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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

MLB Awards: Predictions and Analysis


This week, Major League Baseball will announce the winners of their prestigious year-end awards. After the end of the regular season in early October, a group of 30 writers per league vote on the best rookie, pitcher, and overall player in both the American and National Leagues. It was a thrilling season full of excellent players, but which ones deserve the year-end hardware? Here are my picks for each award:


There was no question that the Yankees’ superstar right fielder would win this award, On Monday night, the Yankees’ slugger received all thirty first place votes to unanimously win the award. After a middling “cup of coffee” with the club in 2016, Aaron Judge played well enough in spring training that the Yankees gave him a spot in the opening day lineup. He responded with a rookie year for the ages as he hit 52 home runs, the most ever by a rookie. He also led the league in runs scored (128), walks (127), and finished in the top three in wins above replacement (8.1), total bases (340), runs batted in (114), on-base percentage (.422), and slugging percentage (.627).

Judge’s contributions went beyond the statsheet, however. He was the leader of a Yankees team that surprised many by winning 91 games and advancing to the American League Championship Series. Judge also won the Home Run Derby in Miami in July in a dominant performance, displaying his tremendous home run power to a national audience. Earlier in the week, it was announced that Judge will be the cover athlete for “MLB18: The Show.” The sky appears to be the limit for this promising young outfielder.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Andrew Benintendi (Boston Red Sox), Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles), Matt Olson (Oakland Athletics), Yuli Gurriel (Houston Astros)


With Judge tearing up the American League on the East Coast, first baseman Cody Bellinger served as his West Coast National League counterpart. On Monday, he too unanimously took home Rookie of the Year honors. The son of former major league first baseman Clay Bellinger, Cody  debuted nearly a month into the season on April 25. However, he made up for lost time with dazzling stats, hitting 39 home runs, the most of any member of the Dodgers. His brilliant play both offensively and defensively at first base were a big part of the Dodgers’ 104-win regular season, as well as their first National League championship since 1988. Like Judge, Cody figures to have many more productive years on a prominent team.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Josh Bell (Pittsburgh Pirates), Paul DeJong (St. Louis Cardinals), Rhys Hoskins (Philadephia Phillies)


Throughout the regular season, the Indians were perhaps the most electrifying team in baseball. They made national news in late August and early September by winning 22 games in a row, a new record for the AL.

The main catalyst for the club was Corey Kluber. He already has one Cy Young Award to his name, having won it in 2014. He played brilliantly once again this year, leading the AL in wins (18), ERA (2.25), complete games (5), and walks/hits per inning pitched (.869). To illustrate Kluber’s talent, his ERA was 0.65 runs better than the pitcher with the second-best ERA, Chris Sale.

Unfortunately, his success did not last through the postseason, as his Indians were upset by the Yankees in five games in the AL Division Series. Nevertheless, Kluber’s season is Cy Young-worthy, as he builds a case towards a possible spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Luis Severino (New York Yankees), Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers/Houston Astros)


Clayton Kershaw’s spot in the Hall of Fame is already secure. With three Cy Youngs already under his belt, it is no secret that there is a spot in Cooperstown waiting for him. Despite missing time this season with back problems, Kershaw was once again amazing in 2017. He led the NL in wins (18) and earned run average (2.31), as well as strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.73:1), as he anchored a dominant Dodgers team all season long.

In the postseason, Kershaw pitched several great games. After several years of October struggles, he pitched six strong innings in his lone NL Division Series start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He followed it up with two strong performances in the NL Championship Series, including a six-inning, one-run game in Game Five over the Chicago Cubs to clinch the pennant for Los Angeles.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals), Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals), Robbie Ray (Arizona Diamondbacks), Zack Greinke (Arizona Diamondbacks)


From 2011-2013, the Houston Astros were baseball’s laughingstock. They averaged 108 losses for those three seasons, never coming close to playoff contention. This year, they turned things around, winning 101 games during the regular season and clinching the franchise’s first World Series in their 55-year history.

The one player who has been there for all the highs and lows is second baseman Jose Altuve. In 2017, Altuve put together a season for the ages. He led the league in hits for the fourth straight year, with a career-high batting average of .346. He also finished in the top three in stolen bases (32) and on-base percentage (.410). Perhaps most impressive of all, his wins above replacement score of 8.3 is the highest in the AL. As the best player on baseball’s best team, Altuve is more than deserving of the award, as a stepping stone to what is increasingly looking like a Hall of Fame resume.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians), Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels), Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox), Andrelton Simmons (Los Angeles Angels)


2017 was labled the “Year of the Home Run” in baseball, and for good reason. A record 6,105 home runs were hit this year, and no one hit more than Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. The big right fielder smashed 59 long balls, the most by any player since Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 73 in 2001.

After being ravaged by injuries in 2015 and 2016, Stanton was finally able to play a full season this year, and he used the opportunity to show off his already legendary power. By extension of his home runs, he also led the NL in runs batted (132) and slugging percentage (.631). With 267 home runs already, the big slugger, who turned 28 on Nov. 8, has the opportunity to put up exceptional career statistics.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Joey Votto (Cincinatti Reds), Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks), Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies), Charlie Blackmon (Colorado Rockies), Justin Turner (Los Angeles Dodgers)

*Photo courtesy of Arturo Padavila III via*


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MLB Awards: Predictions and Analysis