The MLB has a funny way of announcing their award winners. They released the Gold Glove winners at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. The other award winners won’t be decided for another week. Here are the finalists for the 2018 awards.
AL Rookie of the Year
Miguel Andújar 3B, New York Yankees
Shohei Ohtani SP/DH, Lost Angeles Angles
Gleyber Torres 2B, New York Yankees
Having two finalists this season and Aaron Judge running away with the award last year shows how much young talent the Yankees have been churning out. Andújar was the Yankees’ most consistent hitter all year and set the franchise record for doubles for rookies with 46 which was previously held by Joe DiMaggio. He hit for a slash line of .297/.328/.527 although his defense was pretty bad. Ohtani is both a starting pitcher and a very capable hitter which adds a ton of value to his case considering he was hampered by a UCL injury this season. In starts, Ohtani pitched to a 4-2 record with a 3.31 ERA in 51.2 IP. He finished the season playing exclusively DH and hitting to a slash line of .285/.361/.564. Torres went on a tear when he first got called up. The 21-year old was looking like the sure fire ROY but saw a dip in production after sustaining a hip injury before the All-star break. He eventually broke out of it and finished the year with a strong push. He hit for .271/.340/.480.
Prediction: Miguel Andújar
NL Rookie of the Year
Ronald Acuña Jr. LF, Atlanta Braves
Juan Soto LF, Washington Nationals
Walker Buehler SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ronald Acuña Jr. was absolutely electrifying this season. He is part of a nice crop of young talent for the Braves who were surprisingly competitive this season. He hit for a .293 AVG with 26 home runs and drove in 64 RBIs with a .917 OPS. When Juan Soto was called up this season he was still 19. He mashed for a .292 AVG and a .923 OPS with 70 RBI’s. The Dodgers have to be excited about having another young talented arm in Walker Buehler. He pitched to a 2.62 ERA in 137.1 IP while striking out 151 batters.
Prediction: Juan Soto
AL Manager of the Year
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays
Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox
Bob Melvin, Oakland A’s
It’s hard to believe that Alex Cora is the underdog here after leading his club to a World Series championship and the most amount of wins in baseball this season. However, that is not the way this award goes. What Kevin Cash did in Tampa was nothing short of remarkable. Before the season began, the MLBPA filed a grievance towards the Rays for not spending enough revenue and insisted that they were tanking. On paper the grievance did not seem crazy. They had sold off their most known players but still managed to rack up a 90-win season and did it with barely any starting pitching. They adopted the opener system and it worked out for them considering what they had to work with. Bob Melvin led the A’s to the second wild card spot with the one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. They caught fire in June and took the league by storm mashing to the second most home runs in the AL while also getting creative with their pitching.
Prediction: Kevin Cash
NL Manager of the Year
Bud Black, Colorado Rockies
Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves
Craig Counsel, Milwaukee Brewers
Bud Black has led the Rockies to the playoffs for two consecutive seasons via the wild card. He is one of the most respected managers in the entire league and his players love playing for him. Snitker did a great job with a young Braves team who arrived about a year ahead of schedule by winning the NL East with 90 wins. Craig Counsel and the Brewers were responsible for dethroning the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs for the NL Central title by winning 96 games. The Brewers made a lot of big moves in the offseason getting big names like Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain which helped them make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Prediction: Craig Counsel
AL Cy Young
Justin Verlander RHP, Houston Astros
Corey Kluber RHP, Cleveland Indians
Blake Snell LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Justin Verlander continues to impress in is career revival with the Astros. Verlander formally won the AL Cy Young and MVP in 2011 and credits the Astros staff for his late career resurgence. He threw for 214 innings with a 2.52 ERA and 290 strikeouts and a .90 WHIP. Kluber will be looking to win back to back Cy Youngs. Nobody has done that in the AL since Pedro Martínez in 1999 and 2000. He pitched to a 2.89 ERA in 215 innings and 222 strikeouts with a .99 WHIP. Snell doesn’t have the innings the other two pitchers have but he may not need them. He pitched to a 1.89 ERA in 180 innings with 221 strikeouts and a .97 WHIP. Snell missed some time at the beginning of the season but he was one of the most dominant pitchers when he stepped on the field.
Prediction: Blake Snell
NL Cy Young
Jacob deGrom RHP, New York Mets
Max Scherzer RHP, Washington Nationals
Aaron Nola RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
deGrom is the favorite to win despite his mediocre 10-9 record. His offense failed him time and time again. His ERA was a 1.70 and he pitched 217 innings and struck out 269 and had a .91 WHIP. deGrom put up one of the most dominating seasons by a starting pitcher in the history of baseball. Scherzer will be looking for the three-peat after taking home the trophy in 2016 and 2017. It was business as usual this year for the flame throwing veteran. He pitched to a 2.53 ERA in 220.2 innings a struck out 300 batters and had a .91 WHIP. Aaron Nola had an impressive breakout season. He pitched to a 2.37 ERA with 212.1 IP and 220 strikeouts with a .97 WHIP.
Prediction: Jacob deGrom
Mookie Betts RF, Boston Red Sox
Mike Trout CF, Los Angeles Angels
José Ramírez 3B, Cleveland Indians
Betts led the majors with a .346 batting average and .640 slugging percentage. The lead-off man hit for some power this year setting a personal career high of 32 jacks. Betts also won the Gold Glove in right field. Advanced metrics will show you Mike Trout’s ridiculous 10.2 WAR is enough to put him in the top three. He has been the most consistent player in baseball and is when all is said and done, could be considered the greatest player to ever play. He slashed .312/.460/.628 and 1.008 OPS. On top of that, he is a fantastic defender in centerfield. Ramírez is an MVP finalist for the second year in a row after coming in third last year to Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve. He hit for a .270 average with 39 homers and 105 RBI’s with a .939 OPS. It was a shock that J.D. Martinez was not a finalist after bringing back the power surge in Boston and almost coming away with the Triple Crown but DH’s tend to get less love in the MVP voting.
Prediction: Mookie Betts
Nolan Arenado 3B, Colorado Rockies
Javy Baez SS, Chicago Cubs
Christian Yelich RF, Milwaukee Brewers
Arenado is arguably the best third baseman in baseball. He has been a key contributor in making the Rockies relevant again. He hit to a .297 AVG with 38 homers and 110 RBI’s with a .935 OPS. He also took home his 6th Gold Glove. He’s won every year since 2013. Baez enjoyed a career this year as the Cubs shortstop. He’s normally been their second baseman but Addison Russell was suspended for a domestic abuse situation with his wife. He slashed a .290/.309/.470 and hit 34 homers with a .881 OPS. Yelich had an unbelievable year in his first season with the Brewers. He racked up career highs in all major categories. He hit for a .326 AVG with 36 homers and 110 RBIs. He also had a .402 OBP and .598 SLG resulting in a 1.000 OPS.
Prediction: Christian Yelich