2011 MLB Awards

The First Annual Baseball Haven “I’m Always Right Before the Media Figures It Out” Awards are officially ready, just one day after the season.  These guys may not win the awards below, but they certainly SHOULD.

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers

.344/.448/.586, 111 R, 48 2B, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 89/108 K/BB

Cabrera may not win because his votes may be split with Justin Verlander, but he is the reason why the Tigers won the other 71 games that Verlander didn’t win.  His production has been elite for a number of years and he is still just 28 and in his prime.  Jose Bautista could win this based on production, but his team fell so short of the playoffs and they weren’t ARod in 2003-level, but Cabrera should be the choice.

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, LF, Brewers

.332/.397/.597, 109 R, 38 2B, 6 3B, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 33 SB, 93/58 K/BB

Braun and the Brewers powered their way to a 56-24 home record on their way to a 96-66 overall record.  Along with Prince Fielder, Braun destroyed the opposition, flashing power, speed and an amazing all-around game, including gold glove calibur defense.  While some will want to toss this award to Matt Kemp, who, like Jose Bautista, posted amazing numbers on a bad team, Braun’s overall dominance in 2011 can’t go unnoticed.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, RHP, Tigers

24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 251 IP, 250/57 K/BB, .192 BAA

Like it would be anyone else?  Verlander won the AL Triple Crown for pitching, he led his team to the AL Central title, and he will garner MVP votes.  Lock it down.  This guy is going to be doing this for the next six years or so, get used to it.

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers

21-5, 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 233 1/3 IP, 248/54 K/BB, .207 BAA

Kershaw won the NL Triple Crown, even while tying for the NL lead in wins with Ian Kennedy.  He took major strides this season in becoming a year in and year out Cy Young candidate.  The fact that he is just 23 years-old is absolutely nuts.  If the Dodgers get a clue in ownership, they have their staff anchor for a building block.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Rays

91-71, AL Wild Card winner

The Boston collapse helped but getting a team who lost, quite possibly, the greatest player in franchise history and still compete and make the playoffs while spending less than $50 million on payroll is worth something.  Maddon and his sweet glasses have worked miracles in Tampa.  Too bad he can’t do anything about the fanbase and stadium.

NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks

94-68, NL West Division winner

Gibson’s first full season as manager couldn’t have gone much better.  He has put together a staff of former players, including: Don Baylor, Alan Trammell, Charles Nagy, Matt Williams, and Eric Young.  This group has a young core of talent in the rotation and on the diamond.  In a division where teams continue to fall off after winning, it’ll be interesting to see if the Diamondbacks hold steady atop the division next year.  Justin Upton and Paul Goldschmidt will help quite a bit.

AL Rookie of the Year: Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals

.293/.334/.465, 27 2B, 3 3B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB, 82/34 K/BB

Just 21-years-old, Hosmer established himself as a potential superstar in his first go-round in the bigs.  He will lose votes to a strong AL class, which includes Jeremy Hellickson and Michael Pineda, but Hosmer showed Ryan Braun-like production at a young age.  His ceiling rivals a cathedral right now.

NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves

4-3, 2.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 77 IP, 127/32 K/BB, 46 saves

Take a 23-year-old, put him in the closers role, your team wins 89 games and falls just one win short of the playoffs due to a huge collapse…it doesn’t make the numbers that Kimbrel put up any less dominant.  His 15.4 K/9 IP over his first 100 appearances is absolutely sick.  He and Neftali Feliz, if he stays a closer, could be the next 600 save closers.  They have amazing stuff and, if they stay healthy, are dominant enough to reach that level.

MLB Comeback Player of the Year: Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, Cardinals

2010: .248/.368/.413, 23 2B, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 85/77 K/BB

2011: .301/.412/.547, 23 2B, 31 HR, 91 RBI, 93/92 K/BB

The Astros were pissed off about Berkman’s conditioning and he showed up this season in shape.  They may want some of their money back $14.5 million salary back after he showed up as the old Berkman this season.  Having Pujols behind you is nice, but don’t we all have a Pujols behind us?  Berkman took advantage of it to the tune of a $12 million salary for 2012.  A nice revival for someone who looked dead at times in 2010.  Nice job “Big Puma.”


7 thoughts on “2011 MLB Awards

  1. You completely contradicted yourself, if Matt kemp who put up the best overall numbers this year doesn’t win it. Then how can his teammate , who also wears dodger blue win cy young. Kemp flirtted with a triple crown, halladay and Kennedy where right there with kershaw. Let’s see who else in the nl flirted with a triple crown. Fielder will probably split the votes with Braun


    1. Because Cy Young’s are won by the best pitcher, not the MVP. What does it matter if Kemp goes 40/40 if they’re 11.5 games out? How valuable was he if he couldn’t lead his team to the playoffs. Votto did last year by practically carrying the Reds there, so that was MVP-like. Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young last year in the AL, Steve Carlton won on one of the worst teams in MLB history. An MVP gets a team to the playoffs and wins games. There was debate when ARod won the MVP in 2003 because, outside of his gaudy #’s, his team stunk. Fielder could split the votes at MVP in the NL and Kemp could run away with it. However, those are the guys I would vote for, it’s who I feel was the MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and ROY. You think Hosmer is going to win over Pineda or Hellickson? Maybe not. Thanks for the feedback and comment. I understand your point so I wanted to clarify mine. A Cy Young winner doesn’t need to be on a winning team, he just needs to be the best pitcher. The MVP needs to be the team leader. I don’t think that if Joe Mauer hit .390 with his 5 homers next season and the Twins won 73 games, that we would hand him the MVP, do you?


  2. Can’t agree with you on Cabrera since he was maybe the 4th or 5th most valuable player in the AL. If you follow the absurd theory that the MVP has to come from a playoff team then it’s Granderson who carried the Yanks despite up and down seasons from every other hitter except Cano. If you go by the best player then it’s Bautista or maybe Ellsbury.
    I could go with either Braun or Kemp in the NL and wouldn’t argue either way. If Kemp had won the triple crown he’d have been my choice undoubtedly!
    Kershaw is the Cy Young, no doubt. To go with Halladay, Kennedy, Lee wouldn’t be bad, but it wouldn’t be right.
    Like the Berkman stuff, but what a jerkoff he is to scam the ‘Stros for so much cash. Kinda like Huff this year who apparently came into the season in awful shape.
    The MVP does not have to be team leader or on a playoff team, see Andre Dawson!!


  3. Ola! Thebaseballhaven,
    Maybe a little off topic, however, My buddy and I are having a baseball pool in which you try to guess who will win MLB awards for this year. Whoever gets the most correct, wins.
    THe one category i am stuck on is gold glove.
    So, who do you guys think/know will win gold gloves this year in the AL/NL?
    All the Best


    1. Gold Gloves are tough because they tend to be a popularity contest rather than the best defensive players. For example, Casey Kotchman is statistically the best 1B in baseball but he probably won’t win it. Mark Teixeira or Adrian Gonzalez will in the AL, it’s a toss up. As far as the NL, Helton is and has been the best 1B for years defensively and he ranks there again…BUT…he only played in 119 games this year. Gaby Sanchez is next in Fielding Percentage but Joey Votto is the next “name” that appears and he is 7th in MLB among 1B. If I had to guess who would win, these are the guys that I would pick:
      P: Who the hell cares? Can we still vote for Greg Maddux? I guess one amazing play will win it so we’ll go AL: Mark Buehrle – NL: Wandy Rodriguez
      C: AL: Alex Avila – NL: Brian McCann
      1B: AL: Mark Teixeira – NL: Joey Votto
      2B: AL: Dustin Pedroia – NL: Brandon Phillips
      3B: AL: Adrian Beltre – NL: Chipper Jones
      SS: AL: J.J. Hardy – NL: Troy Tulowitski
      OF: AL: Jacoby Ellsbury, Torii Hunter, Nick Markakis
      NL: Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino, Carlos Beltran
      This is tough. If Jeter wins another Gold Glove, shoot me in the chin with a shotgun…PLEASE. The Gold Glove is and has been the worst voting process, outside of the Hall of Fame, ever. Allowing managers to vote, none for their players, when their season is done and they like certain guys more than others, besides the fact that they probably just want to watch the Price is Right and maybe sleep with their wives for the first time in 230 days, is assanine. Allowing Dusty Baker to fill out something other than a lineup card is insane. The man couldn’t fill out a condom, let alone a lineup card or valuable award process. Good luck to you, sir. If you get them all based on my list, you may split Mega Millions with me.


  4. Kershaw has won the pitcher’s triple crown; the discussion should end there. But for any doubters, here’s the cincher: compare how the top three candidates Kershaw, Halladay, and Kennedy fared against the top twenty NL hitters and the rest of the league. Against the rest of the league: OPS allowed was .548, .547, and .601 for Ker, Hal, and Ken, respectively. Now, against the 20 hitters Hal’s was .912, Ken’s was .948, and Kershaw… .610!

    I included Kennedy instead of Lee because of Lee’s 17 wins not being enough to beat Kershaw or Halladay. Although I concede that good arguments can be made to include Lee over Kennedy, it doesn’t change the fact that Kershaw should win.



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