On the final day of the 2011-2012 MLB season the Sports Debaters have decided to announce our predictions for all of the most important end of season awards.
In his amazing career, Ted Williams won the Triple Crown Award twice, but finished 2nd in the MVP voting both years. This will NOT be the case this year. Miguel Cabrera has had a stellar season and is in the drivers seat to win the first Triple Crown Award since 1967. On the year, Cabrera has hit career highs with both 44 HRs and 139 RBIs and he is sporting a .331 batting average. His OPS is a remarkable 1.002, which is his third straight year over 1.000. He has lead the Tigers to the postseason with minimal help from his teammates, (outside of Prince Fielder) as the Tigers clinched the AL Central for the 2nd straight season. There is little doubt that he deserves this award.
With the before mentioned Prince Fielder leaving Milwaukee last offseason, most baseball experts predicted Ryan Braun to have a down year, as he lost his protection in the lineup. Last year’s MVP had a rough offseason, being found guilty of PEDs, fought the allegations and they turned out to be false. He came into the 2012 season with much to prove, as the Brewers were truly his team to carry. Going into the final night, he has put up a league high 41 HRs, 112 RBIs and a .320 batting average. The Brewers had a very disappointing first half and many thought they were out of contention by the All-Star Break. They ended up a few games over .500 and narrowly missed the Wild Card by just 4 games. Though Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto and Buster Posey all had great years in their own rights, Ryan Braun did enough to clinch his 2nd straight NL MVP.
In a baseball season that saw a record 7 no-hitters, many pitchers left their mark on the mound. While the Tampa Bay Rays were plagued with injuries to their lineup all year, their pitching carried them through the season. Though the Rays came up just short in a competitive AL East, their current 89-72 record is nothing to be ashamed off. Price’s .256 ERA is a career low and was the best in the AL. He finished with a 20-5 record, making him one of only 2 AL pitchers to reach this plateau. Considering the lack of talent the Rays lineup threw out compared to a team like the Anaheim Angles, David Price has earned the Cy Young in a narrow victory over Jered Weaver.
When my partner in crime, matthewtodderich told me that R.A. Dickey would win the NL Cy Young back in April, I could do nothing but laugh. Now it is time to admit that I was dead wrong. R.A. Dickey has redefined the knuckle ball, and as a result he was able to redefine his career. On a Mets team that started off strong, but faded miserably through the summer months, R.A. Dickey was amazing throughout. Dickey’s closest competitors for this award were Gio Gonzalez, Johnny Cueto and Clayton Kershaw, who all pitched on competitive teams that offered run support. Dickey finished with a .273 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 20 wins, placing him in the top three NL pitchers in each. During his “Disney Movie” like season, he lead the NL in strikeouts, throwing 230 strikeouts to only 54 walks (4:1), an unheard of number ratio for a knuckleballer. Not sure how matthewtodderich predicted this performance, but I need to give credit where credit is due.
With a performance that would have landed him the MVP in many other seasons, Mike Trout will have to settle for a constellation prize of AL Rookie of the Year. Trout came up to the big leagues in late April and took the league by storm. A legitimate 5 tool player, Trout showed off his speed, defense and power as soon as he landed in The Show. Coming into tonight, he has an amazing .324 BA, 30 HRs, 89 RBIs and 49 Steals. Considering he played his first month with the Salt Lake Bees of the Triple A Pacific Coast League, his final totals would have been even more impressive. Last offseason the Anaheim Angels thought they may have acquired a potential AL MVP, but they probably figured it would be Albert Pujols. I would imagine that Mike Trout will parlay this season into many MVPs in the future.
Back in June, everybody in the world stated that National outfielder Bryce Harper would take home the NL Rookie of the Year award. That’s because nobody had even heard of Arizona Diamondback’s pitcher Wade Miley. As a team, Arizona was fairly irrelevant most of the season, though the discovery of a young ace provides hope for the future. He finishes with a 3.33 ERA, 16 wins and a 1.18 WHIP, stellar numbers for a first year pitcher. Miley portrayed great control, giving up only 37 walks to his 144 strikeouts. Though most baseball fans had never heard of Wade Miley coming into the 2012 season, this Rookie of the Year will surely be a household name for years to come.