Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Monday night, the BBWAA Award finalists were announced, and it's time to speculate and have some Ball Boy Talk. All awards are voted on and submitted before the postseason even starts, so keep that in mind. I threw in major stats to help you understand why these players are the finalists for their award.
AL Manager of the Year:
-White Sox's: Rick Renteria-Finished the season with a 35-25 record and then was fired as he took the White Sox to the playoffs and put them into a spot to be genuine contenders in the AL. Renteria was able to connect and lead this young team through all the trials and tribulations of this short season.
-Rays' Kevin Cash- Finished the season with a 40-20 record and led his club to the world series. Cash has been the 3rd place finalist for the award for the last two seasons. Cash has proved time and time again that data, matchups, and a bottom-five payroll in the MLB can win. Cash used 12 different players to get a save in 2020
-Blue Jays' Charlie Montoyo- Just two years into managing the Jays' Montoyo led the young Jays to the postseason. He was able to keep the spirits high as the Jays' didn't play a real game at home all of 2020 as they made Buffalo their home.
My Pick: Kevin Cash
NL Manager of the Year:
-Marlins Don Mattingly- Being able to lead this team past the biggest outbreak in sports in 2020 was a task in itself. It was then able to get this Marlins team to the playoffs and end the longest NL playoff drought. With many 1-year vets, rookie pitchers, and much more, Mattingly has a great core and bright future ahead.
-Cubs David Ross- With the band and dynasty looking to be coming to an end, 1st-year manager and former player Ross. He went from the lockers to his office and took the Cubs right back to the playoffs.
-Padres' Jayce Tingler- The Padres pushed the Dodgers for the NL West and showed they could slam the ball as much as they want. The Padres showed they are a threat as a team, and everyone needs to watch out! Great Job to Tingler, as this team is ready to compete.
My Pick Don Mattingly
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AL Rookie of the Year:
-Mariners' Kyle Lewis- Not only did the lead all rookies in TB, BB, and R, and was tied for the Rookie lead in HR with Robert. He is also a finalist for the Gold Glove award. Overcoming early-career injuries and now he is here as the face of the Seattle Mariners. Lewis posted a 1.4WAR and a slash of .262/.364/.437 on the year.
-Astros' Cristian Javier- Stepping into the Ace role for the Astros after JV went down to injury. With an outstanding showing and going at least 6innings in 6/7 of his last season starts. He has shown a high upside for the Astros as they enter into a new chapter. He posted a 1.3WAR, 3.48ERA, and 5W.
-White Sox's Luis Robert- What a season from the man who got a six-year contract without ever having an MLB AB, and he did not disappoint to start the season. The 2nd half was a struggle, and that's where his case was hurt the most. However, this man was incredible at the plate, in the field, and just as a personality. Robert has a bright, bright future for the White Sox as he posted a 1.6WAR and a slash line of .233/.302/.436 in 2020.
My Pick: Kyle Lewis(Yes, there is 100% home team bias)
NL Rookie of the Year:
-Phillies' Alec Bohm- Showed up as a shift beater. Bohm beat the shift so often, showed such an advanced eye at the plate, and was quite fantastic. The Phillies have a great option at 3B in Bohm and will help Phillie's long term be excellent as he posted a 0.7WAR and a slash line of .388/.400/.481 over 40 games.
-Padres' Jake Cronenworth- Another player who was shift buster. Cronenworth showed advanced plate discipline and the ability to go with the pitch and hit. Cronenworth took the opportunity to start when Hosmer was hurt. Then he was able to show his versatility and that his bat and defense will keep him in every day for the Padres. In 2020 Cronenworth posted a 1.4WAR over 54 games while slashing .285/.354/.477
-Brewers' Devin Williams- Allowed 1ER on 1HR during his 22IP. He went from almost not making the team to being THE BEST RP on the Brewers now. It is an incredibly dominant season from Williams and shows the boost the Brewers need in pen.
My Pick: Jake Cronenworth
AL CY Young:
-Indians' Shane Bieber- Won the pitching triple crown for W/ERA/K, and he also led MLB and AL in most of all pitching stats. Showing he is the real ace for Indians now and in the future. Bieber has dropped his ERA by 1+ points over the last two years down to what it is now. He is only getting better. The 3.3WAR, 8W, and 1.63ERA were terrific.
-Twins' Kenta Maeda- The biggest question for Maeda was is he an SP or RP as he was used as both for the Dodgers. Then the Mookie trade happened, and Maeda was given the job of Ace for the Twins, and he did not disappoint. With his 2.70ERA, 6W, and his 1.6WAR
-Blue Jays' Hyun Jin Ryu- Another former Dodger who was given a big contract to be the ace of the Blue Jays and did not disappoint. Pitching to a 2.69ERA, 5W, and 3.0WAR and leading the Blue Jay's to the playoffs.
My Pick: Shane Bieber
NL CY Young:
-Reds' Trevor Bauer- First Red to ever win the award? With Bauers untouchable curveball and his complete dominance on the mound. Bauers 2.7WAR,100K, 5-4W-L, 1.73ERA were the best of the best in NL. Bauer had an ERA+ of 276 and a FIP of 2.88
-Cubs Yu Darvish- First time since 2013 in the voting for CY Young, and we saw Darvish throw his cutter and slider 54.4% of the season helped Darvish pitch to a 2.01ERA,93K, 8-3W-L, and a 2.7WAR. Manager David Ross was able to get Darvish back into form. Darvish had a 221ERA+ and 2.23FIP
-Mets' Jacob deGrom- Could be his 3rd straight award. With a 2.38ERA,104K, 4-2W-L, 2.6WAR, he makes an excellent case. deGrom had a 178ERA+ and 2.26FIP
My pick: Yu Darvish, however, it's likely Bauer wins, but Darvish had the overall best season by the numbers.
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-Dodgers Mookie Betts- Be the 2nd player ever to win the award in both the AL and the NL. He was leading the WAR and defensive runs saved. He finished with a 3.4WAR and led the Dodgers to the Playoffs as an emotional leader. Betts showed that he was worth the mega contact. Betts slashed an impressive .292/.366/.562
_Braves' Freddie Freeman- Lead the league in XBH, 2nd in BA, and Avg with runners in scoring position. Finished the season with a 2.9WAR and a slash of .341/.462/.640 show how GREAT Freeman was in 2020.
-Padres Manny Machado- Best 2nd half of the season in baseball. Leading the Padres and coming in the clutch at all the right times to lead the Padres to the Divisional round. Finishing the season with a 2.8WAR and a slash of .304/.370/.580. Machado led the Padres down the stretch into the Playoffs and finally started to show why he got the vast contract finally.
My Pick: Freddie Freeman
White Sox's' Jose Abreu- Looking to become the 3rd Cuban bord player to win the award. Led the league in H, SLG, TB, and RBI. He also had a 22Gm hit streak—a true leader for the White Sox. Abreu finished the season with 2.8WAR and a slash line of .317/.370/.617 indeed an elite season.
-Yankees DJ LeMahieu- Led the AL in BA and OPS and won his 2nd batting title in his career. 2nd player only to win the Batting Title in both the NL and AL. After playing in only 50 games, LeMahieu finished the season with a 2.8WAR and a slash of .364/.421/.590
- Indians' Jose Ramirez- This time around, his 3rd time in contention for the award. With all Ramirez's streakiness, he got hot and led the Indians down the stretch into the playoffs. As we saw again in 2020, when Ramirez is hot, he is hard to slow down as he posted a 2.2WAR and a slash line of .292/.386/.607.
My pick: Jose Abreu
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