Francisco Lindor

Who should win the Rookie of the Year Awards? Who will?

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Note: This post originally ran on October 2. With tonight’s announcement of the Rookie of the Year Award, it’s a good time to revisit and review.

Who should win the AL Rookie of the Year Award?

This race is super close, with two candidates with nearly identical credentials. In this case it’s even harder as the top two candidates are at the same position: Shortstop (apologies to Miguel Sano who, while hitting the daylights out of the ball hasn’t played nearly as much as the top two candidates and has no defensive value).

Carlos Correa burst onto the scene in Houston in early June at the tender age of 20 and proceeded to beat the living hell out of baseballs. His line: .277/.343/.504 with 21 homers and 63 driven in in a mere 96 games and an OPS+ of 130. That’s crazy power for a 20 (now 21) year-old and crazy power for a shortstop of any age.

Francisco Lindor burst onto the scene in Cleveland in mid June at the tender age of 21 and proceeded to beat the living hell out of baseballs. His line: .319/.357/.491 with 21 doubles, 12 homers and 51 RBI in a mere 96 games and an OPS+ of 125. That’s not quite Correa power but it’s better contact and on-base stuff and amazing production for a shortstop of any age.

Quite even to be sure, but the separator here is defense. Correa is no liability, but he’s pretty ordinary with the glove so far. Lindor, however, has been a superior shortstop both according to the numbers and to the naked eye. His arrival in Cleveland totally changed the game for the Tribe this year, transforming them from underachievers to a team that made a serious run for a playoff spot. If Lindor had been there all year it’s not crazy to think that they’d be in the wild card game next week.

Lindor’s offense is a bit of a surprise this year. He really wasn’t expected to hit like this right out of the gate. And he may not hit like this forever, in which case Correa may prove to be the better player going forward, be it as a shortstop or a third baseman, which is where I think he’ll ultimately end up. But the Rookie of the Year award is not about projections and potential. It’s about what the rookies did. And given there more or less even offensive contributions and Lindor’s superior leather, he’s the guy who should take the hardware home.

Who will win the AL Rookie of the year Award?

Historically there has been less narrative nonsense infecting Rookie of the Year award voting than other award voting. Prospect politics haven’t played into it too much. Very often Rookies of the Year come from losing teams — how else would they have gotten the opportunity for so much PT? — and thus the winning team narrative isn’t as prominent. This year, however, I feel like that stuff will be a bigger factor than in the past, mostly because so many rookies have played such a big part in pennant races.

The Indians entry into the wild card race came late and it came quite a bit after early season Astros Mania took hold. Sure, Correa joined the Astros after much of that mania took hold and even after the Astros themselves began to play a bit worse, but he’s been largely associated with the big surprise season in particular and the Astros’ bright future in general. Between that and Cleveland being one of the lowest profile teams in all of baseball year-in, year-out, it would not surprise me at all if some voters overlook Lindor a bit. For this reason I feel like Correa will win it, even if Lindor would be my guy.

 

Who should win the NL Rookie of the Year Award?

This was a much closer race earlier in the year but Kris Bryant and his .279/.369/.475 line, 26 homers and, by the end of this weekend, most likely, 100+ RBI have separated themselves from the pack. It seems like ages ago that everyone was all in a tizzy about the Cubs leaving him in Iowa at the start of the season for service time manipulation purposes. Now all he is is a huge part of the Cubs’ big year and, by far, the highest profile and highest achieving rookie in the NL.

Not that he’s alone “in the conversation.” But that term is in quotes because it’s not truly a big conversation. Matt Duffy of the Giants has had a fine year and, before he went down with that ugly injury, Jung Ho Kang was having an equally fine year. Duffy, also a third baseman, is the better fielder than Bryant, but Bryant hasn’t embarrassed himself there, allowing his offensive advantages to give him the inside track to the award.

Who will win the NL Rookie of the Year Award?

Bryant. And I don’t think it’ll be a particularly close vote.

Voting now open for the 2015 Platinum Glove Awards

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The 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners have been announced. Now you can help determine who wins the 2015 Platinum Glove Awards — given each year (since 2011) to the top overall defensive player in each league.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina won it for the National League in 2011, 2012, and 2014. Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons took it in 2013.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre won the American League Platinum Glove in 2011 and 2012 before getting unseated by Manny Machado of the Orioles in 2013. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon won in 2014.

Voting is now open for the 2015 editions on Rawlings.com.

That voting will end next week.

2015 BBWAA Awards finalists announced on MLB Network

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The Baseball Writers Association of America is revealing the top three finalists for American League and National League Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player during a one-hour special starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on MLB Network. We’ll post the names here as they are announced …

National League Rookie of the Year

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
Matt Duffy, 3B, Giants
Jung Ho Kang, SS, Pirates

American League Rookie of the Year

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
Miguel Sano, DH, Twins

National League Manager of the Year

Terry Collins, Mets
Joe Maddon, Cubs
Mike Matheny, Cardinals

American League Manager of the Year

Jeff Banister, Rangers
A.J. Hinch, Astros
Paul Molitor, Twins

National League Cy Young Award

Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs
Zack Greinke, SP, Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers

American League Cy Young Award

Sonny Gray, SP, Athletics
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros
David Price, SP, Blue Jays

National League MVP

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
Joey Votto, 1B, Reds

American League MVP

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
Mike Trout, OF, Angels

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The official award winners will come out next week. Here is the schedule …

  • Monday, November 16: AL & NL Rookie of the Year
  • Tuesday, November 17: AL & NL Manager of the Year
  • Wednesday, November 18: AL & NL Cy Young Award
  • Thursday, November 19: AL & NL Most Valuable Player