MLB 1/4 Way Awards
We are roughly 25% through the 162 game marathon that is the MLB season. Locally our Philadelphia Phillies are under achieving and that’s tough because expectations were not that high to begin with. I will go through the Phillies with a fine tooth comb in a separate article. Right now, I want to focus on the teams and players who are excelling so far in 2017.
Let’s start with the American League MVP. Two words, Mike Trout .342, 15 HRs, 35 RBIs, 33 R, and 9 SB. I don’t want to hear the “his team isn’t good” argument. It’s the MVP not the MVPOTBT (Most Valuable Player on the Best Team). Trout is the best player in baseball right now and I’m not sure you can even argue that right now.
National League MVP is also a run away right now in my opinion. Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .372 with 13 HRs, 38 RBIs, and 30 R on the 1st place Washington Nationals. He hits in a lineup that is stacked with the likes of Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Trea Turner among others. He’s getting pitches to hit and he’s doing exactly that. I don’t foresee Zimmerman keeping this pace up especially at his age and with his injury history. Guys like Buster Posey, Charlie Blackmon, Paul Goldschmidt, and Zimmerman’s teammate Bryce Harper all are having great starts to the season and have a much better chance to keeping up the pace they are on now. But for now Zimmerman is on top.
American League Cy Young is Dallas Keuchel. 7–0 with a 1.84 ERA, 54 Ks to 14 BBs, and a 0.86 WHIP. Ervin Santana is 7–2 and has a great ERA and WHIP but his K to BB ratio is worrisome. Keuchel, although he is on the DL currently, has been the best pitcher in the AL so far. Bouncing back from a supremely sub par 2016 thus far. The DL stint is something to keep your eyes on. If he can come back healthy and stay healthy I see Keuchel leading that Astros team to the NL West title and possibly the best record in baseball.
National League Cy Young is Clayton Kershaw because well, he’s Clayton Kershaw. 7–2, 2.01 ERA, 72 Ks to 8 BBs, and a 0.82 WHIP. He’s averaging more than 1 strikeout per inning. There really isn’t a close second right now. Provided he’s healthy I expect Kershaw to win this award when it’s all said and done.
AL ROY is Aaron Judge. He is an absolute freak of nature. He’s hitting .316 with 15 HRs, 30 RBIs, 36 R and 4 SBs. Judge is a guy who with Gary Sanchez will be a mainstay in the middle of the Yankees lineup for years to come.
NL ROY is not so cut and dry. I am going to go with Cody Bellinger over Josh Bell Although they have similar power statistics, Bellinger is hitting .284 and has put his stats up in 20 less games than Bell. It seems that each year the Dodgers have a kid that comes up at some point in the year and contributes. Bellinger looks like he will continue to find ABs in LA and help the Dodgers turn around a rough start to make a push for a playoff spot.
AL Manager of the Year is Paul Molitor of the Minnesota Twins. Sitting in 1st place at 25–18 in the AL Central the Twins were picked as basement dwellers by basically all of the experts. Molitor has this team playing good hard nosed baseball which is not a surprise given how Molitor played the game himself.
NL Manager of the Year is a Bud Black. The Rockies are 31–17 which is the best record in the NL to this point. The Rockies have always been able to score runs but never seemed to be able to win on a consistent basis. Black has instilled a new mindset in Colorado and has the Rockies primed to make a play for the NL West as the season goes on.