Saturday, November 16, 2013

My 2013 IBWAA awards ballot: Trout, Kershaw, Myers, Hurdle, Uehara, more

This is my 2013 Internet Baseball Writers Association of America awards ballot (yay transparency!). I feel I didn't go too homer in some places. Enjoy!

*- BBWA winner
**- IBWAA winner
***- BBWA and IBWAA winner

American League

Most Valuable Player
1. Mike Trout, Anaheim
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit***
3. Josh Donaldson, Oakland
4. Chris Davis, Baltimore
5. Robinson Cano, New York
6. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
7. Manny Machado, Baltimore
8. Dustin Pedroia, Boston
9. Max Scherzer, Detroit
10. Adrian Beltre, Texas
- Like last year, my top two are the same. Also like last year, Cabrera was voted ahead of Trout. Trout has two of the best age-20 and 21 seasons, yet has zero MVPs to show for it. Oh, and he plays defense and runs the bases well. Donaldson was really good and underrated this season. Machado had a solid season with the bat, but was game-changing with his glove.

1. Max Scherzer, Detroit***
2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle
3. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit
4. Yu Darvish, Texas
5. Chris Sale, Chicago
- Scherzer had a fantastic season, and it had nothing to do with wins. Hernandez is underrated seemingly every year. Any of these five had a case for the award.

Rookie of the Year
1. Wil Myers, Tampa Bay***
2. Jose Iglesias, Boston/Detroit
3. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay
- Myers was not only the best rookie in an otherwise weak AL crop, he was the most impactful. Iglesias hit surprisingly well, but also has an “8” glove. Archer is the next great Tampa Bay starter.

Manager of the Year
1. Terry Francona, Cleveland*
2. Ned Yost, Kansas City
3. Bob Melvin, Oakland
- Francona did a masterful job in Cleveland. There’s some talent on that roster, but not 92-win talent. I’m shocked Yost didn’t get a lot of play for the award in the BBWA or IBWAA ballots. Melvin guided his team to the third-best record in baseball. I probably erred by not including IBWAA winner John Farrell**.

Reliever of the Year
1. Koji Uehara, Boston
2. Greg Holland, Kansas City**
3. Neal Cotts, Texas
- Uehara doesn’t throw hard at all, yet was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. Holland is on the cusp of being an elite closer. Cotts had an amazing comeback season.


National League

Most Valuable Player
1. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh***
2. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis
3. Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles
4. Yadier Molina, St. Louis
5. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
6. Joey Votto, Cincinnati
7. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
8. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles
9. Shin-Soo Choo, Cincinnati
10. Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee
- McCutchen was far and away the NL’s best player. While his counting stats aren’t overly impressive, he provided much more value than home runs and RBIs. Carpenter led the majors in runs scored, hits and doubles. Ramirez would have run away with this award if he performed like he did over, say, 130 games. He was that valuable. Molina and Goldschmidt were great in their own rights. I probably should have voted Kershaw higher.

Cy Young
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles***
2. Jose Fernandez, Miami
3. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis
4. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia
5. Matt Harvey, New York
- This was the slam dunk of all slam dunks. Kershaw had a season for the ages and was never in danger of losing out to a fluke season (like last year). Fernandez was shut down in September, or he could have made a better case. Harvey was the biggest competition for Kershaw before he blew out his elbow.

Rookie of the Year
1. Jose Fernandez, Miami***
2. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles
3. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles
- The award is for “best rookie,” not “most valuable rookie.” Puig was the most valuable, Fernandez was the best. His age-20 season was one of the best in the history of the game -- hard to overlook that. Ryu was hurt by a deep class (Shelby Miller, Julio Tehran) and age (26).

Manager of the Year
1. Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh***
2. Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta
3. Don Mattingly, Los Angeles
- OK, maybe this was the slam dunk of slam dunks. Like Francona in Cleveland, Hurdle managed his team to better-than-expected results with talent that wasn’t necessarily top-notch (despite having the MVP). Mattingly is only here because his team sucked until June 22 and he was almost fired.

Reliever of the Year
1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles
2. Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta**
3. Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis
- Hard to go wrong with any of these three. My Dodger bias plays in a little here, but Jansen is vastly underrated in the media because, well, I’m not exactly sure why.


Graphic credit: Howard Cole, baseballsavvy

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