Monday, 1 October 2007

My MLB Awards - American League

After giving my National League Awards yesterday, it's time for the AL, because such is the natural progression of things.

Cy Young: CC Sabathia (Cleveland Indians)
Sabathia sticks out slightly to me in a crowded AL race at the top. He had a great K:BB rate of 5.65:1, which best among AL starters. Another thing that gives him the edge in my book is that he had 241 IP, again leading the AL.
2. Dan Haren (Oakland Athletics)
Haren cooled off a lot in the 2nd half, but he still put together an excellent season. He had a solid K rate and BB rate, which gives him a slight edge over Lackey in my book.
3. John Lackey (Los Angeles Angels)
As mentioned, this was really close. Honestly, if you put him at #1, I'd be hard-pressed to agree. He's been a very, very good pitcher for a few years now.
4. Josh Beckett (Boston Red Sox)
He was always a little overrated, but this year he really pitched up to his potential. The voters will look at the wins, but the more telling stats are the 4.85: 1 K:BB rate, and the fact that he did a solid job of keeping the ball in ballpark. And the fact that he stayed healthy is nice.
5. Johan Santana (Minnesota Twins)
He was not as good as he has been over the last 3 years, but still pretty darn effective. He struck out a solid 9.66 batters per 9 innings.

Rookie of the Year: Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox)
I think Pedroia was the best of a moderately underwhelming AL rookie class. But that shouldn't discount Pedroia's achievement, because he was very solid holding down 2B for the Sox. He was solid defensively at 2B, got on base at a very solid .380 clip, and even hit 39 doubles. A very solid year. (Ed. Note: I just realized I wrote the word "solid" 4 times in that description. I should proofread sometimes)
2. Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles)
Surprisingly, even though he cooled off a little, Guthrie was the best AL Rookie pitcher in my book. He didn't strike out as many guys as Daisuke, but he has better control, which led to a solid 3.70 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
3. Daisuke Matsuzaka (Boston Red Sox)
I think it's fair to say that Daisuke was a little bit of a disappointment. Still, he has nasty stuff and gave them almost 205 solid innings. He had a good K rate, but walked a few too many guys. That resulted in a 4.40 ERA.
4. Hideki Okajima (Boston Red Sox)
In 69 innings, struck out 63 batters, walked 17, had 27 holds (for what it's worth), and even contributed 5 saves. He was a key cog in the very solid Red Sox bullpen.
5. Rafael Perez (Cleveland Indians
Perez was just about as good as it got in terms of middle relievers. In over 60 innings, he had over a 4:1 K:BB ratio, and had a 1.78 ERA for the Tribe.

MVP: Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees)
The easy choice. Playing 3B, all he did was lead the league in SLG, OPS, finish 4th in OBP, and even steal 24 bases just for good measure. Just a great, great player.
2. David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox)
He didn't do quite enough to overcome the fact that he doesn't play defense, but might have been the best hitter in the AL this year. He led the AL in OBP and finished 2nd in SLG. An underappreciated part of the Red Sox dominance this year was how very, very good David Ortiz was.
3. Magglio Ordonez (Detroit Tigers)
He cooled down a little bit in the 2nd half, but still hard to argue with the production. 2nd in the AL in VORP.
4. Carlos Pena (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
Yes, it's a bit baffling to me as well. But check the numbers. He was absurdly good this year. OBP of .411, and he finished 2nd in the AL in SLG.
5. Jorge Posada (New York Yankees)
A late career resurgence for Jorge Posada. As a catcher, he finished 3rd in the AL in OBP, and smacked 63 XBH. Jorge is my choice for #5.

What are your picks?