And just like that the 2020 baseball season is coming to a close. In a season with a sense of urgency like never before, we saw some guys play out of their minds. Not only are we seeing the usual suspects, like Jacob de Grom, Mike Trout and Mookie Betts in the discussion for awards, we’re also seeing some new blood in there as well, with guys like Shane Bieber, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Tim Anderson proving that they belong.
Rookie of the year, manager of the year, Cy Young and MVP. I’ve got it all covered for you guys. Let’s give out some awards.
AL Rookie of the Year: Kyle Lewis OF Seattle Mariners
Let me preface by saying Luis Robert is wildly talented and I expect him to be a top ten player in two or three years. However, it’s all about Kyle Lewis this year. Lewis is leading A.L. rookies in nearly every category and has shown that he’s one of the most exciting players the league has to offer. While Seattle has been one of the worst teams over the last 10-15 years, they do have an exciting young core, with Lewis being the leader.
N.L. Rookie of the Year: Jake Cronenworth IF San Diego Padres
Many thought of Cronenworth as the throw in player Tampa Bay gave them in the Tommy Pham trade. Little did they know they acquired an absolute gem. While his home run numbers aren’t very impressive, he hits for a high average, something you really don’t see in today’s home run or bust game. The addition of Cronenworth has also propelled San Diego squarely in the playoff push, somewhere they haven’t been since the mid 2000s. This definitely won’t be the last we hear of Jake Cronenworth.
A.L. Manager of the Year: Rick Renteria Chicago White Sox
Many, including myself, didn’t think the White Sox were there just yet. We were way off. The White Sox have one of the best lineups in baseball, a lineup that really doesn’t have any holes in it. Their pitching is still iffy, but they have two very solid starters at the top in Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel. This combination has the White Sox at 33-17, the best record in the American League and the second-best record in baseball. The Rick Renteria tenure hasn’t been the greatest, but he gets major props for handling this young and talented group.
N.L. Manager of the Year: Jayce Tingler San Diego Padres
Jayce Tingler is in his first year at the position and boy has he been spectacular. He’s finally gotten this collection of talented players to play up to their potential and has the Padres as one of the favorites to represent the National League this year. He won’t win the division because of the dominance of the Dodgers, but he’s got San Diego as the second-best team in the National League and will have a matchup with either the Reds or Marlins in round one.
A.L. Cy Young: Shane Bieber SP Cleveland Indians
No contest here. Shane Bieber has carried his great 2019 campaign straight into 2020 and has become one of the best pitchers in baseball. Bieber leads in most categories, including having a miniscule 1.74 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 72 innings. I wish there was another pitcher in here to make it an interesting race, but Bieber will run away with this unanimously.
N.L. Cy Young: Trevor Bauer SP Cincinnati Reds
This one was a little bit tougher. You could make a case for a few guys. Yu Darvish had a hot second half last season and hasn’t slowed down. However, he had a tough start last time out. Jacob de Grom is also in the mix, but he left his last start with a hamstring injury, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy.
That leaves Trevor Bauer, quite possibly the most interesting man in baseball. While Bauer has had a one or two bad starts, he’s been very consistent, something he’s lacked for the majority of his career. He leads the National League in several categories, including ERA, ERA+ and WHIP. Trevor has an incredible work ethic as well. I recommend you watch his game day vlogs for Momentum. It goes into detail the work and effort you have to put in as a Major League pitcher. Bauer is a free agent this offseason, so a Cy Young award would definitely put him in the mix to be one of the highest paid pitchers (Annual Salary wise) in the game.
A.L. MVP: Jose Abreu 1B Chicago White Sox
This was an extremely difficult choice. As a pitcher, I really wanted to pick Shane Bieber because he’s been dominant this year. Ultimately, I think the voters will lean towards position player and go with Jose Abreu. Abreu has always been a very good hitter, but this year, he’s been a monster. .330 average, .370 on base, .644 slugging, 17 tanks 51 RBI’s, do I need to go on? I believe the success of the White Sox could play a factor into this decision, which gives Abreu the edge when it comes time for the writers to make their decision.
N.L. MVP: Mookie Betts OF Los Angeles Dodgers
Let me just get this out of the way now. Mookie Betts is the second-best player in baseball no argument. 2019 was a down year, but 2020, with the change of scenery and the fat new contract has worked wonders for Betts. While he’s only leading the National league in a few offensive categories, it’s his all-around game that gives him the edge. He’s top ten in both offensive and defensive WAR and number one in total WAR at about 3.1. Betts has had a phenomenal season and he’ll likely add a second MVP award to his trophy case.