The Major League Baseball season has come to end, and now it is time to hand out yearly awards. There were some dominating performances this year, as well as some huge under achievers which deserve recognition for their strong play.
However, there were also many underachievers in 2015. And there was none bigger than the Washington Nationals, the most disappointing team for the 2015 season. Washington spent money, $210 million specifically, in the offseason to bring in dominant right hander Max Scherzer; which on paper gave them the best rotation in baseball.
Unfortunately the rotation experienced problems, and things never panned out for the Nationals. They were in a very winnable division in the National League East, considering outside of the New York Mets, the rest of the division finished with at least 91 losses. The Nationals finished just four games above .500, and missed the playoffs, costing. Manager Matt Williams his job.
There is no question that the biggest surprise team this year was the New York Mets. The general consensus was that 2016 would be a big year for the Mets with all the young talent they have developed. But, the Amazin’s surprised everyone this year by excelling a year early and won not only the NL East, but making it all the way to the World Series.
Individually, the MVP chase in both leagues really comes down to two players in each league. In the National League the award comes down to Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the dominating year that Harper had, he should win the MVP race. Harper finished the year with the third best batting average in the NL at .321, first in home runs with 42, and fifth in runs batted in with 99.
In the American League, the award will go to either Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels or Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays. It would be easy to say Trout should win it simply because of his name; however Donaldson put together a more impressive year. Donaldson finished tied for third with Mike Trout in the AL in home runs with 41, but he finished first in RBI’s with 123; which is 33 more than Mike Trout. Donaldson also lead the Blue Jays to their first division title since 1993.
In the American League, Dallas Keuchel led the Houston Astros to a surprising postseason berth, a key reason he should be named Cy Young, awarded to the best pitcher in each league. Keuchel lead the American League with 20 wins and finished second in earned run average with a 2.48.
In the National League it is a two horse race between Jake Arietta of the Chicago Cubs and Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jake Arrieta should win the award because not only did he finish first in wins with 22, he also finished just behind Greinke in ERA with an impressive 1.77. He lead the Cubs to their first playoff win at Wrigley Field since 2003.
The Rookie of the Year is going to be a tough one to decide for each league; especially in the National League. Many rookies this year put together strong seasons, but Kris Bryant had the most impressive rookie season in 2015, and deserves to win the award. He finished the season batting .275 in 151 games for the Cubs. He tallied 26 homers, as well as 99 RBIs.
In the American League, there is no doubt that the Astros shortstop Carlos Correa should win the award. Correa was called up mid-season and immediately added a spark to the Astros. He finished the season batting .279 with 22 home runs, and 68 RBIs. He also dazzled the league defensively making some of the most impressive defensive plays of the season.
For Manager of the Year, the choices are pretty easy. For the National League it boils down to two guys, Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Terry Collins of the Mets. Both men lead their clubs to unexpectedly good season. The Cubs and Mets played each other in the National League Championship series where Collins and the Mets swept the Cubs. Terry Collins should win the award this year. No one had the Mets even making the playoffs, and Collins not only made the playoffs, but made it all the way to the World Series.
In the American League it would be easy to say Ned Yost deserves to win since he ultimately won the World Series. However, he should not win manager of the year. A.J. Hinch should win manager of the year. He took an Astros team, who many projected to finish last, to a their first playoff appearance since 2005. Hinch’s Astros over achieved this year, and are set up to be good for a long time.