2011 MLB Awards: Another Look at the Year That Was
Now that everybody has settled down from one of the best postseasons in history. It’s hardware time! Here is the complete list of awards handed out this season.
World Series Award Winners
Championship- St. Louis Cardinals
The Cards were very deserving this year.
MVP- David Freese
The unlikely hometown hero was the obvious choice here.
MVP Award Winners
American League- Justin Verlander
After a stellar season including a no-hitter, an AL pitching Triple Crown, and a Tigers division title, it was no wonder this Detroit based gunslinger captured the AL MVP (280 votes). Runners up included; Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury with 242 votes, and Toronto’s Jose Bautista with 231 votes.
National League- Ryan Braun
Braun edged out second place candidate Matt Kemp, to finish with 388 votes to Kemp’s 332. The voting doesn’t seem all that close, but what was close, was their stats. Both players put up similar numbers throughout the season, with Kemp even having slightly better numbers. The big difference though, was how their teams did. Braun’s Milwaukee Brewers captured the NL Central title, while Kemp’s Los Angeles Dodgers finished 11.5 games back in the NL West. Which brings us to the age-old debate, “Should the success of a players team be taken into account when awarding a personal accolade such as an MVP award?” I say yes, and obviously the majority of voters agree with me, but it is still a raging debate. Prince Fielder finished 3rd in voting, and well back with 229 votes.
Cy Young Award Winners
American League- Justin Verlander
Verlander was the unanimous choice here. He won the voting with 196 points, which was 99 points better than second place finisher Jered Weaver. Justin is only the 10th player to win the MVP and Cy Young awards in the same year.
National League- Clayton Kershaw
The 23-year-old ace, also won the award unanimously, by receiving 207 votes. The second and third place finishers were Roy Halladay with 133, and Cliff Lee with 90, both from the Phillies.
Rookie of the Year Award Winners
American League- Jeremy Hellickson
This impressive young Rays pitcher led all rookies in ERA (2.95), innings pitched (189), games started (29), and was second in wins (13). He won the voting with 102 points over runner-up Mark Trumbo, of the L.A. Angels, who finished with 63 votes.
National League- Craig Kimbrel
Atlanta Braves rookie Craig Kimbrel, received 32 of 32 possible first place votes. He won the honour by outscoring fellow teammate Freddie Freeman by a score of 160 to 70. Kimbrel set a MLB record by recording 46 saves in his rookie season.
Manager of the Year Award Winners
American League- Joe Maddon
After a mediocre start to the season, and with one of the lower payrolls in baseball, Maddon managed a late season run that ended with his team making the postseason over powerful division rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The Rays skip deserved to win this award, and it showed, as he was awarded 26 of a possible 28 first place votes.
National League- Kirk Gibson
The D-backs manager led his club to 94 regular season wins; which was good enough to capture first place in the NL West. It was his first full year as manager, and the team saw a 29 game improvement from 2010 when they finished in last place. The voting takes place after the season is finished, and before the postseason starts, which is a good thing for Kirk. And that’s because 3rd place finisher, and former 4-time winner, Tony La Russa, took his club from missing the postseason last year, to winning the World Series in heroic fashion this year. However I think La Russa is happy enough with the championship, as he retired 3 days later, after a 33-year managerial career.
Comeback Player of the Year Award Winners
American League- Jacoby Ellsbury
After only playing 18 games in 2010 due to left rib fractures; Jacoby bounced back with a monster season that almost won him AL MVP honours. And it did help him win Comeback player of the year. He managed to play 158 games this season. Over that period of time, he had a .321 batting average, amassed 119 runs, 212 hits, 32 homers, 5 triples, 105 RBIs, 39 steals and a .928 OPS. Not only is that a really impressive season, but he is also the first Boston Red Sox in history to have a 30-30 season. Which means, 30 stolen bases and 30 homeruns in the same season. And of course he accomplished all of this coming off a major injury.
National League- Lance Berkman
After playing only 37 games in 2010 in a backup role with the Yankees, he was eventually released by New York at the end of the season. Picked up by St. Louis, the 35-year-old found his form again. He finished the season 2nd on the team in batting average (.301), and 2nd in both homeruns (31) and RBIs (94). Pretty amazing season for anyone, but especially for Lance considering he rode the pine all last year! Oh, and off the record, he also helped his team win the World Series!
Hank Aaron Award Winners
American League- Jose Bautista
Bautista also won the “leagues best hitter award” last year. And is the 3rd player to win the award in consecutive years since its inception in 1999. He is also one of four muli-year winners. To earn the honours this year, Bautista, or Joey Bats as they call him in Taronta, led the majors again with 43 homeruns. He also led in walks, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentage, while maintaining a .302 average.
National League- Matt Kemp
Kemp won the award with an overall great performance. He led the NL in homeruns (39), RBIs (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), and finished third in the NL in batting average (.324). He also became only the 7th player in MLB history to finish the season ranked in the top three in homers, batting average, RBIs, and stolen bases in his respective league. Which is fitting company because one of the other 7 was none other than Hank Aaron himself.
Delivery Man of the Year- Jose Valverde
Clemente Award Winner- David Ortiz
Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winners
American League National League
C- Matt Wieters, BAL C- Yadler Molina, STL
1B-Adrian Gonzalez, BOS 1B- Joey Votto, CIN
2B-Dustin Pedroia, BOS 2B-Brandon Phillips, CIN
3B-Adrian Beltre, TEX 3B- Placido Polanco, PHI
SS-Erick Aybar, LAA SS- Troy Tulowitzki, COL
LF-Alex Gordon, KC LF- Gerardo Parra, ARI
CF-Jacoby Elisbury, BOS CF- Matt Kemp, LAD
RF-Nick Markakis, BAL RF- Andre Ethier, LAD
P-Mark Buehrle, CWS P- Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Louisville Silver Slugger Award Winners
American League National League
C-Alex Avila, DET C- Brian McCann, ATL
1B- Adrian Gonzalez, BOS 1B- Prince Fielder, MIL
2B- Robinson Cano, NYY 2B- Brandon Phillips, CIN
3B-Adrian Beltre, TEX 3B- Aramis Ramirez, CHC
SS-Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE SS- Troy Tulowitzki, COL
OF- Curtis Granderson, NYY OF- Ryan Braun, MIL
OF-Jose Bautista, TOR OF- Matt Kemp, LA
OF- Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS OF- Justin Upton, ARI
DH- David Ortiz, BOS P- Daniel Hudson, ARI