A lot of awards have gone out over the course of the past two weeks in the MLB. From comeback player of the year to the MVP, a lot of different players were recognized for their achievements for the 2016 season. Many of our beloved Boston Red Sox also took home awards, while former Sox took home others.
Brief Recap of the Rookies of the Year:
AL: SP Michael Fullmer - Detroit Tigers
NL: SS Corey Seager - Los Angeles Dodgers
So here's a brief recap of the Red Sox award winners.
Defensive Player of the Year:
2B: Dustin Pedroia
RF: Mookie Betts (Voted best Defensive Player in baseball)
OF: Mookie Betts
Hank Aaron Award:
DH: David Ortiz (.315 average, 38 home runs, AL-tying 127 RBI, .620 OBP, 1.021 OPS)
SS: Xander Bogaerts (.294 average, 21 home runs, 89 RBI, 192 hits)
OF: Mookie Betts (.318 average, 31 home runs, 113 RBI, 214 hits)
DH: David Ortiz (.315 average, 38 home runs, 127 RBI, 48 doubles)
Most Outstanding Pitcher:
Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.15 ERA, .230 BAA, 223 IP, 1.01 WHIP)
Now that the Sox award winners are covered, let's dive in to the major awards taken home over the past week:
AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona - Cleveland Indians - 94-67 W/L record
This was a no-brainer, in my opinion. Now, the Indians weren't the best team in the AL in the regular season, as Texas captured that this year, but Tito Francona was easily the best manager in the AL this season. Look at the adversities the Indians had to overcome this year: their MVP of the past 2 seasons, Michael Brantley, was only available to play 11 games this season. This led to the Tribe going with Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez - both third basemen by nature - to have to learn to play right field at a high level. Now, their production wasn't because of Francona, but it's an example of just how the Indians rallied behind each other to thrive. Francona also is one of the best in-game managers in baseball, and has a really good clasp on his bullpen.
NL Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts - Los Angeles Dodgers - 91-71 W/L record
Now this one came as more of a shock to me. Not that Roberts is a bad manager, because he beat Bruce Bochy and the Giants in an even year to capture the NL West title in his first season as a manager. In my opinion, I thought Joe Maddon was a lock for this one, given the fact the Cubs had the best record in baseball. But Roberts displayed some serious guts this year, and you need that to be an MLB manager. He pulled 2 pitchers this year with perfect games going - Ross Stripling in April, and Rich Hill in September -for health related issues. Not that either of them were hurt, but the bigger picture mentality is something that impressed me from the Red s+Sox hero, however, the Dodgers were bounced in the NLCS.
AL Cy Young: Rick Porcello - Boston Red Sox - 22-4, 3.15 ERA, 223 IP, 1.01 WHIP
Once Zach Britton wasn't deemed a finalist for the Cy, I knew the award was Porcello's. Justin Verlander was the only man who stood in his way. In an electoral college-esque finish, Verlander won the most 1st place votes, but Porcello took home the hardware, much to the disgust of Kate Upton. Upton took to twitter with her disgust and said that JV was f'd by the MLB writers... and that's apparently her job. But Porcello was easily the best pitcher, from start to finish, in the AL this year. He deserved it, sorry Kate.
NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer - Washington Nationals - 20-7, 2.96 ERA, 228.1 IP, 284 Ks
Another surprise to me. I honestly expected Jon Lester to take it home this year. But looking at the numbers, it's become more clear to me that Scherzer was the guy for the award. Lester had a 2.4-something ERA and 19 wins, but statistically speaking, Scherzer was the best in the NL.
AL MVP: Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels - .315 average, 29 homers, 100 RBI, 30 SBs
There were 2 correct choices, and Trout was neither of them. The sabermetrics of the MLB has caused the MVP to be given to the WAR leader in the AL who played on a team with 74 wins. Now don't get me wrong, Trout is a phenomenal player, best in baseball. But was he the best THIS season? No. As for WAR, Hanley Ramirez was only .1 higher than Travis Shaw in that stat entering September, and post All-Star break, Shaw was non-existent and Hanley was launching bombs all over the place. Was Mookie more deserving? Yes. But I wouldn't have been upset with Jose Altuve either.
NL MVP: Kris Bryant - Chicago Cubs - .292 average, 39 homers, 102 RBI, .939 OPS
This was another no brainer for me. Again, the WAR leader won. BUT, Bryant was the best player in the NL, bar-none. The only guy that really threatened Bryant was Corey Seager, who took home the NL Rookie of the Year honors. But Bryant was easily the best, in my opinion. This man was clutch all year, and was a staple at third base, as well as providing a spark in the utility role.