American League Awards
MVP: Mike Trout ( Centre fielder, Los Angeles Angels)
Logically, Trout must win the MVP. He’s been the best player in the MLB for five years; however, the voters are largely establishment cronies and it’s possible he’ll lose because the Angels had a bad season. While Mookie Betts was putting up superstar numbers on one of the best offensive teams this decade, Trout recorded similar numbers with no lineup protection or runners on base for him. On performance and value, Trout should unquestionably win.
Runners-up: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox; Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
Cy Young: Corey Kluber (Starting pitcher, Cleveland Indians)
Kluber has been one of baseball’s best for the last three years. Finally, the rest of his team has caught up. In a year where pitchers have been good but not great, Kluber stands out as a workhorse and strikeout machine. No other pitcher on a good team has been as influential and statistically productive as Kluber. Orioles closer Zach Britton may be unhittable, but only pitches one inning a game.
Runners-up: Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles; Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
Rookie of the Year: Gary Sanchez (Catcher, New York Yankees)
After making his major league debut in August, Gary Sanchez has been the best player in the league. He plays the most demanding defensive position at a Gold Glove level while hitting moon shots at a historic pace. Sanchez has supreme tools of arm strength and power, making him a must-watch on TV. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer was great for a longer stretch, but Gary Sanchez brimmed with transcendent talent.
Runners-up: Michael Fulmer, Starting pitcher, Detroit Tigers.
Manager of the Year: Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians)
On-field production is largely unpredictable, yet it is possible to control the deployment of the right players at the right spots. Francona’s iconoclastic move, turning superstar closer Andrew Miller into a fireman sent out at any whiff of danger, stands out as creativity in a game dominated by convention. Winning the division with one of the lowest payrolls in the American League without superstar Michael Brantley is irrefutable managerial brilliance.
Runners-up: Jeff Banister, Texas Rangers; A.J. Hinch, Houston Astros
National League Awards
MVP: Corey Seager (Shortstop, Los Angeles Dodgers)
Corey Seager should join Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn as the only players to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. He is a generational talent and what he has been able to do at such a young age is simply outstanding. Unlike Kris Bryant who had the lineup protection and support to put up ridiculous numbers, Seager did it with a constantly changing cast of characters.
Runners-up: Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs; Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies
CY Young: Max Scherzer (Starting pitcher, Washington Nationals)
Max Scherzer continued to dominate the league this year. While 20 wins might not be as important as it once was, his advanced statistics are all spectacular. He led the National League in innings pitched and was virtually unhittable all season. With the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw injured for most of the season and Kyle Hendricks not breaking the 200 inning plateau, Scherzer should take home his second Cy Young this year.
Runners-up: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers; Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager (Shortstop, Los Angeles Dodgers)
Dodgers’ youngster Corey Seager has run away with this year’s Rookie of the Year award. While his teammate Kenta Maeda was phenomenal on the mound, nobody came close to touching Seager this season. The NL hasn’t seen a rookie with this much talent since Buster Posey won the award in 2010. Frankly, he was so good that he should take home the MVP award, too.
Runners-up: Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers, Aledmys Diaz St. Louis Cardinals
Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Dave Roberts has masterminded his way to a fourth consecutive NL West title. He showed no fear, continually finding ways to win games despite managing a team with a record 28 players on the disabled list. While Joe Maddon led the Cubs to their first 100 win season since 1935, Roberts led a team of misfits to the postseason while dealing with constant Yasiel Puig drama. The Dodgers might not have been the NL’s best, but Roberts was certainly the top manager.
Runners-up: Joe Maddon, Chciago Cubs; Terry Collins New York Mets