While filling out my IBWAA awards ballot, I noticed something. The Mets had arguably the best class of rookies this year.
Certainly in terms of the National league, the Mets had a handful of reasonable quality players compared to the rest of the league.
First off is the guy who should be Rookie of the Year for the National League, Jacob deGrom.
deGrom has had a great season and the nation became aware of him after he tied a major league record with 8-straight strikeouts to start a game. It was immediately after that game that Howard Cole posted on @IBWAA that voters could not change their ballots. My guess? People voted for the wrong guy.
They should have voted for deGrom.
Billy Hamilton of the Reds and Kolten Wong of the Cards had great years and both havew cases to make two of the three slots on NL Rookie of the Year ballot. For my money, however, I found two Mets I put ahead. The aforementioned deGrom (9-6, 2.69 era, 144 k in 140.1 ip, 3.1 WAR) and Jeurys Familia, who pitched 77 innings over 76 games, one of the biggest numbers in that category for any reliever let alone a rookie. He pithced to a 2.21 era, striking out 73 and walking 32. His 1.0 WAR isn’t bad at all for a middle reliever.
I ended up taking Hamilton as the third guy over Wong, based on the 56 steals. He didn’t take top spot, based on the league leading 23 steals. Hamilton does one thing well, steal bases (his defense is solid too). Familia does one thing well too, get guys out in the late innings.
Wong’s year was actually pretty close to the year Travis d’Arnaud had. d’Awesome was not far from consideration for RoY award. By the way, Eric Campbell also had a sneaky good rookie season. In short the Mets have young talent on par with any other team in the league.
So onto the other awards, I’ll make notes where necessary. These is my 2014 IBWAA awards ballot.
AL Rookie of the Year
Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka, Dellin Betances. ( Two Yankees, ‘two ‘rookies,’ Betances had an amazing season, but no one knows since he’s a middle releiver.)
AL Reliever of the Year
Derek Holland, Fernando Rodney, Betances.
NL Reliever of the Year
Mark Melancon, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen.
Buck Showalter BAL, Lloyd McClendon SEA, Joe Girardi NYY. (note no Ned Yost. Balloting is done prior to the playoffs and his reputation as a game manager was spotty to say the least. Girardi took the spot, because he’s seemed to get the most out of aging vets and no name players over the last couple years.)
Matt Williams WAS, Bruce Bochy SFG, Clint Hurdle PIT. (Again ballots in before playoffs. First year coach wins the award. I did manage to convince the other people in my sports department that Bochy was a Hall of Fame manager. They didn’t think so at the start of the playoffs.)
NL Cy Young
Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Johnny Cueto, Doug Fister, Cole Hamels (Doesn’t it suck to pitch in the same league as Kershaw, huh Waino?)
AL CY Young
Corey Kluber, Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester Max Scherzer, Chris Sale. (I think King Felix will win, but I wanted to show my support to a breakout season. Lester was also brilliant across two teams and it’s too bad Sale isn’t on a better team.)
Mike Trout, Victor Martinez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Michael Brantley, Jose Bautista, Nelson Cruz, Jose Altuve, Jacoby Ellsbury. (Trout wins, the IBWAA has voted him MVBP before and he deserves another. Brantley over Cano in the BBWAA vote was surprising, but but not by a lot. The tail end of this liist is basically semantics, some on the ballot for stats, other anecdotals or some mix of the two.)
Kershaw, Giancarlo Stanton, Hunter Pence, Justin Upton, Anthony Rendon, Yasiel Puig, Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison. ( I went for it. Kershaw for MVP, lets do it. I agree McCutchen should be higher up. ” Hunter Pence is a third place MVP candidate” sign. Also my ballot listed Stanton as Mike Stanton, which is how the slugger was known when he first came up.)
And that’s it. The IBWAA announces award winners starting this weekend. Check out ibwaa.com and @IBWAA for the results.