Monday, September 28, 2020

My 2020 IBWAA Awards Votes for AL and NL Managers of the Year

 Aaron Boone is not the American League's Manager of the Year. In fact, I didn't even list him on my ballot (and for good reason). The New York Yankees were supposed to steam roll the entire American League en-route to a trip to the World Series and an eventual 28th World Series Championship for the franchise. All these things could still happen, but it will have to come as the 6th seed in the American League playoffs. To quote the manager that Boone replaced, it's not what you want. 

American League Manager of the Year: Rick Renteria (CHW)

Not many had the Chicago White Sox shocking the world and making the postseason in 2020, but I did, and the reason for much of their success has to start at the top. Their management rebuilt from within and did it the right way, and dividends are starting to pay off for the team, the management, and for manager Rick Renteria. Renteria had the AL's top spot until the final weekend of the season and absolutely deserves the AL's top manager award in my opinion. The only other manager who could give Renteria a run for his money, in my opinion, is Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays. 

                        National League Manager of the Year: Don Mattingly (MIA)

The National League is a no-brainer for me, and not much needs to be said about it. Don Mattingly led the Miami Marlins, 60-game crazy season or not, to the postseason. David Ross and David Bell would have probably been frontrunners in any other season, but not in 2020. The undefeated (in the postseason) Miami Marlins enter the postseason ready to upset some people, and I am here for it. 

My 2020 IBWAA Awards Votes for AL and NL Rookies of the Year

The race for the American League Rookie of the Year Award may have been one of the most entertaining awards races to watch down the stretch with the Chicago White Sox Phenom Luis Robert contending with Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners for much of the season. Unfortunately, the Yankees did not have anyone who really entered the discussion this year, although that doesn't take away from the amazing season that Deivi Garcia and other Yankees enjoyed. Robert and Lewis were just on another level. Meanwhile, in the National League, the pitching side of things showcases a bright future for teams like the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers, but there was a certain guy out in San Diego that has been watching Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis a little too much to lose here in 2020. 

AL Rookie of the Year: Luis Robert (CHW)

For much of the season Robert and Lewis went back-and-forth, but Robert pulled ahead in the final three weeks of the season to secure the award, in my opinion. Robert and Lewis were neck-and-neck for much of the season, but while Lewis came down to Earth just a little, Robert got even better. At one point Robert and his surprise (to some) Chicago White Sox had the top seed in the American League before faltering on the final weekend of the season and settling for a third seed. 

NL Rookie of the Year: Jake Cronenworth (SD)

Listen, I love Dustin May as much as the next guy, and I really enjoyed watching Sixto Sanchez pitch before many of you knew who he was (admittedly, before 2020 I didn't know who he was, but Derek Jeter owns the Miami Marlins so I pay attention to his farm system), but Jake Cronenworth ran away with the NL Rookie of the Year vote in my opinion. Every good young team builds up the middle and the Padres have done with that middle infielder (and relief pitcher, in a pickle) Cronenworth. Cronenworth did a little bit of everything here in 2020 and is probably the most complete package of the three listed. 

My 2020 IBWAA Awards Votes for AL and NL Cy Young

The 2020 regular season is over and the Most Valuable Players from the offensive side of the game have been voted on, but what about the pitching. Good pitching beats good hitting, right? So, with that said, these guys should be mowing down everyone who was on that MVP list, right? Predictions incoming...

AL Cy Young Award: Shane Beiber (CLE)

There isn't much that really needs to be said here because no one is really anywhere on the level that Shane Beiber is this season. Liam Hendricks is in the discussion, as are Gerrit Cole and Kenta Maeda, but that's only because there is a discussion that needs to be had. Beiber leads in most every statistical category and just pitched out of his mind all season long. Beiber may win today, and may win the AL Cy Young, but I am okay with that as long as Cole wins on Tuesday night in Game One of the postseason. 

NL Cy Young Award: Trevor Bauer

The Cincinnati Reds have already announced that they were willing to do whatever they had to in order to keep Trevor Bauer after the 2020 season, but a National League Cy Young Award will make that pretty difficult in my opinion. I don't think the Yankees will even be in the discussion for Bauer this winter, so that is not factoring into my decision, but I think he will be one of the highest touted pitchers this winter after a strong 2020 campaign. The win/loss record isn't there, but the peripherals are. Bauer finished the season with 100 strikeouts, two shutouts, and an ERA under 2.00. Yu Darvish is probably going to finish second in the voting and had one more start than Bauer did, with comparable stats. My ballot was finished off with Max Fried, Clayton Kershaw and of course Jacob deGrom. 

My 2020 IBWAA Awards Votes for AL and NL MVP

Good morning everyone and welcome back to the blog. With the regular season now over and with the 2020 MLB Postseason beginning tomorrow, Tuesday the 29th of September, we here at the IBWAA are scrambling to get our award ballots filled out and cast. Here is a preview of mine:

AL MVP: DJ LeMahieu (NYY)

I know many people may not agree with this decision, and I know that DJ probably will lose out on this award to either Jose Ramirez, Jose Abreu, or his teammate Luke Voit (who I voted for 2nd place begrudgingly because in my opinion he deserves the award as well), but I truly believe that DJ is the most VALUABLE player to his team on the list. The Yankees may not be in the postseason without LeMahieu at the top of their lineup, especially when the team faltered with injuries and lack of production. DJ has been a steady presence in the Yankees lineup and ,in my opinion, is the only reason the team is headed to October baseball. Voit held down the fort while many of the Yankees top guys were hurt, but the winning ways stopped, and returned, along with DJ. 

NL MVP: Freddie Freeman (ATL)

I am not sure there is even really a discussion to be had here. Freddie Freeman should, and will in my opinion, win the National League's Most Valuable Player Award, period. Juan Soto was interesting to talk about, and may have actually won the award had he not missed the beginning of the season with COVID-19, and Mookie Betts is right there in the discussion, but ultimately I just think that this is Freddie's year. I had Soto and Betts filling out the Top 3 and I had teammate Marcell Ozuna sixth overall.