I decided to throw my two cents into the mix on who should win the illustrious awards in Major League Baseball for 2012. I kind of feel like I went with the general opinion on a lot of these, but when they’re obvious… they’re obvious, right?
Let’s see if you agree…
2012 American League Manager of the Year
Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics
Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
My feedback: The two surprise franchises of the American League this season. The A’s did something right up there with the 1995 Seattle Mariners… an incredible comeback to take the crown. The fairy tale could send soon but then again, who thought the A’s would even be close to competing this year? Exactly. Anything is possible.
My 2012 American League Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin
2012 National League Manager of the Year
Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds
Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals
My feedback: Baker and Johnson won division championships while Matheny (a manager with zero MLB managerial experience before 2012) gained the wild card for the defending World Series Champion Cardinals. I feel many believed the Reds would be great, the Cardinals in the mix despite Tony La Russa retiring and the Nationals a year or two away from competing. The Nats were good all year with not much of a heralded core of hitters, an amazing starting rotation and a bullpen of question marks.
My 2012 National League Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson
2012 American League Comeback Player of the Year:
Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox: .204 AVG, 41 HR, 96 RBI
Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays: 2-2, 0.60 ERA, 48 saves, 74.2 IP, 76 K
My feedback: Adam Dunn found his power stroke once more but his overall numbers are nothing great. I don’t think an award should be solely based on one stat and Fernando Rodney has multiple great ones. 48 saves for a non-playoff team? Nice job. A 0.60 ERA over a six-month season? Incredible. Rodney was downright awful last season with the Angels. This year? The best closer in the American League. Kudos to him.
My 2012 American League Comeback Player of the Year: Fernando Rodney
2012 National League Comeback Player of the Year
Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves: 10-1, 1.57 ERA, 138 IP, 120 K
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants: .336 AVG, 24 HR, 103 RBI
David Wright, New York Mets: .306 AVG, 21 HR, 93 RBI, 15 SB
My feedback: This one looked like a runaway when the All-Star Break was upon us. Wright was on fire at times leading the National League in batting average, but much like his team, he went ice cold in the second half. Kris Medlen was a reliever and then BOOM… became Atlanta’s number one starter. An incredible feat and his numbers are bonkers post-break. He was never deemed the Braves “next big thing” but he managed to look like he was.
However, with all Posey had to do to recover from his injury last year, while playing the most physical position in the game, his story is great and so are his skills. Posey takes this one. Not in a landslide over Medlen, but he gets my nod nonetheless.
My 2012 National League Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey
2012 American League Rookie of the Year
My feedback: Mike Trout had a rookie season of this: .326 AVG, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 49 SB. Case closed. Most likely the greatest rookie season I’ll see in my lifetime. It’s insane to think he didn’t join the Halos until the beginning of May.
My 2012 American League Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout
2012 National League Rookie of the Year
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: .270 AVG, 22 HR, 59 RBI
Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks: 16-11, 3.33 ERA, 194.2 IP
Wilin Rosario, Colorado Rockies: .270 AVG, 28 HR, 71 RBI
My feedback: I think a lot of people want Harper to get this award based on the fact that he did this as a rookie while still being a teenager. Hard to argue that if age was the sole decision maker, however, it’s not. Therefore Harper’s numbers would look almost identical to Wilin Rosario’s if Harper had gotten a 162 game season in the bigs. Rosario lived up to the hype for the Rockies but his team was terrible and some purists will always say Colorado air gives an unfair home field advantage to Rockies hitters.
So I feel they cancel each other out and my choice goes to Wade Miley. The D-backs may have found their ace for the next 5-7 years. He’s efficient and keeps the ball down; essential to playing in the bandbox that is Chase Field. I have a feeling Harper will win and that’s perfectly fine, I just feel Miley was more worthy. Just my opinion.
My 2012 National League Rookie of the Year: Wade Miley
2012 American League Cy Young Award
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners: 13-9, 3.06 ERA, 232 IP, 223 K
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: 20-5, 2.56 ERA, 211 IP, 205 K
Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays: 2-2, 0.60 ERA, 74.2 IP, 76 K, 48-for-50 SV
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers: 17-8, 2.64 ERA, 238.1 IP, 239 K
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: 20-5, 2.81 ERA, 188.2 IP, 142 K
My feedback: This by far is the hardest one for me to predict. I learned with Felix’s Cy Young Award in 2010, wins may not matter ever again for this award. I love The King but his numbers are just a tad off for candidacy. They won’t give it to a reliever with depth like this. So that leaves Price, Verlander, Weaver. Price and Weaver hit 20 wins but neither reached the postseason. Verlander trumps them both in innings pitched and strikeouts. Price beats Verlander by a little in ERA.
Of the three, I feel Justin Verlander is the one I would want to start a one-game playoff for me. I’ve seen enough of Weaver (Mariners accounted for 3 of his 5 losses this season; weird!) and I feel like I have never seen David Price other than when the Rays make the postseason. Plus, I’m rooting for the Tigers. The “homer” in me says JV.
My 2012 American League Cy Young Award Winner: Justin Verlander
2012 National League Cy Young Award
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: 19-9, 2.78 ERA, 217 IP, 170 K
R.A. Dickey, New York Mets: 20-6, 2.73 ERA, 233.2 IP, 230 K
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals: 21-8, 2.89 ERA, 199.1 IP, 207 K
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves: 3-1, 1.01 ERA, 62.2 IP, 116 K, 42-for-45 SV
My feedback: Dickey led the league in complete games, innings pitched and strikeouts, finished second in ERA and wins and third in WHIP. That overall body of work is incredibly impressive. Of the four I listed, he’s the only one who did not go to the postseason but his performance was like Felix in 2010: dominant yet on one of the worst teams in baseball. The fact that Dickey could reach 20 wins with how awful the Mets were in the second half is quite shocking.
Kimbrel is the nastiest closer in the game. He struckout almost half the batters he saw in 2012. I just can’t give the award to a reliever. Kimbrel and Rodney were the best closers in 2012 but I leave them empty handed in 2012. I’m going with the old man, the knuckleballer, the ex-Mariner… Robert Allen Dickey.
My 2012 NL Cy Young Award Winner: R.A. Dickey
2012 American League MVP Winner
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers: .321 AVG, 36 HR, 102 RBI
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: .330 AVG, 44 HR, 139 RBI
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: .326 AVG, 30 HR, 83 RBI, 49 SB
My feedback: Mike Trout likely had the greatest rookie campaign of all-time. Miguel Cabrera is the first Triple Crown Winner since 1967. How the heck are we suppose to pick this one? One guy reached the postseason and the other did not. One led the league in three huge categories, the other did not.
It’s scary to think what Trout’s numbers would have been had he played a full season (called up in May). But for the simple fact that Miguel Cabrera did it from April to the beginning of October, he’s my MVP. Congrats Miguel, you deserve way more coverage from the national media.
My 2012 American League MVP Winner: Miguel Cabrera
2012 National League MVP Winner
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: .319 AVG, 41 HR, 112 RBI
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates: .327 AVG, 31 HR, 96 RBI
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants: .336 AVG, 24 HR, 103 RBI
My feedback: Braun led the National League in home runs, runs scored, slugging percentage and OPS, finished second in RBI and third in batting average. Posey, the National League batting champion, was second in OPS, third in slugging percentage and sixth in RBI. Braun had 8 more home runs than last season’s MVP season (one more RBI).
Unfortunately for him, I think his “failed” drug test and overturned suspension cloud him. If he’s clean, he’s clean… but voters out there might feel he got away with something. Therefore, go for the “clean”, batting champ, and playoff-bound Posey will be the way they vote. I think Posey deserves it regardless. McCutchen could be a stud for years but playing in Pittsburgh will forever hamper his exposure, which is very sad.
My 2012 National League MVP Winner: Buster Posey
So there you have it! We’ll see how many of these I get right. Like I said though, many of these choices seem to be the consensus amongst many. I’m sad to see the baseball season come to an end, but I’m also already looking forward to the offseason and all of the trades and free agent signings.
Plus, maybe the 2013 Mariners take another big step and make a Wild Card run. Ya never know…