With the 2007 season over and everyone buzzing about who should be given what awards, I figued now with a break in the playoff action would be a perfect time to unveil “The Diamond Cutter Awards” for the 2007 regular season. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the award show!
AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez, SS (NYY)
This was probably the easiest award out of all of them to pick. I mean, when you put up numbers like Alex Rodriguez did and no one else comes even close, its hard to argue someone else’s name. Believe me I tried. Here’s how Rodriguez faired in the “main” statistical categories and how he ranked vs. other American League hitters:
AVG: .314 – 13th
OBP: .422 – 4th
SLG: .645 – 1st
H: 183 – 15th
R: 143 – 1st
HR: 54 – 1st
RBI: 156 – 1st
SB: 24 – 14th
BB: 95 – 7th (t)
That’s pretty impressive and it really locks him into this award. While stats isn’t the only reason someone should be handed this prestigious award, it sure secured it for A-Rod. I’m really not going to spend too much more time on this since it is such a slam dunk.
Runner Up: (distant second) Magglio Ordonez, RF (DET) .363/.434/.595, 117 R, 216 H, 54 2B, 28 HR, 139 RBI
NL MVP: Matt Holiday, LF (COL)
When you first think about it, this one may be the toughest of all the awards to hand out. Matt Holliday and Jimmy Rollins both deserve this award, but I hate co-winners of awards so I won’t be suggesting that. However when you really dig down deep and get your hands dirty with the raw numbers the winner becomes much clearer in my eyes. While I won’t do a break down of numbers like this for everyone, I do want to show you just how Holliday stacked up against the rest of the National League:
AVG: .340 – 1st
OBP: .405 – 6th
SLG: .607 – 2nd
H: 216 – 1st
R: 120 – 3rd
2B: 50 – 1st
HR: 36 – 4th
RBI: 137 – 1st
Personally those numbers are almost impressive as A-Rod’s. But Holliday also provided leadership as he threw his team on his back and helped carry them to a playoff spot in September. While Rollins did a similar thing in Philadelphia, I think if you removed Rollins from the Phillies they would be better off than if you removed Holliday from the Rockies. With that and the stats in mind, I think Holliday shines a brighter light on himself as the 2007 NL MVP.
Runner Up: Jimmy Rollins, SS (PHI) .296/.344/.531, 139 R, 212 H, 38 2B, 20 3B, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 41 SB
AL Cy Young: Josh Beckett, RHP (BOS)
I can hear many of you yelling “WHAT?!?!” right now so please let me explain before the hate comments and emails begin. I know the cool pick is C.C. Sabathia and what he meant to the Cleveland Indians this year. There’s no denying that. But if you compare apples to apples, Josh Beckett pitched better. Take a look at the lines:
Beckett: 30 GS, 20-7, 3.27 ERA, 200.2 IP, 194 K, 40 BB, 23.6% K/PA, 3.59 BsRA9
Sabathia: 34 GS, 19-7, 3.21 ERA, 241 IP, 209 K, 37 BB, 21.4% K/PA, 3.64 BsRA9
While those are very similar lines, I took a look at who these two guys faced. Sabathia had 13 starts against Minnesota, Chicago, and Kansas City who combined to average 4.36 runs and hit .258 against everyone while Beckett faced New York, Toronto, and Tampa Bay who averaged 5.15 runs and hit .272 against all opponents. Now I know you can’t penalize Sabathia because he pitched in a weaker division this season, but you have to weigh that in a little. Plus I will leave you with one more point: while we may be arguing who the best pitcher in the league was, you can argue that Sabathia may not have even been the best pitcher on his own team.
Runner Up: C.C. Sabathia, LHP (CLE) 34 GS, 19-7, 3.21 ERA, 241 IP, 209 K, 21.4% K/PA, 3.64 BsRA9
NL Cy Young: Jake Peavy, RHP (SD)
This is the other battle that wasn’t really that close. Jake Peavy was a beast on the mound all season long and put up some incredible numbers on his way to winning the pitcher’s triple crown by leading the league in wins (19), strikeouts (240), and ERA (2.54). He also lead his team to within one game of winning the NL wild card spot until the red hot Rockies trounced them in the 163 game of the season. Much like A-Rod, I’m not going to go too in-depth with my argument as his numbers pretty much speak for themselves.
Runner Up: Brandon Webb, RHP (ARI) 34 GS, 18-10, 3.01 ERA, 236.1 IP, 194 K
AL Rookie of the Year: Dustin Pedroia, 2B (BOS)
Dustin Pedroia not only had the best stats of any American League rookie, but he also was the most important to his team’s success. Pedroia was an emotional piece to the Red Sox success this season. His presence in the line-up was easily felt as the Sox bumped him in numerous spots up and down, night in and night out, while always staying consistent. Coming into the season many felt Delmon Young would be the shoe in for the award but he didn’t have that impressive of a campaign. Pedroia dwarfed Young’s numbers in important categories by hitting .317/.380/.442 vs. Young’s .288/.316/.408. His ability to get on base was so important in helping Boston reach the post season. Because of this I hand him the Diamond Cutter AL ROY award.
Runner Up: Reggie Willits, LF (ANA) .293/.391/.344, 74 R, 20 2B, 34 RBI, 27 SB
NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Braun, 3B (MIL)
All I can say is poor Troy Tulowitzki. He was well on his way to walking away with this award until the juggernaut known as Ryan Braun was called up to join the Brewers. The young Rockies shortstop put up some great numbers (.291/.359/.479, 24 HR, 99 RBI) and stellar defense but still was unable to defeat the giant Braun. In only 113 games, Braun posted .324/.370/.634 with 91 runs, 34 homers, 97 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. Its scary to think what this guy could have done with a full season under his belt.
Runner Up: Troy Tulowitzki, SS (COL) .291/.359/.479, 104 R, 33 2B, 24 HR, 99 RBI
AL Manager of the Year: Eric Wedge (CLE)
For a while there it looked like John McLaren of Seattle might take this award home after his team put together one heck of a run only to be tarnished by one heck of an implosion down the stretch. So Eric Wedge will take home this award after leading his team back to win the always-up-for-grabs AL Central with a record of 96-66 and upending the 2006 AL champs in the process. The biggest noteworthy accomplishment of his administration was the move of Fausto Carmona from a failed closer in ’06 to a Cy Young contender in ’07.
Runner Up: Terry Francona (BOS) 96-66, 1st place in AL East
NL Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle (COL)
Considering many people picked the Rockies to finish last in the NL West, I’d say the fact that he helped lead this crew back to winning the wild card is something to pat him on the back about. Colorado finished with a 90-73 record and entered the playoffs for the first time since 1995 after winning a one-game playoff against their division rival Padres. While Bob Melvin had a heck of a season with Arizona and their group of youngsters, Colorado stole all our hearts with a great run at the end.
Runner Up: Bob Melvin (ARI) 90-72, 1st place NL West
So there you have it. The Diamond Cutter awards have now been handed out to all the deserving winners. Congratulations to all the winners and runners up for some incredible seasons. Make sure to let me know what you think about these awards and if you are interested, take a peak at the awards I handed out for the Minnesota Twins in my column “Twins Killings” over at MVN.com.
Catch my column “Twins Killings” every day only on the Most Valuable Network.