Today the announcement of who the Top-3 Finalists for each of the major end-of-the-year baseball awards were announced: Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP. This year, the Yankees have a man in all three of the player awards. Aaron Judge has been placed in the Top-3 for ROY and MVP, while Luis Severino has been voted to a Top-3 CY Young Award place as well.
Add these three more nominations and the Yankees have a Top-3 Finisher for Two Gold Gloves (Gardner and Judge), Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP. Once the Silver Slugger is announced I think we can all expect another 2 wins for the Yankees with Gary Sanchez at Catcher and Aaron Judge in the Outfield. (I wonder how many more awards he could've won if he pitched...maybe he should try being the next Shoei Ohtani?) However, I digress.
The Rookie of the Year:
Top 3: Aaron Judge, NYY; Trey Mancini, BAL; Andrew Benintendi, BOS
Snubs: Jordan Montgomery, NYY; Matt Chapman, OAK; Mitch Haniger, SEA
Prediction: Judge easily Wins, Benintendi gets 2nd, Mancini is 3rd
Ok, we're going to make this one a quick read because we all now that Aaron Judge should be the unanimous Rookie of the Year. He had almost 4x as much fWAR as Benintendi (8.2 vs 2.2) and over 4.5x as much fWAR as Mancini (8.2 vs 1.8). I don't think much more needs to be said about the finalists. However...
It is interesting looking at the snubs and how they stack against Mancini and Benintendi. Montgomery pitched to a 2.7 fWAR, while Chapman and Haniger each played to an fWAR of 2.7 and 2.5 respectively. Now, obviously, WAR isn't a perfect stat, but seeing how all three were "better" then the two finalists, it makes you wonder how they are going to be placed in the voting. I seriously think that Montgomery is going to end up at 4th place...and speaking of pitchers:
The Cy Young Award
Finalists: Corey Kluber, CLE; Chris Sale, BOS; Luis Severino, NYY
Snubs: Actually nobody, in my opinion, these guys were easily the Top 3 pitchers in the AL this year.
Prediction: Kluber Wins, Sale gets 2nd, Severino 3rd
Once again, I don't think a lot can be said here that isn't obvious in regards to how well Severino is going to do here. He's going to be the 3rd place finisher. That is amazing for a pitcher that people, (myself included), fell very low on after his horrific 2016 campaign.
A quick overview of the stats for these guys:
Kluber: 18-4, 203.2 IP, 265 K, 36 BB, 2.25 ERA, 2.50 FIP, 7.3 fWAR
Sale: 17-8, 214.1 IP, 308 K, 43 BB, 2.90 ERA, 2.45 FIP, 7.7 fWAR
Severino: 14-6, 193.1 IP, 230K, 51 BB, 2.98 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 5.7 WAR
It's pretty easy to see that Severino isn't going to win. Likewise, a lot of my saying that Kluber is going to beat Sale is because of the Cleveland 22-Game Win Streak narrative.
Also, I'm expecting that there will be another Yankee on the bottom-end of the ballot with some throw-me votes. Green comes to mind as the person who will end up 9th overall or thereabouts.
And finally, the...
Most Valuable Player
Finalists: Jose Altuve, HOU; Aaron Judge, NYY; Jose Ramirez, CLE
Snubs: Mike Trout, LAA
Prediction: Altuve Wins, Judge 2nd, Ramirez 3rd
Quick Note: This is the first year (minus Trout's mini appearance in the league in 2011) that he will not be a Top-2 finisher in the MVP vote.
Also, Jose Ramirez may take a 1st place vote or two, but it's almost impossible that he wins. Great season, but not great enough, third place will have to do. And now, that leads us to a picture that has been spread a lot recently:
Based on the stats this is an extremely close race. All bias aside, Judge should win. Let's look at a quick view of who leads which stats.
Judge: OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, HR, XBH, BB, RBI, R, fWAR, Positional Defense
Altuve: AVG, H, K, SB, bWAR
It really should be no contest. But, as all Yankee fans should know by now: the anti-Yankee Award Bias is going to strike again. It's unfortunate, but luckily for us Yankee fans, Judge did win probably the most important award of the year. An award so grand that last year no current player was able to take the crown.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the MLB The Show 2018 Cover Athlete: Aaron Judge!
All Award Winners will be announced starting tomorrow (11/7) with the Gold Glove (good luck Judge and Gardner!). Following comes the Silver Slugger (11/9), Rookie of the Year (11/13), Cy Young (11/15), and MVP (11/16). All other dates can be found here: http://m.mlb.com/schedule/events