Baseball is slowly starting to become more savvy. The usually over-traditional geriatric-like Baseball Writers' Association is mixing it up a bit this year, announcing 'finalists' for all the MLB awards a week before the winner is made public.
Rookies of the Year will be revealed Nov. 12, Managers of the Year on Nov. 13, Cy Youngs on Nov. 14 and MVPs on Nov. 15.
Here are the announced finalists:
Buster Posey - (.336/.408/.549, 24 HR, 103 RBI, 7.2 rWAR)
Ryan Braun - (.319/.391/.595, 41 HR, 112 RBI, 6.8 rWAR)
Andrew McCutchen - (.327/.400/.553, 31 HR, 96 RBI, 7.0 rWAR)
Yadier Molina - (.315/.373/.501, 22 HR, 76 RBI, 6.7 rWAR)
Chase Headley - (.286/.376/.498, 31 HR, 115 RBI, 6.0 rWAR)
This will no doubt be one of the tightest votes in NL history. While McCutchen owned the right to the NL MVP for most of the season, it was Posey that had a monster second half. On the other hand, Braun had another stellar campaign for a mediocre team, and Molina had the best season of any Cardinal catcher in decades.
Josh's vote: Buster Posey
NL Cy Young
R.A. Dickey - (20-6, 2.73 ERA, 233 IP, 54 BB, 230 K, 5.6 rWAR)
Gio Gonzalez - (21-8, 2.89 ERA, 199 IP, 76 BB, 207 K, 4.5 rWAR)
Clayton Kershaw - (14-9, 2.53 ERA, 227 IP, 63 BB, 229 K, 6.2 rWAR)
While Dickey had a historical first half, his second half wasn't great by any means. Kershaw has a higher K per innings ratio and a lower ERA.
Josh's vote: Clayton Kershaw
NL Rookie of the Year
Bryce Harper - (.270/.340/.477, 22 HR, 18 SB, 533 AB, 5.0 rWAR)
Wade Miley - (16-11, 3.33 ERA, 194 innings, 3.2 rWAR)
Todd Frazier - (.273/.331/.498, 19 HR, 422 AB, 1.9 rWAR)
Josh's vote: Bryce Harper
Adrian Beltre - (.321-36-102, 6.6 WAR)
Josh Hamilton - (.285-43-128, 3.3)
Miguel Cabrera - (.330-44-139, 6.9)
Mike Trout - (.326-30-83, 10.7)
Robinson Cano (.313-33-94, 8.2)
Did they really have to add the other guys? No question this is a contest only between Cabrera -- the first Triple Crown winner since '67 -- and Trout, who had one of the highest WARs in AL history.
Josh's vote: Mike Trout. However, I hope they split the vote on this and the award is shared with Cabrera.
AL Cy Young
David Price - (20-5, 2.56)
Jered Weaver - (20-5, 2.81)
Justin Verlander - (17-8, 2.64)
Not much of a contest. Everyone in baseball knows that Verlander is currently the best pitcher on the planet. He has a repertoire of five different pitches he can use at anytime. Just nasty.
Josh's vote: Justin Verlander
AL Rookie of the Year
Mike Trout - (.326-30-83, 10.7 WAR)
Yoenis Cespedes - (.292-23-82, 3.4)
Yu Darvish - (16-9, 3.90 ERA)
Again, no contest. Especially considering the other two guys are imports who aren't true rookies.
Josh's vote: Mike Trout