MLB announces award finalists

On Monday, Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the finalists for major 2017 awards.

MLB announces award finalists
6 of the finalists for 2017 MLB player awards as voted by Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America. Photos provided by getty images.

As Major League Baseball comes down from the high of one of the best World Series of all time, it gave baseball fans something to be excited about.

On Monday, Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the finalists for the 2017 Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player awards in the American League and National League.

NL Manager of the Year

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks and manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. |Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America|
Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks and manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. |Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America|
  • Torey Lovullo |Arizona Diamondbacks|
  • Dave Roberts |Los Angeles Dodgers|
  • Bud Black |Colorado Rockies|

For most part during the season, the National League West was the most dominant division in major league baseball. Therefore, it is only fitting that all of the manager of the year candidates are from the NL West. In their first season as the manager both Black and Lovullo lead their respective teams to the playoffs in their first season. 

It would be Lovullo and the Diamondbacks that would square off against Roberts and a very talented Dodgers team in the National League Division Series. In Lovullo's first season as manager, the Diamondbacks went 93-69, 24 wins better from the year before.

The Dodgers won 104 under Roberts watch and were the most dominant team in Major League Baseball for a long stretch of time. When many thought they would falter, the Dodgers got back on track. The Dodgers appeared in the World Series, falling to the Houston Astros.

AL Manager of the Year

Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins high fives his team prior to the American League Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees. |Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America|
Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins high fives his team prior to the American League Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees. |Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America|
  • Paul Molitor |Minnesota Twins|
  • ​​A.J. Hinch |Houston Astros|

Terry Francona |Cleveland Indians|

Molitor and the Twins weren't expected to have the year that they had. The Twins went from the team that lost 103 games and finished last in the American League Central to a wild card team that won 85 games. The Twins would lose to the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game.

Francona has won the award twice (2013 and 2016) in his previous four seasons with Cleveland. The Indians finished 102-60 this season, most wins in franchise history, winning first place in the American League Central. Cleveland lost the Division Series matchup against the Yankees.

It was a whirlwind of a season for A.J. Hinch and the Houston Astros. For the first time in history, three Astros players were elected by fans as starters for the All-Star Game while winning 101 games and ran away with the American League West. Ailing from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, Hinch was the skipper that would manage his way to the Astros first World Series title in franchise history.

NL MVP

Left to right: Joey Votto, Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Joey Votto, Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt. |Getty Images|
  • Paul Goldschmidt |Arizona Diamondbacks|
  • Giancarlo Stanton |Miami Marlins|

Joey Votto |Cincinnati Reds|

Stanton captured the attention of the baseball fans everywhere with his pursuit of 60 home runs. Stanton finished just short with 59 homers. Stanton also batted .281 with 132 RBIs. He would finish in the top 10 in at-bats (597) and hits (168) in the National League.

Votto was a hitting machine this season. He would finish with the fourth best batting average (.320) tied for sixth in home runs (36) and was in the top 10 in runs batted in (100) in the National League. Votto also lead all of baseball in on-base percentage (.454). Votto won the award in 2010.

Before the Diamondbacks traded for J.D. Martinez, Paul Goldschmidt carried the team on his back keeping the Diamondbacks in postseason conversation for most of the season. Goldschmidt batted .297 with 36 home runs and 120 runs batted in. In 2015 Goldschmidt was nominated for MVP but ultimately Bryce Harper and finished second to ​Andrew McCutchen in 2013.

AL MVP

Left to right: Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve. |Getty Images|

 Jose Ramirez |Cleveland Indians|​
Aaron Judge |New York Yankees|
Jose Altuve |Houston Astros|

Ramirez quietly had himself a good season. Ramirez finished the year batting .318 with 29 home runs 83 runs batted in. As good as Ramirez was, the real race will be between Judge and Altuve.

Judge was phenomenal in the first half of the season but then pitchers adjusted resulting in Judge going in a slump. Judge would make adjustments of his own and would get back on track. In his first postseason appearance Judge would not have the results he would have hoped for but it is something to build on for the future success of the Yankees. Judge finished first in the American League with 128 runs, first in home runs (52) and second in runs batted in with 114.

Altuve was the most consistent players in baseball, with a slash line .346/.410/.547, with 24 home runs and 81 runs batted in. Altuve stole 32 bases this season (third best in the American League) and finished first in the American League with 204 hits and second in runs (112).

NL Cy Young

Left to right: Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. |Getty Images|

Clayton Kershaw |Los Angeles Dodgers|
Max Scherzer |Washington Nationals|
Stephen Strasburg |Washington Nationals|

Kershaw finished the season with the best record in the National League (18-4) and finished with the best ERA (2.31) in 175 innings of work. Kershaw is looking to win his fourth career NL Cy Young award.

Scherzer will be looking for his third Cy Young, if he wins it will be his second NL Cy Young award. Scherzer finished the year with 16-6 record with a 3.90 ERA and 268 strike outs. In 200 2/3 innings Scherzer allowed 62 runs on 126 hits.

Strasburg received Cy Young votes in 2014 but ultimately finished ninth in voting. Strasburg finished the season 15-4 with a 2.52 era, striking out 204 batters in 175 1/3 innings. 

AL Cy Young

Left to right: Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Luis Severino. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Luis Severino. |Getty Images|

Corey Kluber |Cleveland Indians|
Chris Sale |Boston Red Sox|
Luis Severino |New York Yankees|

Kluber won the Cy Young in 2014 and won the pitching title this season. Kluber went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and 265 strike outs. Opposing batters could not touch Kluber as batters hit .193 against him. Kluber pitched the fourth most innings this year (203 2/3).

Sale has received Cy Young votes in the last five seasons. The best Sale finished was third place in 2014. As he did in 2016, Sale got the start in the 2017 MLB All-Star game. Sale went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and lead the AL in strike outs with 308.

Severino vastly improved this season. Severino posted a career high 14 wins, second best ERA of his career with 2.98 and struck out a career high 230 batters in 193 1/3 innings. Severino also appeared in his first All-Star game in 2017.

NL Rookie of the Year

Left to right: Cody Bellinger, Josh Bell, and Paul DeJong. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Cody Bellinger, Josh Bell, and Paul DeJong. |Getty Images|

Cody Bellinger |Los Angeles Dodgers|
Josh Bell |Pittsburgh Pirates|
Paul DeJong |St. Louis Cardinals|

What a year it was for Cody Bellinger. Bellinger was not supposed to make it to the show until September. Due to injuries, Bellinger was called up in April and had a place on the roster ever since. In 132 games, Bellinger slashed .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs and 97 runs batted in. 

Bell and DeJong had a great first year as well but it won't be enough to dethrone the unanimous Rookie of the Year in Bellinger.

AL Rookie of the Year

Left to right: Trey Mancini, Andrew Benintendi, and Aaron Judge. |Getty Images|
Left to right: Trey Mancini, Andrew Benintendi, and Aaron Judge. |Getty Images|

Andrew Benintendi |Boston Red Sox|
Aaron Judge |New York Yankees|
Trey Mancini |Baltimore Orioles|

Like the National League, the American League Rookie of the Year is a lock. Judge set a new rookie record with 52 home runs this season and was the best rookie in baseball this year. 

Dates

BBWAA Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards: Monday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. ET

BBWAA Manager of the Year Awards: Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. ET

BBWAA Cy Young Awards: Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. ET

BBWAA Most Valuable Player Awards: Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. ET