With the end of another regular season, yearly accolades are up for grabs. Like the National League, we will be looking for those American League stars staking their claims for much-coveted awards. Primarily, we will be looking at the Hank Aaron and Cy Young Awards.
Here are our Top Five candidates, along with honorable mentions, for each award for the AL.
AL Awards: Hank Aaron
1. J.D. Martinez: Boston Red Sox
Though J.D. Martinez won’t be winning a batting Triple Crown this season, he came awfully close in the effort. In his year with Boston, Martinez cashed in 43 home runs and 130 RBIs. Plus, he boasts a .330 batting average and is the AL leader in RBIs. Not to mention he has posted career highs in batting average and RBIs in 2018. He will become a solid AL MVP candidate for 2018 as well.
2. Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics
The home run king of the season, Khris Davis has become an imposing power-hitter since coming to Oakland in 2016. Davis has 48 home runs and 123 RBIs to his name this season. In addition, he has gone three straight seasons with over 40 home runs and over 100 RBIs, all as an Oakland Athletic. His batting average is not something to write home about. But he is still a terror to prepare for.
3. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have cruised through their division this season. Not to mention they have several weapons, like Jose Ramirez, to work with. Ramirez belted 39 home runs and 105 RBIs this seasons, both being career highs for the third baseman. He and Francisco Lindor make a mean one-two punch in the AL. He may not have hit career highs in batting average or slugging percentage. But nimber 11 will make you pay if you take him lightly.
4. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
Along with the plethora of franchise records he has set in 2018, Mookie Betts is the AL leader in both batting average, slugging percentage, and wins above replacement (WAR). Plus, Betts secured his AL batting title by keeping a batting average of .346 in his last 30 games. Number 50 will also be one of the more likely to take home the AL MVP Award, if not the MOST likely.
5. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
No doubt the Halos’ best player, Mike Trout keeps blasting his way through super-stardom. Trout has 39 home runs and 79 RBIs in 2018. Plus, he has the second highest WAR in the AL (behind Mookie Betts). Do not except the seven-time All-Star to slow down anytime soon.
Honorable Mention: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
One of the dark horses for the Hank Aaron Award, Alex Bregman had a breakthrough season in 2018. Bregman has tallied 31 home runs, 103 RBIs and a .286 batting average, all of which being career highs. He has also tallied 29 of those RBIs in his last 30 outings. Jose Altuve may be back in the game. But this does not mean pitchers can now take it easy with the 24-year old. The threat of number 2’s damage output is very real.
AL Awards: Cy Young Award
1. Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay has a lot to look forward to in 2019, including what 25-year old Black Snell can do. This past regular season, Snell led all AL pitchers in ERA and wins from the mound. He also yielded the lowest batting average by an AL pitcher and holds a 21-5 record from the mound. No doubt he has the makings of an elite arm. Plus, The Rays will have a solid foundation to build on for the seasons to come.
2. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
Corey Kluber still certainly solidified himself as one of Cleveland’s biggest weapons. Kluber ended 2018 with a 20-7 record and an ERA of 2.89. He has also marked a career-high within most wins in a season and holds the second most wins from the mound (behind Snell). The 32-year old will play a bigger role in Cleveland’s playoff run than even he may realize.
3. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
Chris Sale is one of many aces Boston has in tow as they enter October. Sale boasted a 12-4 record from the mound, along with a 2.11 ERA. He also boasted a 1.52 ERA in his last 15 outings. He may not have pitched as many innings as other have this season. But he definitely knows how to execute when the pressure in on.
4. Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
Perhaps a change of scenery did Gerrit Cole some good. In his first season with Houston, Cole racked up a 15-5 record and a 2.88 ERA. Yes, teammate, Justin Verlander, has a better ERA and has allowed fewer runs this season. But Cole yielded a lower batting average and allowed fewer home runs than Verlander has.
5. Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
Trevor Bauer has endured a few rough patches early the season. But he surely turned his 2018 outing around. His 2018 numbers include a 12-6 record from the mound and a 2.21 ERA. No doubt that the momentum that Bauer’s built up will help Cleveland in the playoffs. His turn around season could also give the Indians more to work with for next season.
Honorable Mention(s): Charile Morton, Houston Astros/ Luis Severino, New York Yankees
The reason why these two are together is that because they had similar outcomes. Charlie Morton has put up phenomenal numbers for a 34-year old, including a 15-3 record and a 3.13 ERA. Luis Severino bursts loudly onto the scene in 2018 with a 19-8 record, along with a 3.39 ERA. Both pitchers were scorching hot in 2018. But both hit cold spells towards their last few starts.
Featured image courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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