Saturday, September 24, 2011

2011 MLB Awards

     Just like with my NFL Predictions post, I am going to make my predictions for a sport.  This time it will be for the MLB and I will try and determine who I think should win all of the major awards.  From the league MVP down to the Rookie of the year, I'll toss out who I believe should win the award.  I've really been looking forward to doing this post, but knew I should wait until September was close to ending, to coincide with the ending of the MLB regular season.  I'll start with the American League winners and then the National League's.  I'll even post who I think will win the American & National League and also ultimately, the World Series.  The stats that I post with the selections are accurate as of today (September 24th) while they probably won't change drastically between now and the end of the season, it's worth noting.  I finally get to make my predictions and here they are...

American League

Most Valuable Player - Justin Verlander (SP - Detroit Tigers)
Stats: W-L - 24-5 ERA - 2.29 SO - 244 WHIP - 0.91

This is a pretty shocking selection for me, because I'm one of those people who subscribes to the theory that a pitcher has his award (the Cy Young) so he has no business being in contention for the MVP.  The MVP should be reserved for position players, but I can't justify picking any other player over Justin Verlander.  Without Verlander, the Tigers would be a .500 team or worse.  He has been their number 1 guy all season long and their anchor.  This guy goes out on the mound every game and has the ability to throw a no-hitter.  He is flat nasty.  The Tigers go into the playoffs this year, as the AL Central division champions with the best pitcher in baseball leading the way.  There is not a team in the league who wants to face the Tigers knowing there's a good chance they would have to face Verlander twice in a 5 or 7 game series. 

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Adrian Gonzalez (1B - Boston Red Sox)
3 - Curtis Granderson (OF - New York Yankees)

Cy Young - Justin Verlander (SP - Detroit Tigers)
Stats: W-L - 24-5 ERA - 2.29 SO - 244 WHIP - 0.91

So yeah, I will fully admit that I took all the suspense out of this award with my initial announcement for AL MVP.  If the guy is going to win the MVP and he's a pitcher, it's a no-brainer that he would win the Cy Young award as well.  I just truly believe that Verlander has been head and shoulders above EVERYONE in Major League Baseball all season long and he deserves an excess amount of recognition.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Jered Weaver (SP - Los Angeles Angels)
3 - CC Sabathia (SP - New York Yankees)

Rookie of the Year - Jeremy Hellickson (SP - Tampa Bay Rays)
Stats: W-L - 13-10 ERA - 2.90 SO - 116 WHIP - 1.13
Oh look, the Tampa Bay Rays have another young stud player to add to their team.  This guy has helped propel the Rays back into the AL Wild Card race since emerging from the all-star break.  He had a good first half but has completely dominated in the second half the season.  It remains to be seen if the Rays can catch Boston for the Wild Card, odds are they won't, but it's been a hell of a season for Hellickson as he joins James Shields & David Price as the future of this organization's pitching staff.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Eric Hosmer (1B - Kansas City Royals)
3 - Jordan Walden (CL - Los Angeles Angels)

Manager of the Year - Joe Maddon (Tampa Bay Rays)
This guy, Joe Maddon, is one of the best motivators in the game today.  He plays in a city with awful fans and a team with a low payroll and he still manages to chug out a good competitive team year in and year out.  This past off-season the Rays lost Carlos Pena, Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Jason Bartlett, Grant Balfour, Matt Garza, & signed the knuckle-head Manny Ramirez who didn't play a single game for them.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention that their best position player going into the season, Evan Longoria, has had a pretty awful season.  Yet, despite all of this, Joe Maddon is still leading this team in the thick of things down to the last 2 weeks of September.  It's a testament to the guy as a manager and the team as a whole.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Manny Acta (Cleveland Indians)
3 - Joe Girardi (New York Yankees)

Gold Glove - (P) - Mark Buehrle (Chicago White Sox)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - C.J. Wilson (Texas Rangers)
3 - Colby Lewis (Texas Rangers)

Gold Glove - (C) - Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Kurt Suzuki (Oakland Athletics)
3 - J.P. Arencibia (Toronto Blue Jays)

Gold Glove - (1B) - Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Mark Teixeira (New York Yankees)
3 - Mark Trumbo (Los Angeles Angels)

Gold Glove - (2B) - Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Howie Kendrick (Los Angeles Angels)
3 - Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers)

Gold Glove - (3B) - Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Adrian Beltre (Texas Rangers)
3 - Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox) 

Gold Glove - (SS) - Alexei Ramirez (Chicago White Sox)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland Indians)
3 - Derek Jeter (New York Yankees)

Gold Glove - (OF) - Peter Bourjos (Los Angeles Angels)

Gold Glove - (OF) - Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox)

Gold Glove - (OF) - Brett Gardner (New York Yankees)
Honorable Mentions:
4 - Austin Jackson (Detroit Tigers)
5 - Ichiro (Seattle Mariners)
6 - Melky Cabrera (Kansas City Royals)
7 - Torii Hunter (Los Angeles Angels)
8 - Carl Crawford (Boston Red Sox)
9 - Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)

Silver Slugger - (DH) - Michael Young (Texas Rangers)
Stats: BA - .336 HR - 11 RBI - 104 OBP - .378
Honorable Mentions:
2 - David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox)
3 - Victor Martinez (Detroit Tigers)

Silver Slugger - (C) - Alex Avila (Detroit Tigers)
Stats: BA - .300 HR - 19 RBI - 77 OBP - .392
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles)
3 - Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians)

Silver Slugger - (1B) - Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox)
Stats: BA - .341 HR - 27 RBI - 116 OBP - .409
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers)
3 - Paul Konerko (Chicago White Sox)

Silver Slugger - (2B) - Robinson Cano (New York Yankees)
Stats: BA - .305 HR - 27 RBI - 116 OBP - .352
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)
3 - Howie Kendrick (Los Angeles Angels)

Silver Slugger - (3B) - Adrian Beltre (Texas Rangers)
Stats: BA - .289 HR - 29 RBI - 100 OBP - .327
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox)
3 - Mark Reynolds (Baltimore Orioles)

Silver Slugger - (SS) - Jhonny Peralta (Detroit Tigers)
Stats: BA - .297 HR - 19 RBI - 81 OBP - .345
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland Indians)
3 - Yunel Escobar (Toronto Blue Jays)

Silver Slugger - (OF) - Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox)
Stats: BA - .319 HR - 28 RBI - 98 OBP - .374
Silver Slugger - (OF) - Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays)
Stats: BA - .303 HR - 42 RBI - 101 OBP - .447
Silver Slugger - (OF) - Curtis Granderson (New York Yankees)
Stats: BA - .270 HR - 41 RBI - 119 OBP - .372
Honorable Mentions:
4 - Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)
5 - Melky Cabrera (Kansas City Royals)
6 - Josh Hamilton (Texas Rangers)
7 - Michael Cuddyer (Minnesota Twins)
8 - Nick Markakis (Baltimore Orioles)
9 - Matt Joyce (Tampa Bay Rays)

National League

Most Valuable Player - Matt Kemp (OF - Los Angeles Dodgers)
Stats: BA - .325 HR - 36 RBI - 118 OBP - .402
I had A LOT of trouble deciding this one.  Since the beginning of September I have been debating this award in my head.  Unlike in the American League, where I decided Verlander was getting the award months ago, I've gone back and forth with several different players.  Prince Fielder, Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, Mike Morse, Justin Upton and several others have legitimate claims for this award.  Matt Kemp is a controversial pick as MVP because he's on a non-playoff team.  I decided that I couldn't let his numbers be denied, I won't punish the guy because those around him suck.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Ryan Braun (OF - Milwaukee Brewers)
3 - Albert Pujols (1B - St. Louis Cardinals)

Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw (SP - Los Angeles Dodgers)
Stats: W-L - 20-5 ERA - 2.27 SO - 242 WHIP - 0.99
The Los Angeles Dodgers have both the MVP & Cy Young and yet, this team won't be making the playoffs.  I don't know what the hell is wrong with the Dodgers, but that's pathetic.  Like Kemp, it's hard to give such a high honor to a player on a mediocre team, but the numbers are just undeniable.  Kershaw is in line to win the triple crown for pitching and it's extremely hard to make an argument against him.  It truly is a shame we won't be able to see Kershaw & Kemp play in October.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies)
3 - Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies)

Rookie of the Year - Craig Kimbrel (CL - Atlanta Braves)
Stats: SV - 46 ERA - 2.00 SO - 126 WHIP - 1.00
This one is a no-brainer, one of the very few awards this year that I feel is completely indisputable. Kimbrel is just a rookie, but he's the closer for the probable NL Wild Card team and set the record for the most saved by a rookie in a season.  He's been part of a dominant Braves bullpen and should receive every single vote for this award.  126 strikeouts for a relief pitcher?  This guy is scary good.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Freddie Freeman (1B - Atlanta Braves)
3 - Vance Worley (SP - Philadelphia Phillies)

Manager of the Year - Kirk Gibson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Raise your hand if you thought back in April that the Arizona Diamondbacks were going to win the NL West division.  Nobody?  Didn't think so.  I had the Diamondbacks battling the Padres for last place in the division, I am shocked to write that they are going to win the division.  Gibson has done a phenomenal job with this roster, guys like Justin Upton, Josh Collmenter, David Hernandez, JJ Putz, Ian Kennedy, & Daniel Hudson have all had great years and you can't ignore the influence Gibson has had.  The 2nd half this team has had has been amazing and they can look forward to playing in October.

Honorable Mentions:
2 - Ron Roenicke (Milwaukee Brewers)
3 - Tony La Russa (St. Louis Cardinals)

Gold Glove - (P) - Jaime Garcia (St. Louis Cardinals)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
3 - Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies)

Gold Glove - (C) - Miguel Montero (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Chris Iannetta (Colorado Rockies)
3 - Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)

Gold Glove - (1B) - Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Gaby Sanchez (Florida Marlins)
3 - Carlos Pena (Chicago Cubs)

Gold Glove - (2B) - Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies)
3 - Omar Infante (Florida Marlins)

Gold Glove - (3B) - Placido Polanco (Philadelphia Phillies)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants)
3 - Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)

Gold Glove - (SS) - Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Alex Gonzalez (Atlanta Braves)
3 - Clint Barmes (Houston Astros)

Gold Glove - (OF) - Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Gold Glove - (OF) - Shane Victorino (Philadelphia Phillies)
Gold Glove - (OF) - Michael Bourn (Atlanta Braves)
Honorable Mentions:
4 - Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers)
5 - Drew Stubbs (Cincinnati Reds)
6 - Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates)
7 - Chris Young (Arizona Diamondbacks)
8 - Angel Pagan (New York Mets)
9 - Cameron Maybin (San Diego Padres)

Silver Slugger - (P) - Daniel Hudson (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Stats: BA - .270 HR - 1 RBI - 14 OBP - .303
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Dontrelle Willis (Cincinnati Reds)
3 - Yovani Gallardo (Milwaukee Brewers)

Silver Slugger - (1B) - Albert Pujols (St. Louis Cardinals)
Stats: BA - .304 HR - 37 RBI - 98 OBP - .372
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers)
3 - Joey Votto (Cincinnati Reds)

Silver Slugger - (2B) - Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
Stats: BA - .298 HR - 18 RBI - 81 OBP - .350
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Rickie Weeks (Milwaukee Brewers)
3 - Dan Uggla (Atlanta Braves)

Silver Slugger - (3B) - Aramis Ramirez (Chicago Cubs)
Stats: BA - .306 HR - 25 RBI - 92 OBP - .360
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants)
3 - Ryan Zimmerman (Washington Nationals)

Silver Slugger - (SS) - Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies)
Stats: BA - .302 HR - 30 RBI - 105 OBP - .372
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Starlin Castro (Chicago Cubs)
3 - Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia Phillies)

Silver Slugger - (OF) - Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Stats: BA - .325 HR - 36 RBI - 118 OBP - .402
Silver Slugger - (OF) - Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)
Stats: BA - .329 HR - 32 RBI - 107 OBP - .392
Silver Slugger - (OF) - Justin Upton (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Stats: BA - .291 HR - 31 RBI - 88 OBP - .371

Honorable Mentions:
4 - Lance Berkman (St. Louis Cardinals)
5 - Mike Stanton (Florida Marlins)
6 - Hunter Pence (Philadelphia Phillies)
7 - Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
8 - Carlos Beltran (San Francisco Giants)
9 - Michael Bourn (Atlanta Braves)

AL Champions - New York Yankees
NL Champions - Milwaukee Brewers

World Series Champions - Milwaukee Brewers

World Series MVP - Yovani Gallardo (SP)
Honorable Mentions:
2 - Ryan Braun (OF)
3 - Prince Fielder (1B)

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