Saturday, October 12, 2013

2013 Stan Musial Award

The Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Blog (VHCBB) is a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA). The VHCBB once again has the honour of casting a ballot for the five awards given to players and managers in both the National and American Leagues. Today we reveal our ballots for the Stan Musial Award, which will be presented to the MVP in each league.

National League

In the senior circuit, the choice for league MVP is simple: It's Andrew McCutchen. "Cutch" has improved in each of his five years in the big leagues, and this year his career-best season was enough to lead the resurgent Bucs to their first winning season since 1992. McCutchen hit .317 with 21 homers, 84 RBI and 27 steals in 2013, but he also played great defense in centre field.

Matt Carpenter was an offensive force for the St. Louis Cardinals, as he led the National League in hits (199), runs (126) and doubles (55). The Cardinals, who won the NL Central with relative ease, led the National League in runs scored without the benefit of a serious power threat and Matt Carpenter was the biggest reason why that happened.

Our National League ballot looks as follows:
  1. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
  2. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
  3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  4. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
  5. Joey Votto, Reds
  6. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
  7. Matt Harvey, Mets
  8. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  9. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
  10. Hunter Pence, Giants

American League

Mike Trout
Last year Mike Trout put together the best rookie season in baseball history. This year he had the best sophomore season in baseball history. I'm not a statistician, but that trend line looks pretty darn good.

Trout was far and away the best player in the majors this season. While his defense wasn't quite as spectacular as in his rookie year, his offense was incredible: 27 homers, 97 RBI, 109 runs, 33 steals and a .323 batting average. Trout's batting eye is phenomenal, as shown by his league-leading walk total of 110 and his .432 on-base percentage. It's scary to consider that the 22-year-old is still five or six years away from his peak production, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that he'll end up being viewed at some point as the greatest ballplayer in baseball history. 

Josh Donaldson is also worthy of special mention. The 27-year-old former first round pick of the Chicago Cubs surprised most of the baseball experts with his incredible breakout season in 2013. The free-spirited Donaldson hit .301 with 24 homers and 93 RBI and he was a big reason why the Athletics finished ahead of the heavily-favoured Texas Rangers in the AL West.

Our American League MVP ballot stands at:
  1. Mike Trout, Angels
  2. Josh Donaldson, Athletics
  3. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  4. Evan Longoria, Rays
  5. Chris Davis, Orioles
  6. Max Scherzer, Tigers
  7. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers
  8. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
  9. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
  10. Manny Machado, Orioles

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