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My MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year picks

Oct 5, 2012, 5:52 PM EDT

Mike Trout AP

Here are my picks for the MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards for each league. Obviously, these are all for fun. I’m not a BBWAA member and do not have ballots for any of these awards.

Feel free to flame away.

AL MVP
1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Robinson Cano
4. Adrian Beltre
5. Justin Verlander
6. Austin Jackson
7. David Price
8. Josh Hamilton
9. Adam Jones
10. Alex Rios

I put down my thoughts on Trout vs. Cabrera earlier this week. Cabrera is going to win the MVP, and I’m OK with that. I think Trout was pretty clearly the better player, but he did play in 22 fewer games after opening the season in the minors.

As for the rest, Cano’s awesome finishing kick thrust him from somewhere in the 7-10 range up to No. 3. That spot appeared likely to come down to Beltre vs. Hamilton a couple of weeks ago, but Hamilton’s disappearing act nearly knocked him off the ballot entirely.

I went for Jones over Matt Wieters as the token Oriole. I really wanted to give the last spot to Edwin Encarnacion, but I couldn’t quite justify it. Joe Mauer and Ben Zobrist were also in the running, but Rios had a pretty terrific season.

AL Cy Young
1. Justin Verlander
2. David Price
3. Felix Hernandez
4. Fernando Rodney
5. Chris Sale

Price had the ERA lead, the wins and the tougher schedule. Strictly on an inning-by-inning basis, I’d give him the edge over Verlander here. Still, I think the difference is pretty small and doesn’t make up for the fact that Verlander made the equivalent of four more starts that Price did. Considering the infield defense behind him, the fact that Verlander finished second in the league in WHIP and batting average allowed is pretty amazing.

AL Rookie of the Year
1. Mike Trout
2. Yu Darvish
3. Yoenis Cespedes
4. Jarrod Parker
5. Tommy Milone

Not only does it have maybe the greatest rookie ever at the top, but the AL class is so very deep. Scott Diamond, Wei-Yin Chen, Will Middlebrooks, Matt Moore, Jose Quintana, Ryan Cook, A.J. Griffin, Manny Machado, Hisashi Iwakuma, Addison Reed, Sean Doolittle and Robbie Ross all made valuable contributions. Jesus Montero still projects very well too, though he was a disappointment this year.

NL MVP
1. Yadier Molina
2. Buster Posey
3. Ryan Braun
4. Andrew McCutchen
5. David Wright
6. Chase Headley
7. Aramis Ramirez
8. Aaron Hill
9. Joey Votto
10. Clayton Kershaw

I’ve flip-flopped a few times here.

Molina is the game’s best defensive catcher, and he started 22 more games behind the plate than Posey did this year. Yeah, he’s the worst hitter of the top six here, but it’s not by all that huge of a margin. He’s 87 points of OPS shy of Posey, 113 points shy of Braun.

One seemingly minor factor that swayed me in the end; Molina somehow hit into just 10 double plays this year. He came in at 21, 27, 19 and 21 the previous four years. It’s really a pretty amazing total given that he’s pretty slow, he hits plenty of grounders and he rarely strikes out. If Molina had made those 10-12 extra outs he usually does on twin-killings, I probably would have gone Posey first.

NL Cy Young
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Johnny Cueto
4. Kris Medlen
5. Matt Cain

I spent pretty much the entire year believing Dickey was the choice here. And he still would have been if Kershaw had succumbed to his hip injury. Kershaw came back and made a couple of more starts, though, and he proved to be the best pitcher. He led in ERA, strikeout ratio and WHIP while pitching just six fewer innings than Dickey. He also faced the tougher schedule. Consider that his opponents OPS was .760, even though quality left-handed hitters often sat out against him. Dickey’s was .750, the lowest mark of the top five pure starters (including Gio Gonzalez, not including Medlen).

As for Medlen, his schedule was the weakest of the bunch. But he was amazing, amassing a 1.57 ERA in 138 innings. I think that’s quite a bit more valuable than what Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman did. I also think it trumps Gio Gonzalez’s performance. Gonzalez gave up 43 additional runs (40 earned) while pitching 61 1/3 innings more innings than Medlen. That’s a 5.87 ERA. In comparison, Medlen allowed 19 more runs (17 earned) in 75 1/3 innings more than Kimbrel pitched. That’s a 2.03 ERA.

NL Rookie of the Year
1. Bryce Harper
2. Wade Miley
3. Norichika Aoki
4. Todd Frazier
5. Wilin Rosario

Miley seemed to have this one in the bag for most of the year, but he went 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his final six starts. Harper, meanwhile, hit .330 with seven homers and 27 runs scored in 112 at-bats between September and October. It’s still terribly close, and I’ve gone back and forth on my choice a few times. It’s too bad they can’t tie.

As for Rosario, he was just too sloppy defensively to justify a higher spot. He did lead all major league catchers and rookies in homers, but I think Aoki and Frazier were more valuable this year.

  1. theman1932 - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Actually, I heard Molina is willing to give up the MVP and give it to Sam Holbrook.

  2. jwag777 - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Matt P is completely nuts, except for maybe NL rookie of year….

  3. 49ersgiants4life - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    Miggy will win the MVP based on the triple crown it is impressive his D sucks but so did Barry’s when he won his last few it is basically a hitting award Trout is an absolute stud and will win MVP a few times before his career is over

    • spellingcops - Oct 10, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      I hate punctuation too it serves no purpose I think they should do away with it altogether it’s so overrated

  4. legacybroken - Oct 6, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    The Trout fanboys have gotten very nasty and agressive the last couple of days. Can’t we all just agree that both Cabrera and Trout had amazing years and leave the MVP vote for the BBWAA voters. Cabrera likely will win but Trout given this years performance stands a good chance of being an mvp contender another year. Here’s hoping that in 8 years we can have an interesting debate comparing both Miggy and Trout’s phrenomenal first 9 seasons in the league.

  5. bbk1000 - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    It’s official, Matt knows nothing about baseball….

  6. jagsfan11 - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Price for AL CY Young

  7. megastaff1975 - Oct 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    you seriously gonna vote for Trout to win the MVP?!?!?! Trout was actually declining for the past 2 months. I have seen a few Angels fans actually state that Cabrera deserves the MVP over Trout simply cause he was declining for the past 2 months.how can he be considered in the MVP talks when hes not playing at his best the last 2 months. Trout will win the ROY but not the MVP.

    • jl9830 - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      It’s not two month MVP; it’s 2012 MVP. And just because Angels fans say it, we have to agree? Objectively looking at it, there’s valid arguments for each player.

  8. opshuns - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Molina the MVP on a team with Holiday and Craig. Yeah, Right! Dude stick to croquet. Triple Crown guys wins MVP….

    • jl9830 - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Wrong site for that argument, pal.

  9. jl9830 - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Kershaw over Dickey? LOL.

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