The 2017 regular season has officially ended. The Chicago Cubs will get the chance to defend their World Series Title. In the American League, the Houston Astros finally have enough pieces to look like a formidable challenger.
The writers at Last Word On Baseball have cast their ballots for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year for both the American and National Leagues. There were some tough choices and hard fought races for these coveted awards.
2017 MLB Season Awards
Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros (12/18 votes)
.346/.410/.547/.957, 24 HR, 81 RBI, 204 H, 112 R, 32 SB, 8.4 WAR
Altuve has had an incredible run. At this point it is almost easier to ask what stats he does not lead. Altuve leads all of MLB in WAR, batting average, and offensive WAR (8.1). He is also sixth in OBP and ninth in OPS. More importantly, Altuve has helped guide the Astros to the second-best record in the AL. Houston is poised for a deep playoff run, and Altuve is the driving force behind MLB’s highest scoring offense.
AL Cy Young
18-4, 2.25 ERA, 0.869 WHIP, 203 2/3 IP, 265 strikeouts, five CG, three SHO
Kluber wins the Cy Young in back-to-back years at LWOS. Kluber’s impact on the Indians this season has arguably been as big as Altuve’s impact on the Astros. He leads all MLB pitchers in WAR (8.0) and WHIP (0.869), is tied for the MLB lead in wins (18), and has the best ERA in all of MLB (2.25). The Indians have won 102 games this year and have the best record in the AL. The key for Cleveland has been its pitching staff that has allowed the lowest run total in MLB (564).
Others receiving votes: C. Sale (6)
AL Rookie of the Year
.284/.422/.627/.1.049, 52 HR, 112 RBI, 128 R, 127 BB
This one was never in doubt. The hard-hitting Yankee recently broke the MLB record for home runs by a rookie and finished with 52 on the season. Judge even has the second-best WAR among position players (8.1) which gives him a legitimate shot at challenging Altuve for the MVP. He has added 127 walks, 128 runs scored, and 340 total bases. Judge has helped lead the Yankees to their first playoff appearance since 2015. With Judge in the lineup, the Yankees will be a force for years to come.
Others receiving votes: Andrew Benintendi
AL Manager of the Year
Terry Francona, Indians (11/18)
Francona has demonstrated an ability to win in big ways with Cleveland. He led the Indians all the way to Game 7 of last year’s World Series before falling to the Cubs. Nevertheless, the team experienced no letdown this season. Cleveland has won 102 games and clinched both a playoff appearance as well as home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
.297/.404/.563/.966, 36 HR, 120 RBI, 117 R, 18 SB, 5.8 WAR
Goldschmidt has been one of the best first basemen in the league for quite sometime, but this would be his first career MVP award. In fact, Goldschmidt has finished second in MVP voting twice already throughout his career, and the vote for this award was the tightest at LWOS. Six players received votes, and four players received three or more votes. Goldschmidt, however, came out ahead. A strong case can be made for Goldschmidt on individual numbers alone, but the performance of the Diamondbacks as a team has helped his odds. Arizona has clinched a Wild Card in the NL and will make its first postseason appearance since 2011. Goldschmidt is a big reason for the Diamondbacks success and will be needed if they hope to make a deep run in October.
NL Cy Young
16-6, 2.51 ERA, 0.902 WHIP, 200 2/3 IP, 268 strikeouts
Scherzer has been a fantastic signing for the Nationals. Scherzer has one top-five finish and one Cy Young Award since coming to Washington, and he has a strong case to take home the award again this season. He ranks second in MLB for WAR by a pitcher (7.2). He also ranks third in ERA (2.51), second in WHIP (0.902), and second in strikeouts (268).
NL Rookie of the Year
.267/.352/.581/.933, 39 HR, 97 RBI, 87 R, 4.2 WAR
Bellinger taking home the Rookie of the Year award seems to be just a matter of time. The young Dodger made his debut in April and never looked back. His 39 home runs are tied for sixth and his .581 slugging percentage ranks eighth in all of MLB. The award is a well-deserved one for the young slugger.
NL Manager of the Year
Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks (12/18)
Lovullo has done a fantastic job in his first year at the helm for Arizona. The Diamondbacks have 93 wins and will make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Lovullo’s only previous experience as a manager at the MLB level came on an interim basis with Boston in 2015. Lovullo not only looks like a great hire by the Diamondbacks. He also looks like the Manager of the Year in the NL.
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