This is the first of 2 articles to discuss baseball’s annual awards. The MVPs and Rookies of the Year will be done today. Next time, the Cy Young winners and best managers will be discussed.
MVP, AL: The race for this award often comes down to a 3 man race. But consider a 4th: Alex Bergman (Astros). His slash line is: .286/.394/532//.926. Add his EBH (83) which includes 31 homers. His walks (96) are higher than his strikeouts (85) and his RBIs (103) and RS (105) are over 100. His WAR was 6.9. Remember him. But the 3 names that will probably be considered most frequently are: Mookie Betts, J. D. Martinez, and, as usual, Mike Trout. To avoid a blizzard of stats, I’ll just point out all 3 players had a slash line over the ideal of .300/.400/.500. In fact, Trout had the highest total of OPS (1.088). But I think Mookie Betts (see below) will come out on top, and Trout will have a top 3 finish. Not bad for a GOAT player. And for those who love the stat WAR, Mookie bested Trout by 10.9 to 10.2.
MVP, NL: The race here will again come down to a 3 man race: Christian Yelich, Javier Baez, and Nolan Arenado. Baez has begun to play down his reputation as a (too) free swinger, and had a wonderful year. Arenado had another fine year with a bat, and his excellent fielding cannot be overlooked. But I think the winner should be Christian Yelich. (see below) His slash line is fine (.326/.402/.598//1.000). He stole some bases, too (22 on 26 attempts). He came close to the Triple Crown and, for good measure, he had 6 hits in a game, twice, in 2018. And, perhaps, by coincidence, his Brewers had the best record in the NL. Yelich also had the highest WAR score (7.6).
ROY, AL: Here are some fine AL Rookies who arrived in 2018. Daniel Palka CWS (124 games; 27 HR; .240 BA). Brad Keller KCA (140.1 IP; 9 – 6; 3.08 ERA). Lou Trivino OAK (74 IP; 8 – 3; 2.92 ERA). Joey Wendle TBR (139 games; 7 HR; .300 BA). Diego Castillo TBR (56.2 IP; 4 – 2; 3.18 ERA). Ryan Yarbrough TBR (147.1 IP; 16 – 6; 3.91 ERA). The Rookie of the Year race could be between: Miguel Andujar NYY (149 games; 27 HR; .297 BA). Gleyber Torres NYY (123 games; 24 HR; .271 BA). And the Winner = Shohei Ohtani (see below) LAA(as a hitter: 104 games; 22 HR; .285 BA and as a pitcher: 51.2 IP; 4 – 2; 3.31 ERA).
ROY, NL: Here are some fine NL Rookies who arrived in 2018. Brian Anderson MIA (156 games; 11 HR; .273 BA). Jesse Biddle ATL (63.2 IP; 6 – 1; 3.11 ERA). Shane Carle ATL (63 IP; 4 – 1; 2.86 ERA). Caleb Ferguson LAD (49 IP; 7 – 2; 3.49 ERA). Jack Flaherty STL (151 IP; 8 – 9; 3.34 ERA). Reyes Moronta SFG (65 IP; 5 – 2; 2.49 ERA). The Rookie of the Year race could be between: Ronald Acuna ATL (111 games; 26 HR; .293). Juan Soto (116; 22 HR; .292 BA). And the winner = Walker Buehler (see below) LAD (137.1 IP; 8 – 5; 2.62 ERA).
Next time, the 2nd, and final part of “Baseball Awards, 2018.”