By Jeremiah Delgado
There are some tight races for awards season in the MLB and beginning today we will know how those races turn out. These are the possible winners for all of the awards that will begin with Rookie of the Year on Monday.
AL Rookie of the Year-Gary Sanchez
Sure, he only played 53 games, but look at what he did in those games as a rookie. He hit 20 home runs and had 42 RBIs with a slugging percentage of .657. That was just what he did hitting the ball, but his fielding from behind the plate is just as impressive.
Sanchez threw out 41% of base stealers and that is way above the league average of 29%. His home run total was the same as Nomar Mazara had in 145 games. Sanchez nearly had more RBIs in his 53 games than Mazara had all season. It will all depend if the voters believe that what he did in 53 games was more impressive than what Michael Fulmer did.
NL Rookie of the Year-Corey Seager
This race is not even close. Seager was so good this season that he should receive votes for MVP too. He hit 26 home runs and 72 RBIs with a batting average of .308. There was no rookie in the National League that was better than him.
If Trevor Story had played a full season, then maybe he would be in this conversation, however, he played just 97 games.
AL Manager of the Year-Terry Francona
Perhaps the team that was least expected to make it to the World Series in all of baseball. Terry Francona brought the Cleveland Indians to within one win of a championship. He did so without two of his best starting pitchers in Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco.
The Indians might be one of the least flashy teams in baseball as they do not hit a lot of home runs. Francona was able to coach this team with not a lot of superstar talent to within one game of a World Series win.
NL Manager of the Year-Dave Roberts
Everyone would like to pick Joe Maddon for this award because he ended the championship drought and managed the Cubs to 103 wins. Dave Roberts seems more like the right choice because of the level of talent he had compared to Maddon.
In his first season as manager, Roberts coached the Dodgers to a 91-win season in spite of Clayton Kershaw being hurt, and missing big chunks of time this season. Yasiel Puig is not the same player he was and still Roberts almost brought them to the World Series.
AL Cy Young Award-Justin Verlander
There was no true standout for the American League starting pitchers this season, but there is a definite winner. Justin Verlander had a great season for Detroit and it should not be overlooked. Of course, everyone is going to look at the fact that the Tigers missed the playoffs.
Corey Kluber is the other candidate that could win this award. He had similar stats to Verlander except his team made it to the World Series and he was huge in the playoffs. It’s a good thing that the playoffs are not looked at as part of the vote. Verlander went 16-9 with an ERA of 3.04 and 254 strikeouts.
Verlander also had a WAR of 6.6 and a WHIP of 1.001. There is also the fact that he had less run support than Kluber. The case is definitely strong for him to be chosen as the winner.
NL Cy Young Award-Max Scherzer
This award is in favor of Scherzer winning it because of how many statistical categories he leads, but the case could also be made for Kyle Hendricks. Scherzer went 20-7 with 284 strikeouts and a WHIP of 0.968. His WAR was 6.2 while Hendricks went 16-8 with an ERA of 2.13.
The only stat that separates these two is ERA. Hendricks had a significantly lower ERA, but other than that Scherzer is better in every other category.
AL MVP-Mike Trout
Mike Trout, like LeBron James, could win the MVP Award every season and nobody would question it. Trout is the best player in baseball and has proved it every single season with consistency. He has led the league in runs almost every year he has been in the majors.
This season might have been his best all-around season yet. He led the league in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage and WAR. His WAR was a ridiculous 10.6 and every year he is near the tops in that category. He hit 29 home runs and drove in 100 runs. His power numbers are a bit down but everything else is great.
NL MVP-Kris Bryant
The Chicago Cubs knew what they had in Kris Bryant, which is why they brought him up last season for an offensive spark. He quickly has become a part of the elite class of young talent in the league. His numbers are quite impressive and definitely stand out among other players.
He had 39 home runs and 102 RBIs with a batting average of .292. His WAR was 7.7 and highest in the National League. There is no one that will compete for this award with Bryant.