Now that the 2012 MLB regular season is complete, it’s time to pick the winners of baseball’s biggest awards.
I will hand out awards for the AL & NL MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year. Let the debate begin.
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera
During the long and heated debate for who deserves the AL MVP, I have been on Mike Trout’s side for most of the year. In my eyes, Trout was the most valuable, while Cabrera was simply baseball’s best hitter. Trout did it all this season, which would seem to make him the most valuable player in all of baseball. His offensive numbers were right there with Cabrera, and he had more assets to his team than Cabrera did. With his blazing speed, Trout tallied 49 stolen bases and 129 runs scored in just 139 games played. Sabermetrics are usually not too important to me, but a 10.7 WAR, with the second highest in baseball being an 8.2 by Robinson Cano is amazing. To add to that, just go on YouTube for a few minutes and watch some of Trout’s jaw-dropping catches. After all this, Trout is still not the AL MVP.
Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown is why he’s the MVP right?
Cabrera’s .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI, made him the first winner of the Triple Crown in 45 years. This is an amazing feat, but it is not why Cabrera should win the AL MVP. After being on Trout’s side the whole time, I had to give the MVP to Cabrera after comparing their September numbers. Trout hit .267/.380/.455 in September and his team failed to make the playoffs. Cabrera on the other hand, led his team to win the AL Central title by hitting .308/.378/.654 in September. When his team needed him the most, Cabrera became the AL’s MVP, while Trout looked like a normal rookie. This year’s race for the AL MVP is one of the greatest ever and baseball should be happy with whoever wins. Just remember, Cabrera was the AL’s MVP when it mattered most.
1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Mike Trout
3. Robinson Cano
NL MVP: Buster Posey
Buster Posey defined what being a true MVP means in 2012. A year after missing most of the season from a terrible injury, Posey showed there is no slowing him down. Posey finished the season with a slash line of .336/.408/.549 and his .336 batting average led the NL (Besides the Melky Cabrera…). Posey added 24 home runs and 103 RBI to his stellar offensive output. Those numbers are worthy of an MVP, but his second-half numbers solidified him of the MVP. There was no hitter more dominant than Posey in the second-half, making him the NL’s MVP. In 71 games, Posey hit .385/.456/.646 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI. Those are dominant numbers. The numbers make up an MVP, but in Posey’s case, look past the numbers. As a catcher, Posey plays the most demanding position in baseball and played his best after the Giants lost Melky Cabrera. At the tender age of 25, Posey became the NL’s MVP and one of the best leaders in baseball.
1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
3. Yadier Molina
4. Andrew McCutchen
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
No it’s not 2011 and Justin Verlander has not had an MVP caliber season, but he has had an AL Cy Young season. Verlander doesn’t lead the league in wins or ERA like David Price. He does lead the league in strikeouts with 239 strikeouts to go with his 17-8 record and 2.64 ERA. These are all solid stats, but what makes him the AL Cy Young is how he has dominated the most when it mattered. In 13 starts against postseason bound teams, plus the Chicago White Sox, Verlander went
8-1 with a 1.81 ERA. When he went power on power with opposing cleanup hitters, he did not give up one home run. In the final three innings of a game, hitters only batted .194/.251/.265. Verlander is a workhorse and pitched much more innings than David Price or Jered Weaver to preserve the Tigers’ bullpen. He may not have been as dominant as he was last year, but Verlander is certainly worthy of another AL Cy Young.
1. Justin Verlander
2. David Price
3. Jered Weaver
NL Cy Young: R.A. Dickey
With one pitch, R. A. Dickey’s season floated itself to an NL Cy Young. Dickey struggled all throughout his career and finally found his true gift in 2012. His knuckleball could do no wrong at times, and though his team was nothing special, Dickey was. Dickey compiled a 20-6 record with a 2.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and led the NL with 230 strikeouts. Dickey was in the top five in the NL in wins, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and innings pitched. Though the New York Mets were far from a playoff team, R.A. Dickey was the NL’s Cy Young in 2012. This is a wide open award, but Dickey deserves to come out on top.
1. R.A. Dickey
2. Johnny Cueto
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Matt Cain
AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout
This is pretty clear after he was as close as you can come to beating Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP. As a rookie, Trout hit .326/.399/.564 with 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases, 83 RBI and 129 runs scored. All of that came from the leadoff spot and after being brought up, the Angels went 83-59. Trout had the greatest rookie season in baseball history. Enough said.
1. Mike Trout
2. Yoenis Cespedes
3. Yu Darvish
NL Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper
Not so long ago, Bryce Harper was not even close to winning the NL Rookie of the Year. Then, he decided to be at his best when his team needed him the most. In September, Harper hit .330/.398/.651 with seven home runs. Harper came up huge towards the end of the year, while Wade Miley and Todd Frazier went cold. For most of September, the Nationals were without Stephen Strasburg and their teenage phenom came through in the clutch. As a teenager, Harper helped carry the Nationals to win the NL East and pursue their first championship. In his record breaking season, Harper ended up hitting .270/.340/.477 with 22 home runs, 18 stolen bases and 98 runs scored.
1. Bryce Harper
2. Wade Miley
3. Todd Frazier
Awards season is always highly debatable. Hopefully, you enjoyed my picks and let me know what you think.