Major League Baseball 2015 Awards
The Major League Baseball regular season has ended and the postseason is under way. I have always enjoyed trying to predict who will win those coveted baseball awards, after the year is over. Who is most deserving? Who had the best season? Who is most valuable? I have a list of awards below and the guys that I have chosen. In my opinion these are the guys that I would choose if I had a vote. Not necessarily who I predict will win, but those I think are most deserving of the award. I have listed the top two candidates for each major award along with some statistics. Of course you can pick out all kinds of stats or categories to make your case. Without listing them all here is a synopsis of my picks. A breakdown and meaning of stats listed at the bottom of the page.*
National League MVP: Bryce Harper (Was Nationals)
BA: .330 HR: 42 RBI: 99 OBP: .460 OPS: 1.109
Leading contender: Paul Goldschmidt (Ari Diamondbacks)
BA: .321 HR: 33 RBI: 110 OBP: .435 OPS: 1.005
Neither guy I have listed made it to the playoffs. To me it is important but not a requirement. In my opinion these two had the best years. Harper was no doubt valuable to his team. He helped them stay in the hunt for 5 months of the season. Harper led the majors in WAR (Wins above a replacement player) at 9.93. You can make a case for Anthony Rizzo (Chi Cubs) since his team did make the playoffs, but if you really break down the numbers no one had a better season than Bryce Harper.
American League MVP: Josh Donaldson (Tor Blue Jays)
BA: .297 HR: 41 RBI: 123 OBP: .371 OPS: .939
Leading contender: Mike Trout (La Angels)
BA: .299 HR: 41 RBI: 90 OBP: .402 OPS: .991
You talk to enough people and ask them what makes an MVP (Most Valuable Player) you’re probably going to get different answers. To me the award is pretty objective. If you define the word “value” according to Merriam-Webster it is “…having desirable or esteemed characteristics or qualities.” What does that mean? I don’t really no. Someone that is really important to their team. How about that? Look, the AL MVP Race is really close. Both players I have listed above are highly valuable and had fantastic seasons. But was anyone more of a spark plug to their team than Josh Donaldson? Was anyone more valuable than him? I don’t think any player elevated his level of play more in the American League than Josh Donaldson. Josh Donaldson helped lead his team to the playoffs. Mike Trout and his team didn’t make into the postseason. Tie-breaker to the playoff bound Donaldson.
National League CY: Zack Greinke (La Dodgers)
Wins: 19 ERA: 1.66 WHIP: .84 BAA: .187 BABIP: .223 QS: 30
Leading contender: Jake Arrieta (Chi Cubs)
Wins: 22 ERA: 1.77 WHIP: .86 BAA: .185 BABIP: .237 QS: 29
This is the race that is the closest. Flip a coin and you can find a deserving player. Jake Arrieta has been the most talked about the last month or so of the season. He posted an insane .75 ERA since the All-Star break. He gave up a total of 9 earned runs in 15 games after the break. That’s it! As impressive as that is Zach Greinke still has a better ERA and WHIP. Greinke has been the most consistent pitcher in baseball. Greinke’s ERA before the All-Star break was 1.39. Arrieta’s was 2.66. Greinke’s ERA after the All-Star break was 1.99. Arrieta’s like I mentioned was .75. Greinke’s ERA hardly changed. This award is not given out for the best final half of the season. It’s an award that encompasses the entire year. Thus, in my mind Greinke has been the better pitcher.
American League CY: Dallas Keuchel (Hou Astros)
Wins: 20 ERA: 2.48 WHIP: 1.02 BAA: .217 BABIP: .259 QS: 27
Leading contender: David Price (Tor Blue Jays)
Wins: 18 ERA: 2.45 WHIP: 1.08 BAA: .230 BABIP: .284 QS: 24
Another close race for the American League CY Young award. David Price has been really good and helped the Blue Jays down the stretch of the season. Price posted a 2.32 ERA in September. Keuchel has been human on the road this season with an ERA of 3.77. At home no one has been better than Keuchel with a 1.46 ERA. Overall you break down the stats. Keuchel has had a better year.
National League ROY: Kris Bryant (Chi Cubs)
BA: .275 HR: 26 RBI: 99 OBP: .369 OPS: .858 – 151 Games
Leading contender: Matt Duffy (SF Giants)
BA: .295 HR: 12 RBI: 77 OBP: .334 OPS: .762 – 149 Games
Randal Grichuk of the St. Louis Cardinals would have been in the running if he had stayed healthy. But Grichuk only played in 103 games, not enough to be in major consideration. The numbers speak for themselves on this one. Kris Bryant lived up to the hype in his rookie campaign. The kid is a stud, and he showed it this year.
American League ROY: Carlos Correa (Hou Astros)
BA: .279 HR: 22 RBI: 68 OBP: .345 OPS: .857 – 99 Games
Leading contender: Francisco Lindor (Cle Indians)
BA: .313 HR: 12 RBI: 51 OBP: .353 OPS: .835 – 99 Games
Not only did Carlos Correa solidify the middle of the lineup for the Astros upon his call up but the kid can flash the leather. Lindor, Miguel Sano, and Roberto Osuna all had great rookie seasons. Overall, I think Correa had the best year and meant the most to his team. The Astros no doubt increased their level of play when he came up from the minor leagues.
National League Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon (Chi Cubs)
W/L Record Team: 97-65
Leading contender: Terry Collins (NY Mets)
W/L Record Team: 90-72
It’s Joe Maddon. It is the Cubs we are talking about here! Molding a young team and turning them into a powerhouse. Honestly, much quicker than I expected. Let’s face it the Mets were not very good at the beginning of the year. If you remember some were barking at Collins, especially in the NY media. When the GM made some major changes adding to their lineup they took off, most notably Yoenis Cespedes. You could say the front office was the best in baseball. But I wouldn’t say the manager Terry Collins was. Don’t forget about Mike Matheny! Matheny once again helped keep this team together through all the injuries. But the Cardinals have great talent. They were expected to win. That is why Maddon is my pick.
American League Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister (Tx Rangers)
W/L Record Team: 88-74
Leading contender: John Gibbons (Tor Blue Jays)
W/L Record Team: 93-69
Both managers did a great job. Somewhat similar to what my argument was for the NL Manager of the year. The pieces the Blue Jays added at the trade deadline propelled them to the playoffs. But I don’t think many expected the Texas Rangers to contend this season. I for one did not. Not to mention the Rangers didn’t have their ace pitcher Yu Darvish for a single game this year. Banister mixed and matched this year better than any other. AJ Hinch is also in the conversation for the Astros as well. Really you could make a strong case for him as well. I just think Banister is most deserving.
Who are your picks? Let me know if you think I am wrong!
• BA = Batting Average
• HR = Home Runs
• RBI = Runs Batted In
• OBP = On Base Percentage
• OPS = On Base Plus Slugging
• Wins = Games Won
• ERA = Earned Run Average
• WHIP = Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched
• BAA = Opponents Batting Average
• BABIP = Batting Average on balls in play
• QS = Quality Starts
MLB Postseason 2015
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the playoffs for the 5th straight season! They ended with an impressive 100 wins. But do you have faith they will go deep into the playoffs? I don’t. But it’s October and you never know what can happen. I am always hopeful. I love watching the playoffs and we have another great one in store for us this year. I will be glued to my TV you can bet on that.
Here is the roster for St. Louis Cardinals in the division series against the Chicago Cubs.
Can you believe this is the first year in history the Cubs and Cardinals have met in the playoffs? Well it’s true. Pretty amazing but it is true. This should be a great series. I think it will go the full 5 games. I am picking the Cardinals in 5 games.
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Agree or disagree with my opinion? Let me know your thoughts! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @rusty_hendricks
Stats and information taken from: espn.com, baseballreference.com, stlcardinals.com, and mirriam-webster.com