Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My MLB 2014 regular season awards revealed

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I have the honor of being a part of the groups’ end of regular season award balloting.

The process runs similarly to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America where 10 players are balloted for the Stan Musial Award (league MVP), five for the Walter Johnson Award (league Cy Young), three for the Willie Mays Award (league Rookie of the Year) and three for the Connie Mack Award (league Manager of the Year). The BBA also votes for three players for the Goose Gossage Award (league Reliever of the Year). The BBA requires a written post to validate the ballot so here it goes.

I’ll provide a short snippet about the winner after the list. Please note that these ballots were also cast for the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America of which I am also a member.

American League Most Valuable Player (Stan Musial Award)

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Jose Abreu
  3. Michael Brantley
  4. Alex Gordon
  5. Jose Bautista
  6. Josh Donaldson
  7. Jose Altuve
  8. Victor Martinez
  9. Miguel Cabrera
  10. Corey Kluber
Great, he gets my vote again. Will he get the BBWAA vote? I cannot see him being beat by anyone this season. He’s arguably the best player in the game and in 2014 he was by far the best player in the American League in my opinion.

American League Cy Young Award (Walter Johnson Award)

  1. Corey Kluber
  2. Felix Hernandez
  3. Jon Lester
  4. Chris Sale
  5. Max Scherzer
I could have gone with Hernandez here and felt just as comfortable, but Kluber’s finish to the season really made an impression on me. Tough hitters ballpark for half his games and he was every bit as effective as Hernandez.

American League Rookie of the Year (Willie Mays Award)

  1. Jose Abreu
  2. Masahiro Tanaka
  3. Kevin Kiermaier

In July, this was Tanaka’s gig to lose. I would have had him in the Cy Young discussion as well. But, Abreu stayed mostly healthy and swung a big stick for much of the season.

American League Manager of the Year (Connie Mack Award)

  1. Mike Scioscia
  2. Buck Showalter
  3. Lloyd McClendon
This was another category which I could have flopped number one and two. I gave the edge to Scioscia for having to navigate the tougher division.

American League Reliever of the Year (Goose Gossage Award)

  1. Dellin Betances
  2. Wade Davis
  3. Jake McGee
The first two names were not closers for their teams but were undeniably the most dominant relievers in the American League. Betances was just a bit more dazzling in my view, edging out Davis.

National League Most Valuable Player (Stan Musial Award)

  1. Andrew McCutchen
  2. Clayton Kershaw
  3. Giancarlo Stanton
  4. Anthony Rendon
  5. Jonathan Lucroy
  6. Carlos Gomez
  7. Buster Posey
  8. Yasiel Puig
  9. Freddie Freeman
  10. Josh Harrison
Back to back wins for McCutchen? It’s possible. I felt his everyday efforts pushed his team to the postseason. But, I’m not going to argue with anyone who felt that Kershaw was the MVP.

National League Cy Young Award (Walter Johnson Award)

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Jordan Zimmermann
  4. Madison Bumgarner
  5. Stephen Strasburg
Wainwright was excellent, but Kershaw was other-worldly. He was a virtual lock for a win and allowing less than two runs in his outing was practically assured.

National League Rookie of the Year (Willie Mays Award)

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Billy Hamilton
  3. Ken Giles
deGrom had a brilliant second half and stole the award which many had earmarked for Hamilton. Hamilton can run, but he can’t get on base, so he’s a one-tool guy at this point. And unfortunately it’s a tool which goes unused too often.

National League Manager of the Year (Connie Mack Award)

  1. Matt Williams
  2. Clint Hurdle
  3. Mike Matheny
Williams got the Washington Nationals to put it all together running away with the NL East crown. Hurdle got a team arguably with slightly less pitching talent than 2013 back to the postseason and had they won the division, he would have grabbed my first place vote.

National League Reliever of the Year (Goose Gossage Award)

  1. Aroldis Chapman
  2. Craig Kimbrel
  3. Kenley Jansen
Chapman would scare the daylights out of me in the batter’s box. I gather he unnerves plenty of professional hitters as well. With 100+ mph heat on a constant basis and results to boot, he’s the most feared reliever in the NL ahead of a remarkably consistent Kimbrel.

So there you have it, all of my votes with a little explanation or clarification. Agree, or did I miss the boat? Let me know in the comments below.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer and sports media strategist. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In.