AL MVP: Mike Trout (7/8)
On the heels of EJ’s scathing take-down of the Miguel Cabrera contingent, it should come as no surprise that Mike Trout would hoist our imaginary hardware. For those of you that may have (luckily) missed the month long tit for tat on this subject, Trout led the American League in the following categories: runs, stolen bases, wOBA, WPA, VORP, TAv, OPS+, wRC+, oWAR, bWAR, fWAR, and WARP. While none of us really know what many of those supposed acronyms even mean, this is obviously fairly impressive, if not outright Ruthian (or Bondsian, sans the asterisk). And this is a bit misleading, as Trout actually led the entirety of Major League Baseball in all of these categories.
Sadly, he was unable to pitch well enough for the Angels to make the postseason, nor was he even capable of ‘pitcher whispering’ to cure Ervin Santana’s gopheritis or Dan Haren’s balky back … meaning he is rather unlikely to take home the actual hardware.
Also receiving votes – Robinson Cano.
NL MVP: Buster Posey (8/8)
Despite much discussion to the contrary – that is, the narrative naming four or five legitimate candidates for this award – Posey was similarly ubiquitous at the top of most National League leaderboards. The Giants catcher paced his league in batting average, OPS+, bWAR, fWAR, and WARP, and placed second in oWAR and wRC+. Non-foolhardy arguments exist for Yadier Molina, Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, and, perhaps, David Wright and Chase Headley, yet those require a journey into the subjective – wherein the playoff bound Posey may well will whatever narrative is invoked.
Also receiving votes – not a soul.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander & David Price (tie)
I am admittedly rather perplexed as to Verlander’s lack of a consensus repeat as the American League’s Cy Young winner, particularly among the more statistically-inclined community. Mr. Verlander led the junior circuit in innings pitched, strikeouts, complete games, ERA+, ERA-, FIP-, bWAR, fWAR, and WARP, all of which equates to a rather dominant showing.
Price was no slouch, leading the league in ERA and xFIP, and finishing in the top-five or thereabouts whilst pitching in the AL East. And despite the stigma associated with pitcher wins, it should be said that he won twenty games for a largely underachieving team, and all but carried the Rays rotation for the better part of the second half.
Also receiving votes – nary a gentleman.
NL Cy Young: R.A. Dickey (5/8)
The NL Cy Young might be the greatest toss-up of the major awards, with Dickey, Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, and Gio Gonzalez all having fairly compelling arguments. With Dickey, however, it appears as though his consistent showings across the top of the leaderboard won the day. The knuckleballer led the senior circuit in strikeouts, innings pitched, complete games, and shutouts, and finished either second or third in ERA, ERA+, SIERA, bWAR, and WARP. Moreover, there is also a fairly significant sentiment that advanced metrics underrate Dickey, as they fail to capture the impact on batted balls that the knuckleball yields.
Also receiving votes – Clayton Kershaw.
AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout (8/8)
Given the wonderful seasons of Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jarrod Parker, it’s almost a shame that Mike Trout qualifies for this award. That being said, none of these gents come particularly close to the should-be AL MVP.
Also receiving votes – ha!
NL Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper (8/8)
Were it not for a borderline disastrous September, this space may have been reserved for Wade Miley’s surprising coronation. As it were, the Diamondback’s de facto ace finished only 0.1 fWAR behind Bryce Harper among National League rookies, finishing in the top-ten in the National League in several metrics. This may have also yielded some discussion on the disappointing season of Harper, but I have already digressed too far.
After some struggles in the dog days of Summer, Harper closed the season on something of a tear, finishing his debut with a .270/.340/.477 line, 22 HR, 18 SB, 119 OPS+, 122 wRC+, 4.9 fWAR, and 5.0 bWAR (with the WAR figures heading the pack of NL rookies). It is an impressive season for most any rookie, and a historically brilliant season for a 19-year-old.
Also receiving votes – Wade Miley, in my heart.
Yankees Position Player of the Year: Robinson Cano (8/8)
Were it not for Mike Trout, we may be discussing Cano as a strong candidate for the AL MVP. Per most every advanced metric, 2012 was not only the best season of any Yankee since Rodriguez’s halcyon days, butthe very best season of Cano’s career.
Also receiving votes – *grumble*shouldhavebeenJeter*grumble*
Yankees Pitcher of the Year: Hiroki Kuroda (5.5/8)
Simply imagine that I copied and pasted the AL Cy Young blurb here, with CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda playing the parts of Verlander and Price, respectively. It is difficult for me to praise Kuroda’s tremendous 2012 without feeling as though it were an affront to Sabathia’s newfound underratedness, so this may be a fine talking point for the comments.
Also receiving votes – CC Sabathia, Rafael Soriano
Biggest Yankees Surprise: Derek Jeter (4/8)
A shaky June (.232/.295/.313) likely robbed Jeter of some serious consideration for the AL MVP, as well as our fictional Yankees-centric award for best position player. This is a needlessly pessimistic view, though, as Jeter once more found himself among the very best shortstops in the game (at least offensively), with his second half playing a large role in keeping the Yankees afloat – April may have received the press, but Jeter hit .325/.372/.449 over the last three months. The Captain may not maintain his vintage performance going forward, and yet I cannot help but feel a bit more confident going forward.
Also receiving votes – Rafael Soriano, Hiroki Kuroda, Eric Chavez
Biggest Yankees Letdown: Michael Pineda (4/8)
There is some debate to be had here, as to whether an injured player can truly be a letdown. It is not necessarily Pineda’s fault that he missed the entirety of the 2012 season, nor is it an indictment of the Yankees brain trust. That being said, it is nigh impossible to overlook the fact that Pineda was slated to solidify the rotation, providing the team with the depth it has sorely lacked for an almost indeterminate amount of time and serving as the (potential) 1b. to Sabathia. Run-on sentences aside, the cause seems almost irrelevant.
Also receiving votes – Brett Gardner, Andruw Jones, Mark Teixeira
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