Friday, October 5, 2012

Baseball Bloggers Alliance AL Awards Ballot

Baseball! Bloggers! Awards! This is the first year I am participating in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance awards voting. I've spent way too much time poring over the numbers trying to make my picks. My number ones were not difficult, but the second and third spots drove me crazy for some reason.

Stan Musial Award (MVP)

1. Mike Trout
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Robinson Cano

For all the controversy over Trout v. Cabrera, this is an easy one for me. Cabrera had a great year...and Trout was significantly better. Cabrera was the better hitter by only the slightest of margins, and Trout ran the bases like Rickey and fielded like Willie.

Walter Johnson Award (Pitcher)

1. Justin Verlander
2. David Price
3. Felix Hernandez

Price had a slight edge in raw ERA to Verlander, but when park adjusted, Verlander comes out ahead. Add to that better fielder-independent numbers for Verlander, plus his league-leading innings pitched, and Verlander is the easy choice. The ordering of Price and Hernandez could go either way, but I liked Price's consistency. He had a quality start a league-leading 81% of the time he took the mound.

Goose Gossage Award (Reliever)

1. Fernando Rodney
2. Jake McGee
3. Jim Johnson

So, I'd never heard of Jake McGee when I started looking at AL relievers. McGee was apparently used as Tampa Bay's "fireman" this year, which I love. The lefty struck out 34% of the batters he faced and only walked 5%. Jim Johnson doesn't have impressive strikeout totals, but he did lead the league in both saves and shutdowns, while only "melting down" three times.

Willie Mays Award (Rookie)

1. Mike Trout
2. Yu Darvish
3. Jarrod Parker

Connie Mack Award (Manager)

1. Buck Showalter
2. Bob Melvin

I really don't know how to go about picking managers other than from teams that outperform their "on-paper" expectations. The O's and A's certainly epitomized that this year.

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