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2018 MLB Awards Recap

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2018 MLB Awards Recap

NL MVP Christian Yelich hitting a ball into play.

NL MVP Christian Yelich hitting a ball into play.

Photo by Sports Illustrated

NL MVP Christian Yelich hitting a ball into play.

Photo by Sports Illustrated

Photo by Sports Illustrated

NL MVP Christian Yelich hitting a ball into play.

By Joe Montgomery, Round Table Sports Staff

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After the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series, the only thing left to wrap up the 2018 season is to name the winners of the end-of-season awards. Below I will analyze the winners and give my winner for the winners in each league.

 

Most Valuable Player

American League– Mookie Betts

The Red Sox outfielder won the batting title with a .349 batting average. To go along with the batting title he added 32 home runs, 129 runs, 80 RBI, 30 steals, and a Gold Glove Award. Mookie led the AL East champs to 108 wins, and a World Series title. He was bound to become an MVP winner after his production in years past. He was also able to beat Mike Trout who is always in the discussion for MVP in the AL.

My pick– Mookie Betts

 

National League– Christian Yelich

After being traded to the Brewers from the Marlins before the season, Yelich had a breakout 2018 campaign. Yelich led the NL with a .326 batting average and a .598 slugging percentage. He also tallied 36 home runs, 110 RBI, and a career-best 22 steals. He was a clear-cut MVP candidate as he took his game to a new level in 2018. The Brewers won their third division title in history and made an appearance in the NLCS before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

My pick– Christian Yelich

 

Cy Young

American League– Blake Snell

The Rays left-hander delivered a solid season leading the AL in ERA with a 1.89 and wins, with 21. After the Rays traded Chris Archer, Snell was the only productive starter in an interesting Tampa Bay pitching staff. In a thin field of elite pitchers in the AL, Snell won the award over Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber while pitching just 180 2/3 innings, the fewest ever for a starter who won the Cy Young. In my opinion, Justin Verlander was the more effective arm this season. Verlander pitched 214 innings, and led the league in starts with 34. After his dominant 2017 postseason, he also led the league in strikeouts, with 290.

My pick– Justin Verlander

 

National League– Jacob DeGrom

The Mets right-hander won only 10 games, but that is a result from being a part of a disappointing 77-85 Mets team. DeGrom led the league in ERA with a 1.70, and a .4 HR/9. Controversy surrounded DeGrom’s dominant campaign because of his lack of wins, however the committee didn’t see it as an important factor. He ran away with the award, as he received 29 out of 30 first place votes. Max Scherzer finished second after winning the Cy Young in back-to-back seasons in 2016-17.

My pick– Jacob DeGrom

 

Rookie of the Year

American League– Shohei Ohtani

The Angels took a shot on the prized international free agent paying Ohtani $545,000 per year, the league’s minimum salary. He was the first player since Babe Ruth to have 10 pitching appearances and 20 home runs in a single season. Although Ohtani had Tommy John surgery late in his rookie campaign, he was able to still hit .285 with 22 home runs, 61 RBI, and 21 doubles in just 367 plate appearances. After a rough start to his pitching career, Shohei was still able to manage a 3.31 ERA in his 10 starts. There was a huge argument for Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar to win the ROY, however Ohtani’s dual threat was enough to carry him after the injury.

My pick– Shohei Ohtani

 

National League– Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna led the breakout season for the Braves who were able to surprise everyone and beat out the Nationals for the NL East championship. Alongside Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies, Acuna rode a second-half explosion to the ROY honor. The Venezuelan Braves outfielder held a streak of 5 straight games with a home run, which added to his season total of 26. He battled with the young Juan Soto of the Nationals for the award as they had almost identical batting averages, however Acuna’s speed and fielding ability was able to trump Soto’s for the win.

My pick– Ronald Acuna Jr.

 

Manager of the Year

American League– Bob Melvin

We all know the story of Moneyball, where the Athletics are on a tight budget and are able to manufacture wins to be successful. In this situation, Melvin was able to turn around a sinking A’s club into a 97 win team. At the end of the day, the Athletics were defeated in the AL Wild Card game by the Yankees, so the season ended with no accomplishment. With that being said, the winner in the AL should have been first year manager Alex Cora of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Cora added 15 wins to the Red Sox 2017 record of 93, giving the Sox a grand total of 108 in the regular season.

My pick– Alex Cora

 

National League– Brian Snitker

Arguably the biggest surprise of the 2018 MLB season was the breakout season of the Atlanta Braves. The Braves strong farm system was able to finally produce in the bigs as the team totaled 90 wins and an NL East division title. Brian Snitker was able to manufacture wins with his below average pitching staff, including the disappointing Julio Teheran. Snitker was the clear favorite for the award in the NL ahead of Craig Counsel because of the talent on the Brewers roster.

My pick– Brian Snitker

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2018 MLB Awards Recap