As the 2016 Major League Baseball season has ended with the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, the MLB has handed out their daily regular season awards.
Let’s see who took home some of the biggest honors:
American League MVP: Mike Trout
Mike Trout won his second AL MVP award of his career after coming off yet another stellar season. He played 159 games batting .315 with 29 home runs and 100 RBI’s.
Although there were players with better overall numbers, if we’re looking at this award in it’s truest form as far as being the most valuable player to an individual team, Trout is easily the most valuable to his team. The LA Angels have a poor season this year with a crop of middle of the road players and a team where it’s second best player is Albert Pujols, who although still a major threat and productive, is aging by the day and only has a few years left with his best baseball behind him in St. Louis.
Trout’s most telling stat is his WAR (Wins Above Replacement), which is the stat that best personifies a player’s value to his team compared to another player who could replace him. Trout gives the Angels at least nine more wins that whoever that player may be, which for a lot of teams, especially this season, could’ve been the difference between a playoff spot.
Trout was clearly the most valuable player this year, no question, even though his team did not make the playoffs. If you’re a person who thinks the MVP should come from a playoff team, then Mookie Betts should have been your choice with a .318 batting average, 31 home runs and 113 RBI’s who was clearly the best player on the team with the best record in the AL this year.
National League MVP: Kris Bryant
With the Cubs enjoying a season coming straight from Heaven, second year player Kris Bryant shined the most.
Bryant exploded in his sophomore season with a .292 batting average, 39 homers and 102 RBI’s. What’s most telling about Bryant’s season was the fact that throughout the year, he hit anywhere from lead-off to the fifth spot in the order which shows how great of a hitter he already is as each spot in the lineup requires a different approach of hitting.
Bryant was the featured bat in this lineup and still excelled hitting for average and for power. What we also have to take into consideration, in terms of his value, is the fact that he can play multiple positions in the field as well as he played third base and some outfield this year. With his range in the batting order and his range in the field, Bryant truly showcased how versatile and valuable he was to the World Champs this year.
American League Cy Young: Rick Porcello
This was the award that garnered the most controversy. With only eight first place votes, Rick Porcello won this year’s award over Justin Verlander, who tallied 14 first place votes.
In the overall voting, Porcello edged out Verlander 137-132, giving him the award. While many people were outraged at this fact, both deserved it this season.
As far as the winner is concerned, Porcello enjoyed a career year and proved himself to be the best pitcher on the team with the best record in his league. He finished the season 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA. Additionally, Porcello pitched in 223 innings this year, striking out 189 batters with a WHIP of 1.01 which was stellar.
In terms of the runner up, Justin Verlander enjoyed a truly resurgent year for the former Cy Young Award winner.
He finished 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA. He pitched in over 227 innings and struck out 254 batters with a 1.00 WHIP. Now, looking at these stats compared to Porcello’s, Verlander has the edge in all categories except wins and losses which most would deem the most important. However, when we look at the teams each pitched on, they weren’t even close.
Porcello pitched for the best offense in baseball which explains why even though he had a higher ERA than Verlander, he has six more wins. The run support Porcello received this season as opposed to Verlander are polar opposites and this is why many believed that Verlander was more valuable to his team.
This award is given to the best pitcher of a league during any season, not the most valuable. This season, Porcello was the best and most consistent pitcher in the AL.
National League Cy Young Winner: Max Scherzer
Coming off another dominant year on the mound, Scherzer became the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues.
This season, Scherzer finished with a 20-7 record with 2.96 ERA. He threw 228.1 innings, struck out 284 batters and had a WHIP of 0.97.
Scherzer led the league in Wins, strikeouts, WHIP and Innings and posted the best strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 5.07. Maybe most important, he won the WAR with a league best 6.2 wins above replacement. This is the stat that stands out in how we should look at his season because in a rotation that features Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, Scherzer was six wins better.
He was truly dominant this season.
Who do you feel got snubbed in this seasons awards? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.