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Major League Baseball has announced their finalist for their major awards for the 2019 season. The week of November 11, players will be honored and enter into exclusive fraternities that only a select few have been granted access into. This is the week that decides the Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Manager of the Year awards.
American League Rookie of the Year:
Nominees: – John Means, pitcher, Baltimore Orioles
– Yordan Alvarez, outfielder, Houston Astros
– Brandon Lowe, second baseman, Tampa Bay Rays
It’s easy to say that because Alvarez played for Houston and they made it to World Series that it’s his award to win. That’s not why he’ll win it though. He was second among rookies in batting average, runs batted in, and home runs in the American League.
Lowe was only a top five in one of those categories. If Means had a great season, then perhaps we could talk about anyone else but his 12-11 record and 3.60 earned run average sink him.
Winner: Yordan Alvarez
National League Rookie of the Year:
Nominees: – Pete Alonso, first baseman, New York Mets
– Mike Soroka, starting pitcher, Atlanta Braves
– Fernando Tatis, shortstop, San Diego Padres
One of these names is a lock to win, and probably should be an MVP candidate (spoiler, he isn’t). Tatis may have had a much higher batting average and Soroka may have looked outstanding as a pitcher. Unfortunately for them, Alonso had a rookie Aaron Judge-like season and as anybody can tell you: when you hit over 50 home runs and 120 RBI, just take the trophy.
Winner: Pete Alonso
American League Manager of the Year:
– Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
– Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
– Rocco Baldelli, Minnesota Twins
Most years, what Baldelli did would be outstanding: lead a franchise that hasn’t been to the American League Division Series since 2010 there as a rookie coach. This wasn’t most years though. What Boone accomplished this year with most of the roster injured and having to go with “plug-and-play” players nets him the honors.
Winner: Aaron Boone
National League Manager of the Year:
– Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers
– Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals
– Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
The fact that the manager of the World Series champion Washington Nationals, Dave Martinez, isn’t considered after taking a team that started off horribly to being the World Series champions is just stunning. Of the names listed though, Snitker will probably win his second consecutive award.
He lead Atlanta in what was the most competitive National League East in a long time. The way they dominated, that should wrap it up for him.
Winner: Brian Snitker
American League Cy Young:
– Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
– Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
– Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays
Cole and Verlander put up very similar numbers in terms of wins, ERA and strike outs, both of which are higher than Morton’s numbers. Usually when teammates face off for the same awards, it splits the vote and leads to the third candidate pulling off the upset. This time though, expect Cole to win… and then sign elsewhere.
Winner: Gerrit Cole
National League Cy Young:
– Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
– Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
– Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Last year, deGrom won the Cy Young Award despite not leading in wins. This year, he may do just the same. While Ryu has more wins and a lower ERA, he had better run support. deGrom didn’t have the deck that Ryu had, which may give him the advantage.
Winner: Jacob deGrom
American League Most Valuable Player:
– Mike Trout, outfielder, Los Angeles Angels
– Marcus Siemien, shortstop, Oakland A’s
– Alex Bregman, third baseman, Houston Astros
Trout will always be the front runner for this award because of how crucial he is to Los Angeles. This year though, Bregman should have his name called. In a season full injuries for Houston, he played nearly every position and put up amazing numbers. Trout had the better numbers but Bregman was more valuable.
Winner: Alex Bregman
National League Most Valuable Player:
– Christian Yelich, outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
– Anthony Rendon, third baseman, Washington Nationals
– Cody Bellinger, outfielder and first baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers
This award is essentially a two person race between Rendon and Bellinger. Rendon had the most RBIs in baseball, while Bellinger had one of the best Wins Above Replacement in baseball. Because of how much more complete he was, Bellinger gets the edge. Though it does bring up a good question: had Yelich not gotten hurt in a crucial point in the season, how would these results change?
Winner: Cody Bellinger