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2017 BBWAA finalists announced and no Angels are flying high

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Mike Trout didn’t even make the top 3 finalists on the MVP ballot

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There are 4 Angels up for Gold Glove awards (Maldonado and Simmons should win) and you can find out the results tonight on ESPN starting at 6PM.

The Gold Glove awards aside, this year marks the FIRST year since 2010 that there will be no Angels in the top spots for any of the BBWAA awards. Ouch. Say what you will about the BBWAA awards, but it still stings to see no Angels represented.

2016
Mike Trout, MVP 1st

2015
Mike Trout, MVP 2nd

2014
Mike Trout, MVP 1st
Mike Scioscia, Manager of the Year 2nd

2013
Mike Trout, MVP 2nd

2012
Mike Trout, ROY 1st
Mike Trout, MVP 2nd
Jered Weaver, Cy Young 3rd

2011
Jered Weaver, Cy Young 2nd
Mark Trumbo, ROY 2nd

It was a pretty good run, right? Had it not been for Mike Trout’s injury, he would have been a shoe in for a top 3 nomination, but alas he is not. Trout will still get votes, and still has a chance to slide in to the top 3 but I’m doubtful the BBWAA will go that route.

Here are the nominees (with commentary)

AL MVP

Aaron Judge, Yankees - Judge actually was a pretty big (literally) detriment to his team in the second half of July and pretty much all of August. Don’t blame it on the HR derby because Stanton was there too and he went on a post derby HR tear. No doubt Judge had a good year but it was not MVP worthy.
Jose Ramirez, Indians - Ramirez had a pretty fantastic year AND he was consistent throughout the season. He was good but fell just under Mike Trout in WAR despite nearly 150 more ABs being logged. He’s on the top 3 ballot but I’d have a hard time putting him above Trout.
Jose Altuve, Astros - Altuve’s time has probably come to knock this award off his checklist. There is no doubt he was part of helping get his team to the playoffs and World Series. He hit an incredible .381 on the road this year and batting .485 in the month of July.

All 3 of these finalists came from playoff teams. Surprised?

AL Cy Young

Luis Severino, Yankees - Severino had a great season but not the best in the AL. He’s definitely worth of a top 3 pick and will get some first place votes - but he shouldn’t.
Corey Kluber, Indians - Kluber was 3rd in the 2016 Cy Young voting and he was MUCH better this year. He had a 2.25 ERA, 2.50 FIP, and 0.869 WHIP along with 265 Ks. He was even better in the second half and opponents his just .146 off him in the month of August and he started 3 straight scoreless games in September and also had a streak of 32 straight shutout innings over his last 6 starts of the year.
Chris Sale, Red Sox - Sale became just the 35th pitcher in history to rack up 300 Ks in one season and the first in the AL since Pedro Martinez in 1999. Sale has yet to win a Cy Young award in his remarkable career but has a good chance in 2017. For a while, Sale seemed like a lock for the award but he faltered a bit in August and September when Kluber was heating up.

Again, all 3 candidates are from playoff teams. This should be a battle between Kluber and Sale.

AL Rookie of Year

Aaron Judge, Yankees - Seems kind of silly to even have other participants in this category as Judge probably already has a space for this award on his shelf.
Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox - He had a pretty great year for a rookie but not all that special compared to what Judge did.
Trey Mancini, Orioles - Oh look! It’s an all AL East top 3. Mancini was good but should finish WAY behind Judge.

The biggest question in the ROY race is probably who will finish second?

AL Manager of Year

Terry Francona, Indians - I’m not sure Francona is all that deserving and pretty much did what was expected after last year - returning to the playoffs. Not that he didn’t do a good but I’m looking for a manager of the year who exceeded expectations.
Paul Molitor, Twins - Molitor really deserves the honor IMO. This 3rd year manager brought a team to the playoffs that was not expected to even finish above .500. The Twins were even sellers at the All Star Break, yet Molitor persevered and made a name for the 2017 Twins.
A.J. Hinch, Astros - It may be hard for the dinosaurs at BBWAA to overlook Hinch as the favorite for this award. However, like the Indians, the Astros were expected to make the post season and the awards ARE decided on before the post season begins.

Moral of the story? Your team has to be good if you want a manager of the year nomination. Sorry Soth!