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RotoAuthority Unscripted: Totally Official Awards

Real baseball waits until after the World Series has ended to announce their awards, mostly so that people will pay some attention to the sport during November (otherwise, pretty much the worst month of the year). The downside of this is waiting, waiting, waiting, until finally we don't really care all that much. 

Here at RotoAuthority, we aren't going to make you wait, which is why we're unveiling our awards right now. Unfortunately for the players involved, they will receive no monetary compensation for their victories.

Tim Dierkes and the whole RA staff voted in several categories, and this is what we came up with. I tabulated the votes on a 3-2-1 basis, mostly because that was simpler than the other formulae out there, and it didn't seem to throw our results out of whack. With six writers, 18 points is the highest possible, meaning (somewhat obviously) that the player in question garnered all six first-place votes.

AL MVP

1st: Miguel Cabrera (17 points) 2nd: Mike Trout (10) 3rd: Chris Davis (9)

Also Receiving Votes: Adrian Beltre (1)

This was almost as clear-cut as it gets, with Miggy having only one dissenter for first place. It's hard to argue with him, but Mark Polishuk tabbed Trout with his first place vote--a very understandable choice, as Trout's speed made him the only balanced player relevant to the discussion. Cabrera and Davis appeared on all six ballots, while I made the only unorthodox vote, that for Beltre. I liked Beltre's all-around production compared to a weak year at third base even more than Trout's speed. I'll understand if there aren't many who agree....

NL MVP

1st: Paul Goldschmidt (14) 2nd:Clayton Kershaw (8) 3rd: Andrew McCutchen (8)

Also Receiving Votes: Matt Carpenter (2), Yadier Molina (1), Michael Cuddyer (1)

There wasn't nearly so much consensus here, but the one thing we did agree on was that Goldy was the NL's top hitter. Average, elite power, and some steals out of a thinner-than-usual first base crop put him first or second on every ballot. Two of us, however, considered Kershaw more valuable overall--which is why he wins the tiebreaker over McCutchen. 

Matt Carpenter's huge production out of second base drew him a couple votes, as did Molina's excellence behind the plate, and Cuddyer's quiet .330+ average in the thin Colorado air.

AL Cy Young

1st: Max Scherzer (17) 2nd: Yu Darvish (13) 3rd: Chris Sale (3)

Also Receiving Votes: Anibal Sanchez (2), Greg Holland (1)

Scherzer and Darvish appeared in first or second place on every single ballot, and it's no surprise: both have given elite stats, off-the-chart strikeouts, and solid wins. Most of us agreed that Scherzer was just a little better, but there's not much reason to argue with Luckey Helms' first-place vote to Darvish. Both pitchers have rocketed up to the top tier of 2014 starters. 

After that...well, we agreed that there was a big value gulf. Tim Dierkes gave his vote to Holland, the top AL reliever, while two of us went with Sanchez and three to Sale. 

NL Cy Young

1st: Clayton Kershaw (18) 2nd: Adam Wainwright (7.5) 3rd: Jose Fernandez (4.5)

Also Receiving Votes: Craig Kimbrel (3), Madison Bumgarner (2), Cliff Lee (1)

Kershaw swept this one, and there is really no way to argue with his dominance. Wainwright was a clear second, for most of us, while the rookie Fernandez lagged a bit behind. The half votes come from Luckey, who split his third-place vote between them, while giving his second-place vote to Kimbrel. Bumgarner got a second-place vote from Mark, while Lee got Tim's third-place choice.

AL Surprise Player

1st: Josh Donaldson (14) 2nd: Chris Davis (6) 3rd: Coco Crisp (4)

Also Receiving Votes: Alfonso Soriano (3), Hisashi Iwakuma/Koji Uehara/Brandon Moss (2 each), Anibal Sanchez (1)

All our first-place votes went to the out-of-nowhere Donaldson or the shockingly-great Davis. Actually, all of Davis's points were from first-place votes, so we were either very surprised by his performance or claim to be unfazed. For Crisp, he wasn't just surprisingly good, but it was the way he's produced that's the big shock, trading steals for homers.

NL Surprise Player

1st: Matt Carpenter (16) 2nd: Jose Fernandez (5) 3rd: Carlos Gomez/Jean Segura (3 each)

Also Receiving Votes: Domonic Brown (2), Mark Melancon/Marlon Byrd/Daniel Murphy/Michael Cuddyer/Evan Gattis/Yasiel Puig (1 each)

While Carpenter nearly swept his way to victory, there wasn't much more agreement, probably because of the sheer volume of surprising players in the NL. Perhaps Gomez and Segura each earned a first-place vote...and no others. Interestingly, no two RA authors listed the same third-place player.

AL Comeback of the Year

1st: Victor Martinez/Jacoby Ellsbury (8) 2nd: Eric Hosmer (7)

Also Receiving Votes: Ervin Santana (5),  Mariano Rivera (3), Alfonso Soriano (2), Justin Masterson/Shane Victorino/John Lackey (1 each)

This one couldn't have been closer. Well, Hosmer could have gotten one more vote, I guess. Martinez and Ellsbury's tie couldn't be broken, as each received two first-place votes and a single second-place nod. Hosmer was actually mentioned on more ballots than either winner. Rivera was the only other player to get first-place consideration. 

NL Comeback of the Year

1st: Francisco Liriano (15) 2nd: Jayson Werth (10) 3rd: Marlon Byrd (5)

Also Receiving Votes: Adam Wainwright (4), Jorge De La Rosa (2), Carl Crawford (1)

Unlike their AL cousins, the NL comebackers were extremely clear. Liriano and Werth appeared on every ballot, with Liriano getting four of the first-place votes. Werth got one (from Tim), and Wainwright got mine, though Byrd still squeaked by him in the votes. In both leagues, it's clearly been a great year for comeback players--don't expect this every year.

AL Biggest Bargain

1st: Chris Davis (15) 2nd: Josh Donaldson (12) 3rd: Koji Uehara (3)

Also Receiving Votes: Ervin Santana/Hisashi Iwakuma (2 each), Greg Holland/Alfonso Soriano (1 each)

I was the only one to disagree with Davis as the first choice...maybe he just got drafted higher in my leagues, I don't know. With or without my vote, he was the clear consensus, with Donaldson the clear number-two. Davis was early-to-mid selection that brought back first-round production, while Donaldson brought back early-to-mid production for the cost of a waiver wire choice. Either way, you really can't lose. There was really no other agreement, though Uehara managed to eke out a lead.

NL Biggest Bargain

1st: Jean Segura (14) 2nd: Matt Carpenter (8) 3rd: Jose Fernandez (8)

Also Receiving Votes: Hyun-Jin Ryu (2), Carlos Gomez/Patrick Corbin/Domonic Brown/Brandon Belt (1 each)

Segura was mentioned on five ballots (Steve Adams was the only dissenter), and Carpenter won the tiebreaker with Fernandez thanks to his two first-place selections. We were pretty agreed that those guys were the bargains, though Luckey found Ryu to be enough of a steal to get his second-place vote.

AL Biggest Bust

1st: Albert Pujols (17) 2nd: Josh Hamilton (10) 3rd: Jose Reyes/CC Sabathia/Justin Verlander (2 each)

Also Receiving Votes: Jesus Montero (1), and the combined efforts of Ben Zobrist, Ian Kinsler, and Dustin Pedroia

This category isn't so good to win...no wonder the Angels have had such a rough season. Pujols nearly swept the voting and Hamilton appeared on five of the six ballots. I was the biggest deviant actually, calling Reyes the number-two disappointment, and sharing my frustration with any high pick spent on disappointing seasons from Zobrist, Kinsler, and Pedroia. Verlander and Sabathia caught some frustration. Montero was the least valuable player on this list, with bad production, injury, demotion, and suspension forming an impressive combination of terrible-ness.

NL Biggest Bust

1st: B.J. Upton (14) 2nd: Matt Kemp (13) 3rd: Ryan Braun (6)

Also Receiving Votes: Starlin Castro (3)

Now, here's some agreement! Upton barely edged out Kemp, while both players appeared on all six ballots. It was the classic fight between a first-rounder who spends most of the year injured, and an OF anchor who spends the entire year as the worst player in baseball. Okay, so it's not exactly a classic, but both players were epically bad. The question of who was worse between Braun and Castro is really a similar one: a first-rounder who gets injured and suspended (but you can replace), or a third-rounder who sucks value away all year. I though Castro was worse, because at least Braun added value while he played...but I'll understand if the people who actually drafted him disagree....



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