It’s that time of year again: award time. Some are predictable, others will be contested. Here’s a look at the four majors, if you will – MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year – in both leagues, with my choices for winners and others in the running.
Most Valuable Player
A.L. – Jose Altuve
The Astros second baseman leads the league in batting average, hits, multi-hit games and is among the leaders in runs scored, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He also profiles as one of the league’s better defenders at his position and is third in stolen bases. In other words, he’s a complete player, and as a member of one of the two best teams in the league, that should count for something.
What’s more, Altuve has been remarkably consistent and durable. Aaron Judge has thrust himself into the conversation with a terrific September, but even with a 50-homer season, Judge essentially disappeared for July and August and that’s hard to overlook.
Also receiving consideration: Judge, Jose Ramirez, Mike Trout.
N.L. – Paul Goldschmidt
Goldschmidt remains criminally underrated. He’s the rare power-hitting first baseman who’s also a superb baserunner and his defense is well above-average. His OPS is approaching 1.000. If Goldschmidt played in a bigger media market, he’d be perhaps the biggest star in the game.
There is no shortage of other worthy contenders, but a few of them – Cincinnati’s Joey Votto, Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton to name two – play for teams with losing records. To me, the “Valuable’’ means something; if this were a Player of the Year Award, it would be hard to deny Stanton, who may become just the fifth player in history to hit 60 or more homers.
But then, the Marlins haven’t been factors in the playoff race all season and while that’s not Stanton’s fault – or Votto’s in Cincinnati, for that matter – it’s hard to say either has been the most valuable to their respective teams when said teams are going to finish under .500.
Also receiving consideration: Stanton, Votto, Kris Bryant.
CY YOUNG AWARD