DIAMOND KINGS: The CS 2010 MLB Awards

Posted: November 5, 2010 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
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As soon as Tim Lincecum, Edgar Renteria and Brian Wilson ended the hopes of the Texas Rangers on Monday night, in a rather brisk five games, the 2010 baseball season came to a close. With that rather surprising outcome to the season concluded, it’s time to look back about a month and say who were the best of the best from March to October.

Many of the usual suspects did what they were supposed to, but also some guys came out of the blue and made their mark in the game. The Comeback Players of the Year were already announced as Tim Hudson and Francisco Liriano, so here who should be joining them as hardware carriers this winter…(results may vary).

National League MVP: Joey Votto-Cincinnati-.324/37 HR/113 RBI/.424 OBP

The MVP is different from the guy that makes the biggest statistical impact, whom in that regard Votto isn’t even the best firstbase man in his own division. This is for the player whose performance makes the biggest difference, and that is clearly Votto, who propelled the Reds to a relatively unchallenged, and unexpected, NL Central win. Plus, he outdid the game’s greatest player in Albert Pujols to do so, which also has to stand for something.

 

Votto's onslaught never stopped and it propelled the Reds back in the Postseason for the first time since 1995.

 

American League MVP: Josh Hamilton-Texas-.359/32 HR/100 RBI/.411 OBP

There were a few players who could make claim to this title in the AL this season, however none made the overall impact that Hamilton did, despite missing almost a month to injury. His impact was such that by the time he was injured, his Rangers the AL West in hand already. He won the batting title by 31 points, and potentially could have gone much higher in home runs and RBI. Tip of the cap to Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano.

 

Well known for his amazing power, Hamilton took home an easy batting title this season in addition to his usual power numbers.

 

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay-Philadelphia: 21-10/2.44 ERA/219 strikeouts

It seemed like doomsday for the National League when Roy Halladay switched over last winter, and it came to be. Halladay was everything and more that was expected of him this year and consistently dominated his new league. His 219 strikeouts came against only 30 walks and his 21 wins topped all of baseball. Not to mention that one of those victories was a Perfect Game in May.

 

Although he was twice unhittable completely, on most other days Doc silenced NL lineups as well.

 

AL Cy Young: David Price-Tampa Bay: 19-6/2.72 ERA/188 strikeouts

In a very tight race, I give the slight nod to David Price here. Many people push for Felix Hernandez, who had a terrific year despite being on a horrid Mariners team. However, I give the nod to Price for two simple reasons, strikeouts aside, Felix doesn’t run away from Price in any one statistical area & Price pitched in the games toughest division and finished with 19 wins in the middle of a pennant race that went to the last weekend. Deservedly, Price takes the cake.

 

The Rays rode Price's blistering fastball/slider combo all the way to an AL East win. No easy feat.

 

NL Rookie of the Year: Buster Posey-San Francisco-.305/18 HR/67 RBI

This was a very strong year for rookies in general, but especially so in the NL. While Jason Hayward had a tremendous year, including an election to start in the All-Star game, Posey’s arrival meant everything to the Giants and was critical in winning the West for them. He finished up batting over .300 and had a 23 game hitting streak and a 10 game streak where he hit .514 with 19 hits and 6 home runs, the greatest streak of any rookie in history.

 

Although he got a late start, by September Posey was clearly the NL's best catcher, let alone rookie.

 

AL Rookie of the Year: Neftali Feliz-Texas: 40 saves, 93% saves finished

After starting the season as a setup man for the West Champs, Feliz was promoted to closer in short order and did not disappoint. His 40 saves set the MLB rookie record and he was named an All-Star in the process. He converted on 40 of his 43 save opportunities and entrenched himself as one of the premier closers in the game early in his career.

 

Feliz's nerve outweighed his age in route to setting the MLB rookie saves record for Texas.

 

NL Rolaids Reliever: Brian Wilson-San Francisco-48 Saves, 91% saves finished

Wilson doesn’t waste time with much else than his fastball, but 48 times this year it was all he needed. As the last punch in a dynamic Giant pitching staff, he led the NL in saves and was versatile when needed, as he also led the MLB in multiple inning saves as well.

Al Rolaids Reliever: Rafeal Soriano-Tampa Bay-45 Saves, 94% saves finished

In his first season as a solo closer, Soriano proved he was more than ready for the job. His 45 saves led the AL, and in the process he only allowed 50 baserunners all year, which led to 0.80 WHIP and anchored the AL East champion Rays into the postseason.

NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker

In a year of many spectacular managing jobs in the NL, including a run to the playoffs in Bobby Cox’s last hurrah and Bud Black pushing the Padres to the biggest upset season in all of baseball, the nod has to go to Dusty and his Reds. Not only did they go neck to neck with the heavily favored Cardinals all year, he rallied them back from a critical August 3-game sweep (in Cincy no less) at the hands of the Cardinals, to win the Central by a comfortable five games.

AL Manager of the Year: Ron Gardenhire

Playing against the odds and perceiving is what land Gardenhire this honor. While the Twins are no longer true small market underdogs, Gardenhire had to do one of his best managing jobs yet to bring a second consecutive AL Central title to the Twin Cities. With his top two stars Joe Mauer (foot) and Justin Morneau (concussion) on the sidelines for various stretches of the season, the Twins continued to command the Central and forced two very competitive teams in the White Sox and Tigers to fight for second place all year, whether they liked it or not.

NL Hank Aaron Award: Albert Pujols-St. Louis-.312/42 HR/118 RBI/.414 OBP

While the Cardinals as a whole underachieved in 2010, it can’t be said Albert didn’t do his part. Albert finished with the lowest batting average of his career,  but still led the NL in home runs and RBI and finished second in on-base percentage. He also surpassed .300/30 HR/100 RBI for the tenth consecutive season, with the home run mark extending his Major League record.

AL Hank Aaron Award: Miguel Cabrera-Detroit-.328/38 HR/126 RBI/.420 OBP

Mig Cap had the best overall statistical season of any hitter in baseball, leading the AL in on-base percentage and RBI. He also finished third in home runs, second in slugging percentage. The home run and RBI marks are career highs and if the Tigers could have gotten in the race, he would have easily had just as much claim to the MVP as Hamilton does.

NL Gold Glove Winners:

C: Yadier Molina, 1B: Albert Pujols, 2B: Brandon Phillips, 3B: Placido Polanco, SS: Orlando Cabrera, OF: Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn, Andre Either, P: Adam Wainwright

AL Gold Glove Winners:

C: Matt Wieters, 1B: Mark Teixeira, 2B: Robinson Cano, 3B: Evan Longoria, SS: Elvis Andrus, OF: Ichiro, Torri Hunter, Vernon Wells, P: Mark Buehrle

NL Silver Slugger Winners:

C: Brian McCann, 1B: Albert Pujols, 2B: Dan Uggla, 3B: David Wright, SS: Troy Tulowitzki, OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Ryan Braun

AL Silver Slugger Winners:

C: Joe Mauer, 1B: Miguel Cabrera, 2B: Robinson Cano, 3B: Adrian Beltre, SS: Derek Jeter, OF: Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista, Carl Crawford DH: Vladimir Guerrero

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