Looking Towards The Awards Season
It hasn’t been too long since a Ranger won a major award for their work over the duration of the season (Cy Young, Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year). 2010 saw the Rangers take two of four – Hamilton won the AL MVP & Neftali Feliz won rookie of the year. It was a great way to see the magical run put on the Rangers rewarded on a national scare. There are 41 games left and the time is coming to start looking at how this award season is starting to shape up. Is there any chance to see a Ranger take one of those awards anytime soon, even as soon as this season?
AL CY YOUNG RACE
Yu Darvish is finally getting back into the AL Cy Young conversation, which many will say is strictly between Felix Hernandez (Seattle) and Max Scherzer (Detroit). Here’s a quick snapshot of their stats, standard and some advance:
On the surface, it appears they’re legitimately in a three man race, and Scherzer may look like your winner based on win totals and ERA alone. I think Darvish is capable of decreasing his walks through 9 and the home run totals to bring some of the deep stats (namely FIP) down to a more competitive level with Hernandez and Scherzer, which would appeal to voters who do consider the deep stats in their voting considerations. This race, for me, is the one to watch, with two of the three candidates gunning for post-season glory.
AL MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
The easy pick in this race is Miguel Cabrera, simply based on his ever-ready offense. Mike Trout is also having a great offensive year and a pretty decent defensive year, despite his team’s overall disappointments. Depending on how you feel about the definition of what qualifies a player as the most valuable, Adrian Beltre should absolutely be in the conversation. For as much as Miguel Cabrera is doing offensively to help the Tigers, Beltre finds ways to add to his value by having a glove to flash in the field as well. Given the huge discussion Cabrera vs. Trout sparked last year, it seems unlikely for Beltre to get a significant notice; but, if he goes on an offensive tear and bypasses Trout significantly, things could change.
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The Rangers really don’t have any standouts in the rookie race. Jurickson Profar was an interesting name to watch, but Jose Iglesias and Wil Myers are making the big waves and will probably be the center of discussion when it comes to ROY talk. Martin Perez is still a rookie pitcher and that could perhaps yield something if his last 8 starts go well, but again, this race is almost always about the position players who have to hit and field every day. Looking forward to the next couple of years, Frisco second baseman Rougned Odor could be a name to watch for the Rangers, but that is truly dependent on a huge series of factors that are very much unknown at this point.
AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
The Rangers are back on top of the division and are not really feeling the true sting of losing the home run power of Nelson Cruz. They are getting back to “Claw and Antler” baseball, where speed and aggressiveness in all facets win the game. The players are obviously doing the work, and Magadan and Maddux are doing the fine tuning with players in practice, but it is unfair to discount the way Ron Washington has helped snap his team out of a funk and get them back to the basics of what has made watching this team fun. If this revitalized Rangers club presses on and reaches their ultimate goal, there is little doubt that Wash will win this award. I’d imagine his only true AL competition would be Jim Leyland, so the race will be a fun one to keep track of going forward into September.
I’d like to hear from you. How do you feel these races are shaping up? Any surprise players waiting to emerge and ruin a leader’s parade?
Thanks, as always, for reading and GO RANGERS!