Aaron MarcusContributor INovember 10, 2008

Well, I figure I should call my shots before the BWAA, and everyone else, get their say. This isn't so much an article as it is a list of who I believe were the best players in the game this season, and who deserve Major League Baseball's coveted year-end awards.


St. Louis' Albert Pujols, baseball's premiere offensive presence, is my selection as NL and MLB Player of the Year. Strangely, perhaps, he does not get my vote for NL MVP—that goes to the Phillies' Ryan Howard (105 runs/48 HRs/146 RBI/1 SB/.251 Avg./.339 OPB/.543 Slg.). In the American League, I went with former winner, the Twin's Justin Morneau, as my MVP.


For the Cy Young Awards, in the AL I went with the obvious selection of Cleveland's Cliff Lee, and in the NL I went with the not-so-obvious, thanks to Mets' ace Johan Santana's scorching second half, Tim Lincecum, of the San Francisco Giants. I named Cliff Lee my MLB Pitcher of the Year, as well as my AL Player of the Year.


For my managers, I took a couple of Joes—the Rays' Maddon in the AL and the Dodgers' Torre in the senior circuit—with the Tampa skipper named my MLB Manager of the Year.


Lastly, the Rays' Evan Longoria and the Cubbies' Geovany Soto, respectively, were my selections as AL and NL Rookies of the Year, with Longoria taking the title of MLB Rookie of the Year.


My All-AL, All-NL, and All-MLB teams are as follows, with "first-teamers" on top:


American League


RHP Roy Halladay, Toronto(246 IPs/206 Ks/20W-11L/2.78 ERA)

RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston(167.2 IPs/154 Ks/18W-3L/2.90 ERA)


LHP Cliff Lee, Cleveland(223.1 IPs/170 Ks/22W-3L/2.54 ERA)

LHP John Lester, Boston(210.1 IPs/152 Ks/16W-6L/3.21 ERA)


Closer Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles(62 SV/7 BS/2.24 ERA)

Closer Mariano Rivera, New York(39 SV/1 BS/1.40 ERA)


C Joe Mauer, Minnesota(98 Runs/9 HRs/85 RBI/1 SB/.328 Avg./.413 OBP/.451 Slg.)

C Kelly Shoppach, Cleveland (67 Runs/21 HRs/55 RBI/0 SB/.261 Avg./.348 OPB/.517 Slg.)


1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota(97 Runs/23 HRs/129 RBI/0 SB/.300 Avg./.374 OPB/.499 Slg.)

1B Kevin Youkilis, Boston(91 Runs/29 HRs/115 RBI/3 SB/.312 Avg./.390 OPB/.569 Slg.)


2B Dustin Pedroia, Boston(118 Runs/17 HRs/83 RBI/20 SB/.326 Avg./.376 OPB/.493 Slg.)

2B Ian Kinsler, Texas(102 Runs/18 HRs/71 RBI/26 SB/.319 Avg./.375 OPB/.517 Slg.)


3B Alex Rodriguez, New York(104 Runs/35 HRs/103 RBI/18 SB/.302 Avg./.392 OPB/.573 Slg.)

3B Melvin Mora, Baltimore (77 Runs/23 HRs/104 RBI/3 SB/.285 Avg./.342 OPB/.483 Slg.)


SS Jhonny Peralta, Cleveland (104 Runs/23 HRs/89 RBI/3 SB/.276 Avg./.331 OPB/ .473 Slg.)

SS Michael Young, Texas(102 Runs/12 HRs/82 RBI/10 SB/.284 Avg./.339 OPB/.402 Slg.)


LF Carlos Quentin, Chicago (96 Runs/36 HRs/100 RBI/7 SB/.288 Avg./.394 OPB/.571 Slg.)

LF Raul Ibanez, Seattle (85 Runs/23 HRs/110 RBI/2 SB/.293 Avg./.358 OPB/.479 Slg.)


CF Josh Hamilton, Texas(98 Runs/32 HRs/130 RBI/9 SB/.304 Avg./.371 OPB/.530 Slg.)

CF Grady Sizemore, Cleveland (101 Runs/33 HRs/90 RBI/38 SB/.268 Avg./.374 OPB/.502 Slg.)


RF Nick Markakis, Baltimore (106 Runs/20 HRs/87 RBI/10 SB/.306 Avg./.406 OPB/.491 Slg.)

RF Bobby Abreu, New York(100 Runs/20 HRs/100 RBI/22 SB/.296 Avg./.371 OPB/.471 Slg.)


DH Aubrey Huff, Baltimore (96 Runs/32 HRs/108 RBI/4 SB/.304 Avg./.360 OPB/.552 Slg.)

DH Milton Bradley, Texas(78 Runs/22 HRs/77 RBI/5 SB/.321 Avg./.436 OPB/.563 Slg.)


AL ROY Stats: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay(67 Runs/27 HRs/85 RBI/7 SB/.272 Avg./.343 OPB/.531 Slg.)



National League


RHP Tim Lincecum, San Francisco (227 IPs/265 Ks/18W-5L/2.62 ERA)

RHP Brandon Webb, Arizona (226.2 IPs/183 Ks/22W-7L/3.30 ERA)


LHP Johan Santana, New York (234.1 IPs/206 Ks/16W-7L/2.53 ERA)

LHP C.C. Sabathia, Milwaukee (130.2 IPs/128 Ks/11W-2L/1.65 ERA)


Closer Brad Lidge, Philadelphia (41 SV/0 BS/1.95 ERA)

Closer Jose Valverde, Houston (44 SV/7 BS/3.38 ERA)


C Geovany Soto, Chicago (66 Runs/23 HRs/86 RBI/0 SB/.285 Avg./.364 OPB/.504 Slg.)

C Brian McCann, Atlanta (68 Runs/23 HRs/87 RBI/5 SB/.301 Avg./.373 OPB/.523 Slg.)


1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis (100 Runs/37 HRs/116 RBI/7 SB/.357 Avg./.462 OPB/.653 Slg.)

1B Lance Berkman, Houston (114 Runs/29 HRs/106 RBI/18 SB/.312 Avg./.420 OPB/.567 Slg.)


2B Chase Utley, Philadelphia (113 Runs/33 HRs/104 RBI/14 SB/.292 Avg./.380 OPB/.535 Slg.)

2B Mark DeRosa, Chicago (103 Runs/21 HRs/87 RBI/6 SB/.285 Avg./.376 OPB/.481 Slg.)


3B David Wright, New York (115 Runs/33 HRs/124 RBI/15 SB/.302 Avg./.390 OPB/.534 Slg.)

3B Chipper Jones, Atlanta (82 Runs/22 HRs/75 RBI/4 SB/.364 Avg./.470 OPB/.574 Slg.)


SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida (125 Runs/33 HRs/67 RBI/35 SB/.301 Avg./.400 OPB/.540 Slg.)

SS Jose Reyes, New York (113 Runs/16 HRs/68 RBI/56 SB/.297 Avg./.358 OPB/.475 Slg.)


LF Matt Holliday, Colorado (107 Runs/25 HRs/88 RBI/28 SB/.321 Avg./.409 OPB/.538 Slg.)

LF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee (92 Runs/37 HRs/106 RBI/14 SB/.285 Avg./.335 OPB/.553 Slg.)


CF Carlos Beltran, New York (116 Runs/27 HRs/112 RBI/25 SB/.284 Avg./.376 OPB/.500 Slg.)

CF Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh (113 Runs/26 HRs/94 RBI/23 SB/.276 Avg./.356 OPB/.497 Slg.)


RF Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis (104 Runs/37 HRs/113 RBI/4 SB/.299 Avg./.375 OPB/.591 Slg.)

RF Andre Ethier, Los Angeles (90 Runs/20 HRs/77 RBI/6 SB/.305 Avg./.375 OPB/.510 Slg.)





RHP Lincecum

RHP Halladay



LHP Santana


Closer K-Rod

Closer Rivera


C Mauer

C Soto


1B Pujols

1B Berkman


2B Utley

2B Pedroia


3B Wright

3B A-Rod


SS Ramirez

SS Reyes


LF Quentin

LF Holliday


CF Beltran

CF Hamilton


RF Ludwick

RF Markakis


    15-Year-Old May Be a Better Prospect Than Bryce Was

    MLB logo

    15-Year-Old May Be a Better Prospect Than Bryce Was

    Danny Knobler
    via Bleacher Report

    Behind-the-Scenes Look at Stanton Trade

    MLB logo

    Behind-the-Scenes Look at Stanton Trade

    via SI.com

    Turner (Broken Wrist) Likely Out Until May

    MLB logo

    Turner (Broken Wrist) Likely Out Until May

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report

    Yanks' Biggest Star in 2018 Won't Be Judge or Stanton

    MLB logo

    Yanks' Biggest Star in 2018 Won't Be Judge or Stanton

    Jacob Shafer
    via Bleacher Report