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Cullen: 2013 MLB Awards, Surprises, Disappointments

Scott Cullen
10/8/2013 2:59:36 PM
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Scott Cullen digs into the numbers to make his picks for awards, Gold Gloves, All-Surprise and All-Disappointing teams for the 2013 Major League Baseball season.

AL MVP
Mike Trout, CF, L.A. Angels (27 HR, 97 RBI, 33 SB, .323 AVG, .988 OPS)

Runners Up:
Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit (44 HR, 137 RBI, .348 AVG, 1.078 OPS)
Chris Davis, 1B, Baltimore (53 HR, 138 RBI, .286 AVG, 1.004 OPS)

It may not be as glaring as last year, when he was passed over -- and he'll surely be overlooked for Cabrera again this year -- but Mike Trout's complete game just can't be ignored. This isn't an indictment of Cabrera, whose OPS was a career high despite a late-season slump. But the reason that Cabrera is going to win is because his team reached the postseason while Trout's team finished below .500 and we're still at the point where individual awards get viewed through the prism of team accomplishments. By the way, epic season, Chris Davis, but it's only good enough for third.

NL MVP
Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh (21 HR, 84 RBI, 27 SB, .317 AVG, .911 OPS)

Runners-up:
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona (36 HR, 125 RBI, 15 SB, .302 AVG, .952 OPS)
Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati (24 HR, 73 RBI, .305 AVG, .926 OPS)

A strong finish to the season lifted McCutchen past the two first basemen who have excelling all season. That McCutchen plays a much more demanding position can't be overlooked in the final analysis and he even has the narrative working for him after the Pirates reached the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. I tend to avoid pitchers as MVP, but this could be a year in which an ace starter, Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, warrants selection.

AL CY YOUNG
Max Scherzer, Detroit (21-3, 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 240 K, 214 1/3 IP)

Runners Up:
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle (14-6, 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 185 K, 219 2/3 IP)
Yu Darvish, Texas (13-9, 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 277 K, 209 2/3IP)

While those using an outdated measure like a pitcher's record can take comfort in Scherzer's 21-3 mark, he appeals to the advanced stats crowd too, with a 6.4 fWAR, which is second-best in baseball and his 10.08 strikeouts per nine innings, which also ranks second, behind Darvish (11.89). Both Darvish and Iwakuma left a high percentage of runners on base, ranking first and second, respectively and, as a result, ranked third and fourth in the American League in ERA.

NL CY YOUNG
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles (16-9, 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 232 K, 236 IP)

Runners-up:
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis (19-9, 2.94 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 219 K, 241 2/3 IP)
Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets (9-5, 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 191 K, 178 1/3 IP)

It's a testament to how great Kershaw has been this season that it's not even a race for the NL Cy Young, even though the performances of Wainwright, Harvey, Madison Bumgarner, Cliff Lee and Jose Fernandez were outstanding too. Kershaw is in his own class, though, allowing two or fewer earned runs in 26 of his 33 starts.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Wil Myers, RF, Tampa Bay (13 HR, 53 RBI, .293 AVG, .831 OPS)

Runners Up:
Dan Straily, LHP, Oakland (10-8, 3.96 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 124 K, 152 1/3 IP)
Jose Iglesias, SS/3B, Detroit (3 HR, 29 RBI, .303 AVG, .735 OPS)

The American League rookie class is ugly enough that a little more than half a season of Wil Myers is good enough to win by a reasonably comfortable margin. Straily's strong finish (1.95 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in his last half dozen starts) lifts him ahead of the rest of the contenders, but the AL rookies aren't nearly as compelling as those in the National League.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami (12-6, 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 187 K, 172 2/3 IP)

Runners-up:
Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles (19 HR, 42 RBI, 11 SB, .319 AVG, .925 OPS)
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles (14-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 154 K, 192 IP)

It looked like Puig would be a shoo-in to win this award, taking the league by storm from the moment he arrived, but Fernandez posted a 1.32 ERA in the second half, leading all NL pitchers and maintaining the gap ahead of the Dodgers' Puig and Ryu. Such was the depth of the National League rookie class that Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado, Padres 2B Jedd Gyorko, Diamondbacks CF A.J. Pollock and Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller all had fine seasons but didn't do enough to get consideration.

GOLD GLOVES
C - Russell Martin, Pittsburgh
Runners-up: Yadier Molina, St. Louis; A.J. Ellis, Los Angeles

An incredible season for Martin, who led in Defensive Runs Saved, just ahead of the always brilliant Molina. Ellis threw out 44.4% of the runners that tried to steal on him, best among starting catchers.

1B - Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Runners-up: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona; Brandon Belt, San Francisco

Rizzo and Goldschmidt were 1-2 in Defensive Runs Saved and while Belt wasn't that high, he fared better in Ultimate Zone Rating.

2B - Dustin Pedroia, Boston
Runners-up: Darwin Barney, Chicago; Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay

It's a toss-up between Pedroia and Barney, with Pedroia having more Defensive Runs Saved and Barney an edge in Ultimate Zone Rating.

3B - Manny Machado, Baltimore
Runners-up: Nolan Arenado, Colorado; Juan Uribe, Los Angeles

Both Machado and Arenado are exceptional in the field, and Machado gets the nod because he played 280 more innings at the hot corner. Uribe and Evan Longoria are very good too, but a notable step behind the two young third basemen.

SS - Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta
Runners-up: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado; Yunel Escobar, Tampa Bay

It's remarkable how far ahead Simmons is compared to the rest of the shortstops in baseball, but he's miles ahead by every metric. In addition to Tulowitzki and Escobar, Pedro Florimon and Alcides Escobar are pretty handy with the glove too.

LF - Starling Marte, Pittsburgh
Runners-up: Alex Gordon, Kansas City; Andy Dirks, Detroit

Marte has been excellent, but Gordon closed the gap as the year wound down. Dirks holds a slight edge over Yoenis Cespedes, Carl Crawford and David Murphy.

CF - Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee
Runners-up: Juan Lagares, N.Y. Mets; A.J. Pollock, Arizona

Gomez has always been an outstanding fielder and is the head of the class this year, but maybe only because Lagares didn't play a full-time role for the Mets, as Lagares had a better UZR/150 and more Defensive Runs Saved per game/inning played.

RF - Shane Victorino, Boston
Runners-up: Gerardo Parra, Arizona; Josh Reddick, Oakland

Victorino is a natural centre fielder and Parra plays all three spots, so there is likely something to the range they've shown in other positions manifesting itself in right field performance. Reddick fields well enough to stay in the lineup despite a bad year at the plate and just enough to stay ahead of Jay Bruce for a runner-up spot.

(I realize there are Gold Gloves awarded in both leagues.  I'm just trying to recognize the best fielders at each position.)

ALL-SURPRISE TEAM
C - Jason Castro, Houston (18 HR, 56 RBI, .276 AVG, .835 OPS)
1B - Chris Davis, Baltimore (53 HR, 138 RBI, .286 AVG, 1.004 OPS)
2B - Matt Carpenter, St. Louis (11 HR, 78 RBI, .318 AVG, .873 OPS)
SS - Jean Segura, Milwaukee (12 HR, 49 RBI, 44 SB, .294 AVG, .752 OPS)
3B - Josh Donaldson, Oakland (24 HR, 93 RBI, .301 AVG, .883 OPS)
LF - Starling Marte, Pittsburgh (12 HR, 35 RBI, 41 SB, .280 AVG, .784 OPS)
CF - Coco Crisp, Oakland (22 HR, 66 RBI, 21 SB, .261 AVG, .779 OPS)
RF - Jayson Werth, Washington (25 HR, 82 RBI, .318 AVG, .931 OPS)
SP - Anibal Sanchez, Detroit (14-8, 2.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 202 K, 182 IP)
SP - Matt Harvey, N.Y. Mets (9-5, 2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 191 K, 178 1/3 IP)
SP - Jose Fernandez, Miami (12-6, 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 187 K, 172 2/3 IP)
SP - Bartolo Colon, Oakland (18-6, 2.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 117 K, 190 1/3 IP)
SP - Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle (14-6, 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 185 K, 219 2/3 IP)
RP - Koji Uehara, Boston (21 SV, 1.09 ERA, 0.57 WHIP)

ALL-DISAPPOINTING TEAM
C - Miguel Montero, Arizona (11 HR, 42 RBI, .230 AVG, .642 OPS)
1B - Albert Pujols, L.A. Angels (17 HR, 64 RBI, .258 AVG, .767 OPS)
2B - Danny Espinosa, Washington (3 HR, 12 RBI, .158 AVG, .465 OPS)
SS - Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs (10 HR, 44 RBI, .245 AVG, .631 OPS)
3B - David Freese, St. Louis (9 HR, 60 RBI, .262 AVG, .721 OPS)
LF - Josh Willingham, Minnesota (14 HR, 48 RBI, .208 AVG, .709 OPS)
CF - B.J. Upton, Atlanta (9 HR, 26 RBI, 12 SB, .184 AVG, .557 OPS)
RF - Josh Hamilton, L.A. Angels (21 HR, 79 RBI, .250 AVG, .739 OPS)
SP - Ian Kennedy, San Diego (7-10, 4.91 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
SP - Phil Hughes, N.Y. Yankees (4-14, 5.19 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)
SP - Josh Johnson, Toronto (2-8, 6.20 ERA, 1.66 WHIP)
SP - CC Sabathia, N.Y. Yankees (14-13, 4.78 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
SP - Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay (12-10, 5.17 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
RP - John Axford, St. Louis (0 SV, 4.02 ERA, 1.52 WHIP)

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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