American League MVP:

The pick: Mike Trout, Out Field, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Stats: 157 games, 36 HR, 111 RBI, .287/.377/.561, 167 OPS+, 16 SB, 83 BB, 184 SO, 7.9 WAR

The case: Mike Trout is about to win the MVP in an off year. That’s how good this guy is. Trout has had another season of covering half the world in the outfield and generally doing everything you could ask at the plate. This elevates him in a year  that, without any serious standout seasons in the AL, gives him an easy road to the award. But make no mistake, this was not Trout’s best year. He has better years coming.

Others considered: Jose Abreu, Jose Altuve

AL Cy Young Award:

The pick: Cory Kluber, Starting Pitcher, Cleveland Indians

Stats: 34 GS, 235.2 IP, 18-9, 2.44 ERA, 269 SO, 51 BB, 152 OPS+, 2.35 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 10.3 SO/9

The case: I know, I know – not Felix Hernandez? Let’s look at his numbers.

34 GS, 236 IP, 15-6, 2.14 ERA, 248 SO, 46 BB, 170 ERA+, 2.56 FIP, 0.915 WHIP, 9.5 SO/9

Their numbers are strikingly similar. Flip a coin? We can do better.

Well, how did batters fare against them? Hitters had a .739 OPS against Kluber and a .729 OPS against Hernandez. Nothing there. Park factors both have Progressive Field and Safeco that are friendly to pitchers, so that’s another dead end. What about the defenses behind them?

UZR records the number of runs a defense costs their pitcher per season. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Seattle’s defense was 22nd in the league to Cleveland’s dead-last 30th. Kluber did everything Hernandez did, but with a bunch of cement blocks playing behind him.

Others considered: Felix Hernandez

AL Rookie of the Year:

The pick: Jose Abreu, 1st Base, Chicago White Sox

Stats: 145 games, 36 HR, 107 RBI, .317/.383/.581, 169 OPS+, 3 SB, 51 BB, 131 SO, 5.5 WAR

The case: Abreu had one of the best rookie seasons ever and no one else was even league average. End of case.

Others “considered”: Dellin Betances

AL Manager of the Year:

The pick: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim

The case: On August 17, the Angels finished up a three-game sweep and found themselves tied with the A’s for the division lead, after trailing by 1-3 games for most of the year. By the end of the year, they were up 10 games.

Scioscia’s been very vocal the last few years about his talented roster underperforming and missing opportunities, and this year they were able to overtake the A’s, fending off both them and the Mariners. Not to mention that his roster’s creativity helped the Angels overcome the losses of Josh Hamilton, Garret Richards, and other key players throughout the year.

Others considered: Buck Showalter, Lloyd McClendon

Bernstein is a member of the class of 2018.



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Her music screams for your attention, but in a natural “you know you’ll find yourself here” and not in a “LOOK AT ME” type of way.

To everyone, everything, that’s no longer mine

You left so many pieces of you with me — I’m a mosaic. You gave me pretty stained glass, and when you left it cracked into shards.

The value of Rochester journalism

When big events are over, the national news has to move on. Local news is what covers the aftermath.