MVP - Clayton Kershaw
Though a pitcher, Clayton is the clear choice for team MVP. There were three position players who could garner votes -- Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and to a degree Adrian Gonzalez -- but none were as productive as Kershaw was, and all three are flawed.
Hanley didn't play enough games due to a variety of injuries, as I covered yesterday; Puig wasn't called up until June and had a number of valleys to go along with his peaks; and Gonzalez, while playing almost every day, was consistently solid offensively but in no way spectacular.
Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw
If this just isn't the easiest choice of them all, as will be the case when it comes to the regular season awards the BBWAA will soon give out, then we need to stop giving out awards entirely. Kershaw was outstanding yet again, and it should come as no surprise to anyone.
Kid K is the best pitcher in baseball, and it's not even close. I don't need to get into any fancy stats. In terms of basic run prevention, Kersh has led all of baseball in ERA for three consecutive years, joining elite hurlers like Sandy Koufax and Greg Maddux in achieving that feat.
He leads all of baseball in RA9-WAR since 2010 as well, clocking in at 27.7.
Hank Aaron Award - Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez wasn't always healthy, but, when he was, he paced the club with the lumber, consistently creating runs and making other teams pay for putting base runners on in front of him. HanRam hit .345/.402/.638/1.040 with a .442 wOBA and a 191 wRC+, but amassed just 336 plate appearances.
That being said, he absolutely demolished opposing pitchers, as almost half of his hits were of the extra-base variety; he struck out less than in previous years; and he hit for an incredible amount of power (.293 ISO).
Rookie of The Year - Yasiel Puig
It's not a runaway and as obvious as people will make it, but Yasiel Puig is the choice over Hyun-Jin Ryu. Puig made his debut on June 3 and proceeded to make a name for himself with great throws, long homers, and exuberance that would make Brian McCann and the Atlanta Braves: World Police cringe.
Puig ended the regular season with a slash line of .319/.391/.534/.925 with a .398 wOBA and a 160 wRC+. He posted a 4 fWAR with excellent offense, shoddy baserunning (the ability is there, but he needs to run into less out on the bases), and roughly average defense dragged down by route-running and correctable mistakes. His arm in right, however, is a major plus.
Contrary to popular belief, he did improve at the plate, with his BB% rising each of his first three months in the league and eclipsing 10% in August and September. The sky is the limit for #ManBearPuig.
Reliever of The Year - Kenley Jansen
Kenley Jansen was elite yet again. He put up another phenomenal season and continues to show why he is, in fact, comparable to and the second coming of Mariano Rivera, as I declared earlier this season.
Jansen posted a 1.88 ERA backed by a 1.99 FIP while whiffing more than 13 per nine and walking just more than two batters per nine. His fWAR was an excellent 2.2 and his RA9-WAR was an even better 2.8. Kenley is one of the top two relief aces in the game, and you can make the case he's the best.
Comeback Player of The Year - Juan Uribe
Juan Uribe posted an fWAR of 5.1. Let that sink in for a moment or two and then realize you're not in the Twilight Zone. His offense was above average, as was his production on the bases, but he really shined with the glove and drew most of his value from it.
Defensive Player of The Year - Juan Uribe
Uribe was absolutely phenomenal at third base, providing the Blue Crew with ultra-elite defense at the hot corner. To put it another way, Uribe was Manny Machado with fewer games played, better offensive output, and better baserunning. Their defense was comparable to top it off, as both are among the premier to field the position.
General Manager of The Year - Jerry Dipoto
Anaheim Angels -- play in L.A. and you can call yourselves Los Angeles -- general manager Jerry Dipoto opted to sign Josh Hamilton and give him a big contract and big money instead of focusing on what his squad really needed: pitching, namely former Angel Zack Greinke.
The Dodgers have been reaping the rewards ever since. Greinke was dominant with the bat, posting an outstanding line of .328/.409/.379/.788 with a wOBA of .357 and a 132 wRC+. That's better than Andrelton Simmons, as a point of reference. Greinke's fWAR just as a batter was 1.2.
On the hill, Greinke's fWAR was 3.0 with a 3.23 FIP and a 4.8 RA9-WAR. So, yeah, thanks Jerry.
I kid, mostly (about Dipoto getting the award, not about him clearly making the wrong choice in Hamilton over Greinke). Ned Colletti and his staff brought in Greinke, Puig, and Ryu and traded for Hanley and AGon. All five have been big contributors and helped to pick up the slack in the wake of Matt Kemp's lost season due to a variety of injuries.Greg Zakwin is the founder of Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle, a Dodgers' and sports card blog. He writes with an analytical tilt about The Blue Crew at ChadMoriyama.com. You can find and follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke. A graduate of UCLA in 2011 with a Bachelor's in History, he's been a follower of the Dodgers since birth and still mourns the loss of both Mike Piazza and Carlos Santana.
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- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Yasiel Puig
- Clayton Kershaw
- Atlanta Braves
- Adrian Gonzalez
- Juan Uribe