The 2012 IIATMS MLB Awards

N.L. MVP: Ryan Braun (Brewers)

The 2011 National League MVP turned in a doozy of a repeat performance in 2012, seing a slight decline in his slash line stats, but hitting eight more home runs for a total of 41 dingers on the year, and the first +8 fWAR season of his career. It will be…interesting…to see if he suffers with the real voters because of his since thrown out failed drug test following last year’s award.

A.L. Cy Young Award: Justin Verlander (Tigers)

The Detroit ace turned in virtually an identical season to his 2011 MVP campaign, with the sole exception that his win total fell from 24 to 17. That’s no matter to our staff, as the best pitcher alive took home every first place vote but one, and he came in at second on that ballot.

N.L. Cy Young Award: Gio Gonzalez (Nationals) and R.A. Dickey (Mets):

How’s this for close: one measly point was all that stood between us and a three way tie for the N.L. Cy Young Award, with Clayton Kershaw just missing out on joining the Nationals’ ace and the Mets’ knuckleballer in laying claim to the prize. Gonzalez, he led the N.L. in FIP and finished in a virtual tie with Kershaw in fWAR, got the most first place votes of any of the candidates, but also failed to appear at all on one ballot (hold your fire, Keith Law didn’t get a vote) creating a tie at the top with Dickey, who led the senior circuit in strikeouts and innings pitched with a highly respectable 3.27 FIP of his own. There’s really no way to go wrong with any of these three aces.

A.L. Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout (Angels)

It’s kind of amazing that, in a field that includes Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish, there isn’t any contest at all. But that’s how good Trout was in his first full season in the majors, to the point that I almost think I should just declare him ineligible for the sake of fairness. In all seriousness, that Trout ran away and his with this award sort of obscures what an incredibly strong class of rookies the A.L. had this year, and the incredible role they played in shaping the outcome of the season. From Trout, to Cespedes, to Darvish, to Matt Moore, Jarrod Parker (and the entire Oakland rotation!) and Manny Machado, can anyone remember the last time this many rookies had such a big impact on the league standings?

N.L. Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper (Nationals):

The 19 year old phenom didn’t have nearly the impact his 20 year old American League counterpart did, but all things considered Harper still wowed in his big league debut, and was certainly a big part of the Nationals’ MLB best record. A .270/.344/.477 slash line and 4.8 fWAR from a teenager is incredibly impressive, and the youngster added above average fielding in center field to the mix as well. Perhaps most impressively of all, Harper posted a wRC+ of 184 from September 1st on, picking up his game the most down the stretch. In other words, he’s already a quality big league regular and then some, but this is likely just the beginning for Harper.

A.L. Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin (Oakland):

Joe Girardi edges out Buck Showalter for second place in our balloting, but Melvin secures every first place vote cast for the job he did with the surprising A’s this season. And unlike the Orioles, who more or less stayed in the hunt all season, the A’s were 37-42 and 13 games out of first on June 30th, but Melvin kept his young team from giving up on their season, and they responded by roaring back from that point on to finish 94-68 and secure the A.L. West championship with a sweep of Texas in the season’s final series. I generally think this award is silly and handed out without much logic behind it, but this is one instance where I think Melvin clearly does deserve it for the job he’s done shepherding all of those young players into a truly remarkable finish to the season.

N.L. Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson (Nationals)

It’s kind of weird that, for as subjective as MotY can be, both of the IIATMS versions of the award have been handed out unanimously this year. Unlike the A.L., the National League lacks a manager who clearly did the sort of tangible job that Melvin did in Oakland, in my opinion, but Johnson probably comes the closest for taking a team whose best position player is a teenager and who shut down their most talented starting pitcher in September to the top overall seed in the senior circuit. Plus, he’s Davey Johnson, so he gets extra points just for being awesome. At least with me.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

8 thoughts on “The 2012 IIATMS MLB Awards

  1. Interesting to read. I think based on your argument for the Nationals, you could also argue for Bochy of the Giants for overcoming the steriods' suspension to one of his most productive offensive players.

  2. Wow, some clueless votes coming from your "expert" panel. Girardi was second as the manager of the year? Cabrera, who carried his team to the post season down the stretch, is not the MVP? Please stick to over-criticizing the real media and writing "objctively" about the Yankees.

    • There is so many things wrong with this post. I have yet to see a single reason Cabrera should be MVP over Trout. For every reason you give about Cabrera, Trout either matches it… exceeds it or its a silly argument.

      Girardi is a homer pick though.

      • Listen to this guy ^. I think James just might be trolling. Because I'm not sure how you'd come up with Cabrera over Trout or Girardi over Melvin (at least in any logical sense).

        Forget Trout's age for a second. The sheer #s he put up (in only 5 months no less) are mind-boggling, and WAY MORE RARE than a triple crown season. If you don't believe in the context-neutral stats, guess what? Fangraphs has the stat you are looking for in RE24 which was an interesting read here (the only place I've seen Cabrera's league leading 28 double plays mentioned):

        And as for Melvin / Girardi… yes you can argue that the Yanx had to overcome a metric ton of injuries to key guys. But they still had steady stalwarts to carry them through like Cano, Jeter, Sabathia, and Kuroda, and a pretty solid pen even with the loss of Mo. The A's? Who did they have on offense again? Squeezing 94 wins out of a rookie rotation after trading away your 2 best pitchers is indeed impressive, but I am going to link to another interesting Fangraphs piece on Oakland's use of the platoon:

  3. Incidentally, I'm the one who left Gio off of his balance and caused Girardi to edge out Buck. I totally welcome anyone who wants to try to call me out on it…:)