I know I said last Sunday that the 2014 season was over and we'd be moving on, but the season isn't really over until you do your year-end team awards post. Staff voting was held over the last 2 days and the results have been tallied. Without further ado, I'd like to announce the winners of the 2014 IIATMS end-of-season awards. The envelopes, please... MVP- 3-Way Tie (Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner)
The vote: Betances 3 (Scott, Matt B., Tamar), Ellsbury 3 (Katie, Stacey, Dom), Gardner 3 (Matt I., William, Kenny), Masahiro Tanaka 1 (Brad)
In what will surely go down as one of the most controversial votes in IIATMS history, the team MVP award will be split 3 ways. Betances' gaudy numbers, the league-high workload in which he accumulated them, and the consistency with which he pitched lights out in big situations all combined to garner him a sizable chunk of staff support. Ellsbury and Gardner, as the 2 best and most consistent hitters for the whole season and the top 2 WAR guys on the team, did the same. Fitting that the Yankees end up not having a solo MVP in a year where they were very mediocre.
Cy Young- Dellin Betances
The vote: Betances 6 (Scott, Dom, Stacey, Katie, Matt B., Tamar), Hiroki Kuroda 3 (William, Matt I., Brad), Tanaka 1 (Kenny)
There seemed to be 2 schools of thought here. The larger school valued Betances' elite performance and league-leading numbers in a smaller sample size as a high-leverage reliever. The smaller valued Kuroda's steady, above-average performance in a larger sample size as a starter. With how out-of-this-world Betances' production and numbers were, it makes sense that he would carry more weight. Relievers have to have unbelievable seasons to win the Cy Young. That's what Betances did.
Kenny played the WAR card in casting his lone vote for Tanaka, which I can get on board with because it was part of my rationale in voting him the MVP. Before he got hurt, Tanaka was undeniably one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Rookie of the Year- Dellin Betances
The vote: Betances 10 (unanimous)
Betances just going full Adele in his first year of award eligibility. Shout outs to Tanaka, who probably would have taken this if he didn't suffer the UCL tear, and Yangervis Solarte and Shane Greene. They all had nice rookie seasons in their own way. But everybody was playing for second place here.
Coach of the Year- Larry Rothschild
The vote: Rothschild 7 (Dom, Stacey, Katie, Matt B. Tamar, Kenny, Brad), Joe Girardi 1 (Matt I.), Gary Tuck 1 (William)
Another landslide victory. And why shouldn't it be? Like Dom explained yesterday, the Yankee pitching staff was one of the best in baseball in 2014. And they were one of the best staffs in baseball despite suffering a ton of injuries and having to use a ton of different pitchers. That's not supposed to happen and a fair amount of credit should be given to Rothschild for helping to generate those results. He stressed getting the low strike and inducing groundballs this season, he has a reputation for being a high strikeout/low walk kind of guy, and the Yankee pitchers did all of those things this year. Case closed.
Prospect of the Year- Aaron Judge
This one surprised me. I thought Severino would get more support, but the majority of the staff preferred Judge's 4-5-tool performance at multiple levels and that's hard to argue against. Judge did everything he was expected to do this season and did some things - hit for average, take walks, limit strikeouts - better than he was expected to. He raised his profile as an all-around hitter and he should find himself joining Severino and Bird in Trenton to open next season. There's not a bad choice in that group. You're looking at 4 of the top 5-6 prospects in the system right there. Judge stands above them all as the IIATMS selection for 2014 Prospect of the Year.
Biggest Surprises- Betances, Solarte, Greene, Chase Whitley, Jeter getting as many ABs as he did
Betances adds another to the trophy case with the most votes. Really looking forward to that after-party. Good to see The Captain make an appearance somewhere.
McCann got the most votes, but I don't know if I'd call that winning. Best line came from William:
"When your car smells like it's burning, you blew a Beltran."
That's it. That's the show. Thanks to all the sponsors and the voters, and congratulations to the all the winners. Now back to preparing for the offseason.