Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Andy's 2013 Postseason Awards

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Miguel Cabrera
  3. Josh Donaldson

OK, this year there isn’t as much of a discussion about the Trout vs. Cabrera for this years’ MVP race like last year but that doesn’t mean Cabrera should run away with it.  Trout has had another outstanding year as he posted the AL’s top WAR again at a 9.2 mark.  Cabrera came in fourth despite leading the junior circuit in AVG, OBP, and SLG.  The reason for this is because he plays a less demanding defensive position and at third, he plays is poorly.  His WAR, based purely on offense, was 9.0 and adding in his defense and base-running ability drops him to an overall 7.2.  This year, Baseball Reference were as big of fans of Trout’s defense in the outfield like last year as his overall WAR was lower than his offensive contributions but with him playing a position up the middle and providing more offense, he should be this years MVP, though we all know he’ll lose again.

  1. Andrew McCutchen
  2. Carlos Gomez
  3. Clayton Kershaw

In this race, I decided to not go in the direction that WAR suggests as Kershaw was the winner in this department.  Why I went with McCutchen is because he plays a strong centerfield and provided the most offensive WAR in the NL.  I am a bit biased toward position players when it comes to the MVP because they play everyday and have a chance to contribute all the time instead of once or twice a week, depending on the rotation schedule.  We can’t forget about Go-Go as he keeps improving and showing that the Twins gave up too early on him.  He played great defense in center and his defensive WAR of 4.6 was second only to Andrelton Simmons (5.4).  

AL Cy Young:
  1. Max Scherzer
  2. Hisashi Iwakuma
  3. Chris Sale

Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to watch as much baseball this year as I would’ve liked, but since when did Iwakuma become such an ace?  I really wanted to put him first on my ballot as he had an outstanding 4.40 K/BB and was third in AL innings pitched at 219.2.  I put a lot of weight on innings pitched because it displays health and consistency.  He averaged just under 6.2 innings per game which in the days of specialization in the bullpen, is pretty remarkable.  The reason I went with Scherzer ultimately, is there wasn’t one category he did poorly in and carried the Tigers when Justin Verlander wasn’t the Verlander we know.  He didn’t really allow any base runners as his WHIP was under 1.00 and he still averaged about 6.2 innings per start, meaning he was always taking the bump.  If you have read any of my other writing on pitching, you might know I love strikeouts and velocity, both of which Scherzer has.  He was second in the AL in strikeouts at 240 (Yu Davish led at 277) and Scherzer also trailed only Darvis in K/9 (11.89 vs. 10.08).  According to Brooks Baseball, Scherzer also averaged 94 MPH on his fastball, GAS!

NL Cy Young: 
  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Cliff Lee
  3. Jose Fernandez

There are some voters out there who might think that I screwed Kershaw out of the MVP but that’s their problem not mine.  He was far and away the best hurler in the NL this season.  He had a 1.83 ERA which is something that I can’t wrap my head around especially when his ERA+ is 194, the highest mark since Roger Clemens had a 226 ERA+ in 2005.  

When it comes to postseason awards, team performance doesn’t factor in much to my decision, though it’s impossible to completely forget.  In Lee’s and Fernandez’s case, I didn’t care that their respective teams did so poorly.  Lee did as Lee does and walked just 1.29 batters per nine and he posted a solid 2.87 ERA.  I’ll talk about Fernandez more later on.

AL Rookie of the Year: 
  1. Wil Myers
  2. Jose Iglesias
  3. Chris Archer

Myers was limited to just 88 MLB games this year because the Rays did not call him up June 18 so he would not be eligible for Super Two status in arbitration.  In his partial season, he still provided a 2.0 WAR and hit 13 homers.  He did strike out a bit, more than once a game, but he showed patience at the plate and had a solid .354 OBP.

NL Rookie of the Year:
  1. Jose Fernandez
  2. Yasiel Puig
  3. Hyun-Jin Ryu

It’s sad that “Puig-Mania” might persuade voters to go with Yasiel over Fernandez but there should not be any debate.  At age 20, Fernandez who complete skipped AA and AAA, posted a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts which covered 172.2 innings.  For a young, flame-throwing righty, he also showed command of the zone walked just three batters per nine and he had a 3.22 K/BB.  He also had an outstanding 176 ERA+

AL Manager of the Year:
  1. Terry Francona
  2. John Farrell
  3. Joe Maddon

I have the mindset that a manger can never win a game, he can only lose it.  So, for this category, I have no explanation.  Just observe and soak it all in.

NL Manager of the Year:
  1. Clint Hurdle
  2. Mike Matheny

For explanation, see: AL Manager of the Year

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