The Baseball Writers’ Association of America released its list of finalists for baseball’s major end-of-season awards Tuesday. The candidates for National League MVP and NL Rookie of the Year likely left some Rockies fans feeling like key members of their team got snubbed.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was not among the three finalists for NL MVP. The Cubs’ Kris Bryant, the Nationals’ Daniel Murphy and the Dodgers’ Corey Seager were the three players selected.
Seager was also a finalist for NL Rookie of the Year, along with Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda and the Nationals’ Trea Turner. Noticeably absent from that list was Trevor Story, who dazzled in 97 games before thumb surgery ended his season.
It’s hard to take issue with the BBWAA choosing Bryant or Murphy as MVP candidates. But there is a legitimate debate about who was more valuable between Seager and Arenado.
- Seager — .308/.365/.512, 26 HR, 72 RBIs, 19.8% SO rate, 7.9% BB rate
- Arenado — .294/.362/.570, 41 HR, 133 RBIs, 14.8% SO rate, 9.8% BB rate
Seager hit for slightly better average, but Arenado hit 15 more home runs and 61 more RBIs. I know RBIs aren’t a perfect metric, but 61 is a lot. The knock on Arenado is likely that he plays half his games at hitters-friendly Coors Field. There was a pretty significant disparity in his home/road splits, to be fair. This one is tough.
In the NL Rookie of the Year race, you could have made a case for Turner, who played 73 games, or Story, who appeared in 97.
- Turner — .342/.370/.567, 13 HR, 40 RBIs, 18.2% SO rate, 4.3% BB rate
- Story — .272/.341/.567, 27 HR, 72 RBIs, 31.3% SO rate, 8.4% BB rate
The thing that should jump out at you besides the home runs numbers: Each player’s strikeout rate. Story went down swinging or looking 130 times in 415 plate appearances. Not great.
The Rockies won’t have any players take home major BBWAA awards this year. Although it might be unfair in some people’s eyes, it is sort of fitting. The club turned the page to 2017 on Monday when it introduced new manager Bud Black. Maybe this is a different story a year from now.
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