a historic pace, and by being so consistent at driving runs in a pitchers friendly ballpark mind you, Stanton was the MVP of the National League.