Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Award Winners

Here's a look at should win the MLB awards for 2014

Gold Gloves

National League

C-Russell Martin, PIT
1B- Adrian Gonzalez, LAD
2B- Chase Utley, PHI
SS- Andrelton Simmons, ATL
3B- Todd Frazier, CIN
LF-Christian Yelich, MIA
CF-Andrew McCutchen, PIT
RF-Jason Heyward, ATL
P- Clayton Kershaw, LAD

American League

C- Salvador Perez, KC
1B- Albert Pujols, LAA
2B- Ian Kinsler, DET
SS- J.J. Hardy, BAL
3B- Josh Donaldson, OAK
LF- Alex Gordon, KC
CF- Adam Jones, BAL
RF- Nick Markakis, BAL
P- Mark Buehrle, TOR

A couple of close calls in the National League. Zack Cozart had a terrific season defensively, but not as good as Andrelton Simmons. It was also a close call at center field between Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gomez. Russell Martin has has a huge impact in Pittsburgh behind the plate, and helping the pitching staff. Since Yadier Molina missed two months, Martin will likely get the Gold Glove this year. In the American League, Salvador Perez has emerged as one of the game's best catchers. His play behind the plate has led the Royals to their first postseason in 29 years. Another Royal, Alex Gordon is a leading contender for the Gold Glove in left field. Gordon faces tough competition from Yoenis Cespedes. Ian Kinsler has made a huge difference in the Tigers defense this year. The Orioles are one of the best defensive teams in baseball, even without Matt Wieters and Manny Machado. J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis are all have good cases for a Gold Glove.

Manager of the Year

National League

1) Matt Williams, WASH
2) Clint Hurdle, PIT
3) Mike Matheny, STL

American League

1) Buck Showalter, BAL
2) Mike Scoiscia, LAA
3) Lloyd McClendon, SEA

It looked like Ron Roenicke had the NL award wrapped up a month ago, before the Brewers collapsed in September. Matt Williams has taken some criticism in his first season as the Nationals manager, but his team has the best record in the NL. The Nats were able to overcome numerous injuries, and Williams has some problems early on with Bryce Harper. The AL award also goes to a team in the Beltway. Buck Showalter has the Orioles believing they can win a championship. Baltimore has had to endure numerous injuries this season, but they have kept filling the holes. Lloyd McClendon kept the Mariners in playoff contention this year, when few thought that was possible.

Rookie of the Year

National League

1) Jacob deGrom, NYM
2) Billy Hamilton, CIN
3) Kolten Wong, STL
4) Travis d'Arnaud, NYM
5) Joe Panik, SF

American League

1) Jose Abreu, CHIWS
2) Yordano Ventura, KC
3) Dellin Betances, NYY
4) Masahiro Tanaka, NYY
5) Jake Odorizzi, TB

It was a somewhat weak rookie class in the NL. Especially compared to last season, when Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, and Hyun-Jin Ryu emerged. Joe Panik has filled a gaping hole at second base for the Giants, after they tried several others at second(including a washed up Dan Uggla). If Kolten Wong  had a stronger first half, he could of very well been ROY. Wong's defense has been very good at second, and has some pop in his bat. He also has stolen the most bases by a Cardinal since Cesar Izturis in 2008. Speaking of fast players, Billy Hamilton is second in the NL with 56 steals. The Mets had another losing season, but have found a battery for the future in Travis d'Arnaud and Jacob deGrom. deGrom has went 9-6 with a 2.67 ERA, striking out 144 batters in 146.1 innings. Along with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, the Mets have an very talented young staff. They are hoping that deGrom, Harvey, and Wheeler don't flame out like the Generation K (Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson, and Bill Pulsipher) from the mid-90's did.

Paul Konerko is retiring at the season's end, and the White Sox have found his replacement. Jose Abreu has had a rookie season that rivals Konerko and Frank Thomas. The Cuban defector has clubbed 35 homers, drove in 105, and leads the AL in slugging pct. Masahiro Tanaka was giving Abreu a run for the award during the first half, but missed most of the second half. Dellin Betances grew up a Yankees fan and his favorite player was Mariano Rivera. Betances 2014 campaign rivals Rivera's 1996 season as a setup man. Yordano Ventura is one of the hardest throwers in baseball, and has helped the Royals to the postseason.

Cy Young Award

National League

1) Clayton Kershaw, LAD
2) Johnny Cueto, CIN
3) Adam Wainwright, STL
4) Madison Bumgarner, SF
5) Lance Lynn, STL

American League

1) Felix Hernandez, SEA
2) Corey Kluber, CLE
3) Jon Lester, BOS/OAK
4) Chris Sale, CHIWS
5) Max Scherzer, DET

Clayton Kershaw has had a dominant season, and will certainly win his third CYA this year. That would give him as many as another great Dodgers lefty, Sandy Koufax. Kershaw leads the NL in wins, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. He has done all of that after missing most of April. Adam Wainwright has been a perennial CYA runner up, finishing third in 2009, second in 2010, and second in 2013. Wainwright's influence has rubbed off on teammate Lance Lynn, who has made major strides in 2014. Despite the Reds disappointing season, Johnny Cueto has given them a dominant performance this year. Madison Bumgarner has been the Giants ace this year, and will likely start for them in the NL wild card game. Other NL pitchers who have had strong years include Zack Greinke,  Doug Fister, and Julio Tehran.

The AL Cy Young race is much tighter than the NL. Felix Hernandez is considered to be the front runner, but Corey Kluber has given him a run for the award. Kluber has had a career year and leads the AL with 18 wins, and is second in ERA. The Athletics have fallen off since acquiring Jon Lester, but that is not his fault. Max Scherzer has had an All Star season to follow up his 2013 Cy Young, proving not to be a fluke. Lester and Scherzer figure to get paid very well this offseason in the free agent market. Chris Sale finished as the AL's ERA leader. Sale might of received more consideration if he hadn't missed time because of injury.

Most Valuable Player

National League

1) Clayton Kershaw, LAD
2) Andrew McCutchen, PIT
3) Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
4) Buster Posey, SF
5) Adam Wainwright, STL
6) Anthony Rendon, WASH
7) Matt Holliday, STL
8) Yasiel Puig, LAD
9) Todd Frazier, CIN
10) Dee Gordon, LAD

American League

1) Mike Trout, LAA
2) Victor Martinez, DET
3) Josh Donaldson, OAK
4) Nelson Cruz, BAL
5) Miguel Cabrera, DET
6) Robinson Cano, SEA
7) Jose Abreu, CHIWS
8) Jose Bautista, TOR
9) Albert Pujols, LAA
10) Jose Altuve, HOU

No pitcher has won the NL MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968. Doc Gooden in 1985 and Greg Maddux in 1995 had good cases, but were passed up by the voters. Kershaw's ERA isn't quite as low as Gibson's 1.12, but he has a solid case for the award. Giancarlo Stanton was making an MVP push before his season ended because of a pitch to the face. Stanton will still lead the league in homers despite the missed time. Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are the most recent NL MVP winners, and both players have had big years. The Nationals don't rely on one singular player and have a deep team. That been said, Anthony Rendon has been a huge reason why Washington has the NL's best record. No one thought that Dee Gordon would be an All Star or recieve MVP votes, but he has been a big part of the Dodgers success. He has filled the hole at the leadoff spot, solidified second base, and leads the NL in stolen bases.

After losing out to Miguel Cabrera two seasons in a row, Mike Trout is likely to win his first MVP this year. His 2014 season isn't quite as good as good as the two previous seasons, but neither is Cabrera's. Trout has increased his power production this year, hitting 36 home runs. Trout also leads the AL in RBI's. While his power has increased, his average has dropped to .290, his steals to 16, and he leads the AL in strikeouts. Still, Trout is considered the game's best all around player, and he is a huge reason why the Angels have the majors best record this year.

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