The finalists were announced this afternoon for the four categories in each league for the BBWAA awards: Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player. The Diamondbacks will be represented in two of the categories: there was no love for Zack Greinke in the Cy Young, which has come down to a battle between two Nationals, in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. The Rookie of the Year is likely the most foregone of foregone conclusions, with LA’s Cody Bellinger a potential unanimous choice, ahead of Josh Bell (PIT) and something from St. Louis called “Paul DeJong”.
As with all the BBWAA awards, voting took place before the post-season, so the D-backs’ result in the Division Series will not have any impact on the final positions here. Indeed, the winner is already known, these “finalists” are simply the top three vote-getters in each category. But here’s a more detailed look at the two categories in which Arizona will have a particular interest.
Manager of the Year
To no great surprise, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager, Torey Lovullo, is one of the three nominees, an impressive achievement for the rookie skipper. Also nominated are two of his colleagues from the National League West: the Rockies’ Bud Black, and the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts.
You’ve got to think that Lovullo should be the winner, considering how much he did with so little, compared to the other two candidates. Here are the Opening Day payrolls for the three teams:
- Los Angeles Dodgers: $242,065,828 (1st in MLB)
- Colorado Rockies: $130,963,571 (16th)
- Arizona Diamondbacks: $93,257,600 (26th)
For the D-backs to finish six games ahead of the Rockies, and actually win the season series against the Dodgers, is all the more impressive. Though on that basis, you could argue that ex-Diamondback Craig Counsell was unjustly overlooked in Milwaukee, taking the Brewers to just one game back of the Rockies, despite a last-placed payroll this season of $63,061,300. The D-backs’ improvement of +24 wins over their 2016 record is also easily the best among the finalists, compared to +13 for the Dodgers and +12 for the Rockies [and +13 for the Brewers, just to be complete!]
Bob Melvin in 2007 and Kirk Gibson in 2011, were previous winners of this category from the D-backs. This season’s winner of Manager of the Year in both leagues will be announced on November 14, at 4 p.m Arizona time on the MLB Network.
Most Valuable Player
Again, not an enormous surprise here, with Paul Goldschmidt named alongside Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, and the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton as your top three. It’s interesting to note that Goldschmidt is the only one of them whose team reached the post-season, and that may be significant. Other potential candidates, like Nolan Arenado from the Rockies, or Washington’s Anthony Rendon, appear to have finished lower down the list. Here are how Paul’s numbers stack up alongside those of Votto and Stanton:
- Goldschmidt: .297/.404/.563 = .966 OPS, 36 HR, 120 RBI, 5.8 bWAR, 5.3 fWAR
- Stanton: .28/.376/.631 = 1.007 OPS, 59 HR, 132 RBI, 7.6 bWAR, 6.9 fWAR
- Votto: .320/.454/.578 = 1.032 OPS, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 7.5 bWAR, 6.6 fWAR
It will be Goldschmidt’s third finish in the top three, having previously been runner-up in both 2013 and 2015, the closest and Diamondback has ever come to being MVP. It would really not surprise me if he ends up in the same position again this year, mostly likely behind Stanton. Even if he represented the difference between the Marlins finishing eight games below .500 and fifteen games below, that’s an insane and gaudy number of home-runs. The most, in fact, by any players in baseball since Barry* Bonds* set the single-season* mark* of 73* in the 2001* campaign.
We’ll find out the results of that on November 16, again on the MLB Network at 4pm Arizona time.
Where will Paul Goldschmidt finish in NL MVP voting?
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