The season is a goner. Let’s see who walks away with the hardware.
Final Five: Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer, Kendry Morales, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
Teixeira had a monster year leading the league in RBI and tying in home runs. He was a vacuum at first base, third in slugging (.565), No. 6 in runs scored (103) and 10th in walks. But he had help. The Yankees topped the Twins in every offensive category except triples and dominated the pitching comparison. While the Yankees cruised to a division title, Mauer had to carry the load while his team made a late-season run to another division title. Mauer led the league in hitting (.365), slugging and OPS. He hit 28 home runs, was second in on-base percentage and struck out just 63 times. Teixeira will get the votes, but Mauer is more deserving.
Final five: Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Derek Lee, Albert Pujols, Hanley Ramirez
This contest is so one-sided that Pujols should finish first and second. The Cardinals’ first baseman not only added to his Hall of Fame credentials, but inched his way closer up the best-of-all-time list. Pujols led the National League in home runs, runs, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS. His 135 RBI was six behind the co-leaders, he was second in doubles, third in walks and struck out a paltry 64 times. The question is not will Pujols win the MVP, but when will he surpass Stan Musial as the all-time greatest Cardinal?
AL Cy Young
Final Five: Zack Greinke, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander
No one did more with less than Greinke. The right-hander finished first in ERA, WHIP, second in batting average against and his 16 wins accounted for 24 percent of the Royals’ victories. He was the only one of Kansas City’s five regular starters to finish on the positive side of the .500 mark. Take out his 2.16 era and KC’s other four starters gave up an average of 5.9 runs per nine innings. He couldn’t even count on run support. Greinke had nine no-decisions during the season while giving up a total of 16 runs. The Royals’ hitters were awful. In the 14-team American League, the Royals finished 13th in runs, home runs, RBI and on-base percentage.
NL Cy Young
Final five: Chris Carpenter, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Javier Vázquez. Adam Wainwright,
The Cardinals’ right-hander got a lot of competition for Lincecum and Wainwright, but the 34-year-old pulls ahead with his 80.9 winning percentage and a league-low 2.24 era. While not an overpowering pitcher, Carpenter had a 3.78-1 strikeout to walk ratio, which combined for a National League second best 1.01 WHIP. Even in games when he was not the pitcher of record, Carpenter posted a 1.60 era in his seven no-decisions.
AL Rookie of the Year
Final Five: Elvis Andrus, Andrew Bailey, Gordon Beckham, Jeff Niemann, Rick Porcello
It may say more about a club than the athlete when a rookie leads the team in wins (13) and ERA (3.94). But Niemann carried the load and performed when no other Tampa player seemed capable. He was solid throughout with 13 quality starts, a respectable .266 batting average against mark while losing consecutive starts on only one occasion.
NL Rookie of the Year
Final Five: J.A. Happ, Chris Coghlan, Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones, Randy Wells
Philadelphia’s Happ stands out in an impressive rookie class by leading his World Series-participating team with a 2.93 ERA while tying for the team lead in victories. He won 75 percent of his starts, which is also tops among starters. Happ struck out 119 batters in 166 innings and was even better on the road then home with a baseball-best 1.99 era.
AL Manager of the Year
Minnesota’s Ron Gardenhire continues to win with an impoverished payroll. True, he competes in baseball’s worst division, but his team is a perennial competitor in the Central and he deserves a lot of credit.
NL Manager of the Year
Jim Tracy got the job in the 47th game of the season with the Rockies 10 games below .500. From that point Colorado won 63.7 percent of their games. Enough said.
Posted on: October 30, 2009 7:28 pm