CY YOUNG: Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw has put an end to all questions about the race for the Cy Young award with his stellar output this season. This should be the third year in a row for the 26-year-old that he places in the top two of Cy Young voting. His 224 strikeouts in 230 innings, ERA of 1.88, and WAR of 7.5 have cemented the left-hander as the undisputed best pitcher in baseball.
Rookie of the Year: Yasiel Puig
The NL is loaded with young talent, but the one rookie that stood out in the crowded field is Dodgers’ outfielder Yasiel Puig. Although Puig began his MLB career two months late, he immediately lit a fire underneath baseball’s most star-studded team. Since his arrival, the Dodgers have gone a blistering 64-32 after their measly 23-32 start to their season. The 22-year-old from Cuba has been more valuable in a reduced time frame than most rookies playing a full season. All he has to do now is keep his brash attitude in line for the rest of the season, and make space for the first major award of what should be a lengthy and noteworthy career.
Manager of the Year: Don Mattingly
The Los Angeles Dodgers were amazing this season and much of their success can be attributed to the steadying hand of Manager Don Mattingly. The third-year manager has guided his team through a tumultuous season that has seen them lose key players to injury. At the same time, Mattingly has been maintaining a balancing act with all the diverse attitudes and outlandish personalities in the clubhouse. At this point, anything shy of a World Series will be a disappointment for an organization that has invested heavily for a chance to win it all.
MVP: Andrew McCutchen
The name Andrew McCutchen is slowly becoming a household name in North America. Some call him a WAR (7.7) hero for keeping the Pirates at bay from elimination, and finally giving them their first winning season since 1992. Others call him the future NL MVP. With a batting average of .319, fourth in the NL, and .404 on base percentage, the star centerfielder is looking more like a monster than a pirate. Pittsburgh would not be in second place without their franchise player.
Dark Horse: Clayton Kershaw
Only two pitchers have won the CY Young award and MVP in the same season. Clayton Kershaw could be the next. Kershaw’s fantastic season has been outlined above, but it shows how well this 25 year old is playing. Los Angeles is a city of stars and big names, but this season Kershaw has shone the brightest.