Who should win this year’s Major League Baseball Awards and why? There were plenty of candidates for this seasons biggest awards, to be sure. Read on as we hand out the 2018 Major League Baseball awards!
The Major League Baseball Awards of 2018
National League Rookie of the Year
Ronald Acuna – Atlanta Braves: This was a tough choice as Juan Soto had an incredible year as well. However, Acuna had slightly better overall numbers. Therefore, he gets the nod as NL Rookie of the Year.
The numbers: .293 BA, .366 OBP, .552 SLG%, .917 OPS, 26 HR, 64 RBI, 78 runs, 127 hits, 26 doubles, 3 triples, 16 steals, 239 total bases, 4.1 WAR
American League Rookie of the Year
The numbers: .297 BA, .328 OBP, .527 SLG, .855 OPS, 27 HR, 92 RBI, 83 runs, 170 hits, 47 doubles, 2 triples, 2 steals, 302 total bases, 2.2 WAR
National League Manager of the Year
Brian Snitker – Atlanta Braves: Craig Counsell and Bud Black both deserve looks here as Milwaukee and Colorado, respectively, had great seasons. However, the Atlanta Braves arrived a year or two early this season. What Snitker accomplished with the pitching staff and young core of players on the roster is nothing short of astonishing. To win the NL East with 90 wins was both unforeseen and incredible.
American League Manager of the Year
Bob Melvin – Oakland Athletics: Certainly, Alex Cora is deserving of a look here winning 108 games with the Boston Red Sox in his first year. However, who the heck realistically saw the A’s winning 97 games? Did anyone actually think this team would finish any better than 4th in the AL West going into the season? Absolutely amazing job by Melvin to get this team to the playoffs, while winning close to 100 games.
National League Cy Young
Jacob deGrom – New York Mets: While Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer each had incredible seasons, deGrom is the clear winner of the Cy Young. DeGrom became just the seventh pitcher in MLB history to throw at least 215 innings (217) and finish with a 1.70 ERA or better. His 269 strikeouts are the most of that group which includes names such as Dwight Gooden, Bob Gibson, and Zach Greinke.
Additionally, only two pitchers since MLB lowered the mound in 1969 have made at least 30 starts and posted a better ERA than deGrom’s 1.70. (Dwight Gooden in 1985 and Zach Greinke in 2015).
On top of all of that, deGrom is one of only four pitchers in the live ball era (since 1920) to finish with an ERA under 2.00, a WHIP under 1.00 and a strikeout percentage over 30. He joins Pedro Martinez, Clayton Kershaw, and Blake Snell.
The numbers: 10-9 record, 1.70 ERA (led MLB), 0.91 WHIP (T-2nd in MLB), 9.6 WAR (2nd among MLB pitchers), 269 strikeouts (4th in MLB), 1 complete game, 0 balks, 2 wild pitches, 28 quality starts out of 32. 4th in strikeout/walk ratio, 5th in strikeouts per nine innings, 2nd in average game score
American League Cy Young
Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays: While Chris Sale provided viable competition, what Blake Snell accomplished this year was incredible. As mentioned above with Jacob deGrom, Snell is now one of only four pitchers in the live ball era to finish with an ERA under 2.00, a WHIP under 1.00 and a strikeout percentage over 30. What makes Snell’s season even more impressive is that he went 9-2 against the five highest-scoring teams in MLB in 12 starts.
The numbers: 21-5 record, 1.89 ERA (2nd in MLB), 0.97 WHIP (4th in MLB), 7.5 WAR (6th in MLB), 221 strikeouts (11th in MLB), 19 quality starts out of 31. 7th in strikeouts per nine innings, 1st in average game score
Chris Davis Least Valuable Player Award
Okay, let’s have some fun here with the 2018 Major League Baseball awards, albeit at the expense of a particular batter and pitcher. This award is named after the all too obvious pick for the least valuable player, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. This set of awards go to players who are extremely well paid but simply did not produce.
The minimum requirement for the hitter was 400 at-bats while for the pitcher it was 100 innings pitched.
Hitter: Eric Hosmer – San Diego Padres: When you are paying somebody $21M, he better perform at a high level. Hosmer simply did not do so batting a measly .253 with a .322 on-base percentage and .398 slugging percentage. He only managed to slug 18 home runs while accumulating 69 RBI. Somehow, his WAR was positive at 1.4 while he struck out a career-high 142 times.
Pitcher: Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds: Here is yet another guy getting paid $21M to perform at a rather unsatisfactory level. Bailey started 20 games, winning one. He went 1-14 this season along with a 6.09 ERA. Additionally, he posted an alarmingly high 1.636 WHIP. In 106.1 inning pitched, he allowed 141 hits along with 33 walks. Not ideal.
National League Most Valuable Player
Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers: Yelich beat out Javier Baez with a ridiculously incredible stretch run to close the regular season. During the last 13 games, he batted .488 with a .621 on-base percentage and a 1.116 slugging percentage. That gave him an incredible OPS of 1.737! Yelich also slugged six home runs, scored 17 runs and drove in 21 runs during that stretch. The Brewers certainly proved to be the perfect team for Yelich to display his wildly impressive talent.
The numbers: .326 BA (3rd in MLB), .402 OBP (5th in MLB), .598 SLG% (4th in MLB), 1.000 OPS (4th in MLB), 7.6 WAR (6th in MLB), 36 HR, 110 RBI, 118 runs (4th in MLB), 187 hits (5th in MLB), 34 doubles, 7 triples, 22 steals, 68 walks, 135 strikeouts, 343 total bases (T-2nd in MLB), 77 extra-base hits (10th in MLB), 5th in runs created
American League Most Valuable Player
Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox: Betts is clearly the best all-around player in baseball right now. He simply does it all for the Red Sox. Seriously, is there anything Mookie Betts cannot do? Betts churned out yet another great season along with teammate J.D Martinez. What Betts was able to accomplish from the leadoff spot and on defense ultimately lands him the MVP award.
The numbers: .346 BA (1st in MLB), .438 OBP (2nd in MLB), .640 SLG% (1st in MLB), 1.078 OPS (2nd in MLB), 10.9 WAR (1st in MLB), 32 HR, 80 RBI, 129 runs (T-1st in MLB), 180 hits, 47 doubles (3rd in MLB), 5 triples, 30 steals (T-9th in MLB), 81 walks, 91 strikeouts, 333 total bases (3rd in AL), 84 extra-base hits (2nd in MLB), 1st in runs created
There you have it, the 2018 major league baseball awards.
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