Call to the Pen has finished the postseason awards with the Player of the Year (the Fansided equivalent of the MVP). Read the AL Results here, and read the NL results here. While you’re there, stay and check out all the other great content that Call to the Pen has to offer. It’s a great site for any MLB news and analysis.
In the NL race, slugger Matt Kemp ran away with the award. It was closer in the AL, where Jacoby Ellsbury edged out Jose Bautista for the win. Two Tigers, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, finished a close third and fourth. Verlander had an amazing season, but it looks like the Fansided voters have the same reluctance to vote for a pitcher for this award that the Baseball Writers Association of America does. Michael Cuddyer came in 26th place with three points in the voting, making him the only Twins player to receive any votes. I did not vote for him myself, but I’m glad that he got some recognition.
My first place vote went to Cabrera. I think he is the best overall hitter in the American Leauge, and possibly in all of baseball. For the season he went .344/.448/.586, leading the league in average and on base percentage and finishing second to Bautista in slugging. He added 30 homers, which is far from a league leading total, but still enough to keep opposing pitchers on their toes at all times. Cabrera also played in 161 of 162 games, which means he’s as durable as they come. At age 28, he’ll be carrying the Tigers for a long time.
For second place, I chose Bautista. It was close, but I think Cabrera was a better overall hitter. Bautista’s power is unmatched, as his .608 slugging percentage and 43 homers prove. And he did hit over .300 this year (.302). But it all adds up to just a notch below Cabrera in my opinion. I picked the winner, Ellsbury, as my third place vote. His .321/.376/.552 line is impressive, and he combined 32 homers and 39 stolen bases. Equally impressive, he had a 15.6 UZR in center field, which makes him one of the game’s best all-around threats. He hits for average, gets on base, hits for power, steals bases, and fields flawlessly.
The first three were a difficult choice to make, and honestly I would completely understand anyone voting for any of the three. We had to choose 10 players, though, and the rest were a bit tougher. Fourth place for me was Ellsbury’s teammate Dustin Pedroia, who hit 21 homers, stole 26 bases, and had a 17.9 UZR at 2B. Yankee Curtis Granderson was fifth on my ballot, thanks to his outburst of power. I chose a pair of Adrians – Gonzalez and Beltre – as sixth and seventh place respectively. Alex Avila was #8, largely because he ranked 8th in the AL with a .895 OPS while playing catcher on a regular basis. Ninth place went to Robinson Cano, and 10th place to Ian Kinsler.
If I could have voted for 11th place, I’d have given it to former Twin J.J. Hardy. Hardy had a great year in Baltimore with 30 homers and a 10.7 UZR. As much as I’d have liked to see him hit those homers in a Twins uniform, I think the bandbox stadium at Camden Yards had a lot to do with it. Still, he played very well this year.