Every year at the end of the baseball season, the Baseball Writers of America (BBWA) get together to vote on the end of season awards. Sadly, I don’t have a vote, but if I did, this is who I’d vote for.
American League MVP: Cleveland Indians second baseman Jose Ramirez. This player is a stud. He’s in the top 10 in almost every American League offensive statistic. This year, he became just the 13th player in MLB history to record five extra base hits in one game. On top of the elite offense, Ramirez has a fielding percentage over .970 at two positions.
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is probably going to win the award for batting at a scorching pace all year. Anyone who makes people ask if a batting average of .400 is possible should probably win the MVP. But if Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout or New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge win the award, I’ll riot. Trout — while obviously the best player of his generation — missed too much time with an injury and when he returned, he wasn’t at 100 percent and his team was bad. Judge might have broken the rookie record for home runs, but he couldn’t repeat the success of his first half. This season, Judge led the major leagues in strikeouts and broke the all-time record for consecutive games with a strikeout.
National League MVP: Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. Look, I know he’s not in the National League, but he’s been the best shortstop in baseball for two years. This season he broke the record for most home runs by an Indians shortstop ever. He was the first MLB shortstop to have more than 80 extra base hits in a season since 2007 when Hanley Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins both did it.
Real NL MVP: Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. The dude hit nearly 60 home runs in a season. He’s a beast and should win the award.
American League Cy Young: Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber. Almost all season this looked like it was going to be Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale’s award to lose. Sale has been consistent all year, but Kluber has been lights out since he came back from a stint on the disabled list for a back injury. Kluber has thrown more than 200 innings and 200 strikeouts four years in a row. Kluber leads the majors in most statistical categories and for the ones he isn’t winning he’s in the top-three.
National League Cy Young: Cleveland Indians pitchers Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco. This year, the Indians became the first team ever to have three pitchers with more than 17 wins and 190 strikeouts. Bauer and Carrasco can share the award.
Real winner: Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer. With Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw injured most of the season, Scherzer ran away with this one.
American League Rookie of the year: Cleveland Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer. This is the only award the Indians don’t have a strong contender for, but Zimmer was the Indians’ best rookie this year. This guy can fly around the outfield and the bases. In the modern baseball’s Statcast era where every possible statistic in baseball is analyzed, we get stats like sprint speed, which tracks who the fastest players in baseball are. Zimmer was the third fastest player in baseball this year, running 29.8 feet per second. The league average is 27 feet per second.
National League Rookie of the year: Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela. When Urshela was coming up the ranks of the Indians’ farm system, he was known as a defensive player. The reputation he received in the minors was accurate — this guy can pick it. His offense has started to come along, too, so why not just give him the NL award?
Real winner: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger. He’s hit 32 home runs in just 91 games, while maintaining a solid average for a power hitter.
AL and NL manager of the year: Cleveland Indians manager Terry “Tito” Francona. Since he arrived in Cleveland in 2013, Francona has led the Indians to three postseason appearances. This season, he brought the Indians to 102 wins, the most in one season he’s had in his entire career. Even the curse-breaking 2004 Red Sox only had 98 wins. Since 2013, the Indians have the best overall record in all of baseball. God bless Tito, give him the award for both leagues because why not, he’s great.
Real NL winner: Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. In 2016, the Diamondbacks record was 69-93. This year, they flipped that and went 92-69, earning the National League’s top wild card spot. A turnaround as drastic as that should earn the award.