The Kansas City Royals won the World Series, but if you did not know that you might think they didn’t have a very outstanding season. The Baseball Writers Association of America vote for the four major awards, including: Managers of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Cy Young Awards, and Most Valuable Players. No Royals were anywhere in the winners list, a fact I am sure matters none to them. They were the classic team anyway. They rose and fell together, and are still basking in the glow of their world championship victory.
The Managers of the Year were, in the American League, Jeff Banister of the Western Division champion Texas Rangers; and in the National League, Joe Maddon of the Wild Card champion Chicago Cubs. Banister received 17 of the 30 first place votes beating out the Astros’ A.J. Hinch who finished second with eight. The Rangers overcame injuries and a slow start to finish 88-74 and win the A.L. West. They lost in five games to the Blue Jays in the Division Series. The Royals Ned Yost finished sixth with no first place votes at all. Maddon led the Cubs to 97 wins, the wild card win in Pittsburgh, and a Division Series victory over the 100-win Cardinals. He received 18-of-30 first place votes, with the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny finishing second with nine.
The Rookies of the Year were, in the American League, Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros; and in the National League, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. Correa hit .279 with 22 HR and 68 RBI while the shortstop for the Wild Card champions. A former #1-overall pick, Correa was not called up until June 8, making his numbers all the more impressive. Correa received 17 first place votes, Francisco Lindor of the Indians was second with the other 13. Bryant was also not on the Opening Day roster but made a distinct impression right away as the unanimous winner. The third baseman hit .275 with 26 HR and 99 RBI.
The Cy Young Awards for the top pitchers in each league were in the American League, Dallas Keuchel of the Astros; and in the National League, Jake Arrieta of the Cubs. Keuchel went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and 216 strikeouts in 232 innings. Key to his season, and that of the Astros, Keuchel was a sparkling 15-0 with a 1.46 at home. He received 22 first place votes with former Vanderbilt star David Price receiving the other eight. Another former Vandy pitcher Sonny Gray was third, with Royals closer Wade Davis sixth. Arrieta was 22-6 with a 1.77, 16-1 with a 0.75 after the All-Star Break, one he had at home as he was not an All-Star. Arrieta struck out 236 in 229 innings and pitched a no-hitter. He received 17 first place votes, and the Dodgers’ duo of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw were next with 10 and three respectively.
The MVPs were in the American League Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays, and in the National League Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Donaldson hit .297 with 41 HR and 123 RBI in his first season in Toronto. The third baseman was also named MLB Player of the Year by his peers. He received 23 first place votes, the Angels’ Mike Trout second with the other seven, and the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain was third. Harper, a unanimous winner, hit .330 with 42 HR and 99 RBI all before turning 23. He was the bright light in an otherwise disappointing season in Washington.