Another regular season is in the books. Like every other year, there is coveted hardware to claim. Both the American and National Leagues hold awards in need of ownership for 2018. Several players have made rock solid cases to win the accolades. But as the old saying goes, “There can be only one.”
Let’s start with the National League.
NL Awards: Hank Aaron
The Hank Aaron Award is bestowed on the greatest batter of the league: The four big nominees are…
1. Christian Yelich: Milwaukee Brewers
The surging 26-year old is having arguably the biggest breakout season in the National League. Christian Yelich currently leads the NL in batting average. He also has recorded career highs in home runs (36) and RBIs (110). September, it seems, has been very good for no. 22. During then, Yelich has cashed in 11 home runs and 38 RBI’s, along with a .368 batting average. This 30-day surge has also pulled him to the top of the NL MVP voting board.
2. Nolan Arenado: Colorado Rockies
No doubt the best third baseman of the 2010’s, Nolan Arenado can do it all. Arenado stands as the NL’s home run leader for 2018. He may not have recorded career highs, but he has gone through four straight seasons with >35 home runs, >100 RBIs, and a >.285 batting average. One of the most consistent players in the game, Arenado has given Rockies fans plenty to cheer for.
3. Javier Baez: Chicago Cubs
Yelich holds the highest batting average and Arenado has gone yard more than anyone in the NL. But no one has driven in more runs than Javier Baez. Baez, in a breakthrough season of his own, has 111 RBIs this season. He also has 34 home runs and a .290 batting average, both of which are career highs for him. Chicago will have plenty of weapons on board for October, but Baez will most like be the biggest one moving forward.
4. Trevor Story: Colorado Rockies
Colorado has another bruising bat in its ranks, and his name is Trevor Story. Story has tallied 36 home runs, and 107 RBIs, along with a .290 batting average. Not to mention these are all career highs for no. 27. Story has been a major help for the Rockies as they return to the playoffs. He and Arenado formed one of the biggest one-two punches in baseball this season. Story will have to keep swinging as Colorado looks to exceed a Wild Card appearance.
NL Awards: Cy Young
The Cy Young Award, one of the more popular awards in baseball, is every pitcher’s goal for their trophy cases. The nominees are…
1. Max Scherzer: Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals may be facing an uncertain future ahead. But one thing for sure is Max Scherzer’s dominance from the mound. In 2018, “Mad Max” boasted an 18-7 record and a 2.53 ERA, the latter being the third best in the NL. He also has allowed the lowest batting average in the NL, with .188. Scherzer also holds three Cy Young Awards in his trophy case, two from the last two seasons. The 34-year old has shown he can still throw major heat and shut down the best of them, despite his age.
2. Aaron Nola: Philadelphia Phillies
Aaron Nola has made big waves this season. He holds a 17-6 record and an ERA of 2.37, second best in the NL. The 24-year old ace can become a solid foundation for Philadelphia to build on for the future. Though he went 2-3 and had an ERA of >3.30 in his last seven starts, there’s no mistake that Nola is one of the next elite arms of the game.
3. Miles Mikolas: St. Louis Cardinals
This season, the St. Louis Cardinals just narrowly missed the playoffs. Luckily, they have plenty of weapons for 2019, like 30-year old Miles Mikolas. The 2018 season was a phenomenal year for Mikolas, to say the least. Mikolas has posted an 18-4 record from the mound, along with a 2.83 ERA. Yes, he does have a higher ERA and higher batting average allowed than most elite aces do. But Cards fans will be eager to see what Mikolas can do next season.
4. Kyle Freeland: Colorado Rockies
Kyle Freeland may be a lesser known in the Cy Young Award conversation. But he is turning into a terror on the mound. This season, Freeland has a 17-7 record from the mound, along with a 2.85 ERA. Plus, he went 6-0 in his last seven starts. The 25-year old has no doubt improved from last season, where he went 11-11 and had a 4.10 ERA. He still needs a few more adjustments to enter the ranks of the elite aces. Keep in mind, he’s close.
Featured image courtesy of statliners.com
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