Another Major League Baseball season has wrapped up and it's time to give out the season awards. Most of the time the hardware only goes to those players who are on contending teams, I don't believe that is really fair. I think stats should come in more than win total.
If you have a fantastic player on a team that wins 70 games and take him off it, they will lose even more. So being on a contender does not factor into my decisions.
And the awards go to...
NL MVP- Ryan Howard (Close behind: Chase Utley, Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Holliday)
Another monster run-producing year for Howard earns him the award. The Phillies first baseman blasted a league leading 48 bombs, drove in a league leading 146 RBI, scored 105 runs, all with a sub-par .251 batting average.
Being a huge part of a World Series champion doesn't hurt his chances either.
AL MVP- Josh Hamilton(Close behind: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Quentin, Justin Morneau, Grady Sizemore, Ian Kinsler)
Hamilton led the way for a potent Rangers offense. He finished second in the majors with 130 RBI, 32 homers, 98 runs, and a .306 batting average.
It's hard to imagine that this guy has made such a huge step in his life from being a drug addicted wash-up, to a premier star at the Major League level.
With some better pitching, Hamilton could be leading his Rangers into the playoffs in the near future.
NL Cy Young- Tim Lincecum (Close behind: Johan Santana, Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Ryan Dempster, CC Sabathia)
Lincecum broke out in a big way this year finishing with an 18-5 record, a major league leading 265 strikeouts, a 2.62 ERA in 227 innings pitched.
The guy had an fantastic year. It's not easy winning 18 games at the major league level but doing for the sorry Giants is and even greater feat.
If Sabathia had pitched the entire year in the N.L., he would deserve the award more.
AL Cy Young- Fransisco Rodriguez (Close behind: Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Daisuke Matsuzaka)
It's tough to go against a guy who finished with a record 62 saves and 18 more saves than the second highest total of the year.
K-Rod finished with his record 62 saves, a 2-3 record, a 2.24 ERA, and 77 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings.
If not for Rodriguez's record breaking year, Cliff Lee would have ran away with the award with his 22-3 record.
NL Rookie of the Year-Geovany Soto (Close behind: Jair Jurrjens, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce)
Soto is clearly the catcher of the present and future for the Cubbies. The pitchers really seemed to enjoy having Soto behind the plate and Lou Piniella seemed to enjoy have Soto at the plate.
With 23 homeruns, 86 RBI, 66 runs, and a .285 batting average, there really wasn't much competition for Soto for this award.
AL Rookie of the Year-Evan Longoria (Close behind: Jacoby Ellsbury, Alexei Ramirez, Denard Span, Mike Aviles, Chris Davis, Armando Gallaraga, Brad Ziegler)
Longoria proved to be everything he was hyped up to be when he finished the year with 27 bombs, 85 RBI, 67 runs, and a .272 batting average.
Just days after his call-up, Longoria was rewarded with a nine year deal with 17.5 million dollars guaranteed. He seemed worth that contract as he led the surprising Tampa Bay Rays to the World Series.
Had Ramirez remained healthy, he may have challenged Longoria for this award a bit more.
This season provided us with plenty of story-lines and excitement right down to the final out. Out of nowhere players surprised us and usual stars disappointed us. I can only hope next year brings the same amount of enjoyment. (And maybe a return to the post season for the Yanks)