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2017 MLB Awards

Both the American and National League didn’t make it easy picking Most Valuable Players.

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Flip a coin to decide AL MVP because you can’t go wrong going with Jose Altuve or Aaron Judge.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

My second MLB awards ballot as a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America was a lot harder to figure out than last year. In 2016 we had a healthier Mike Trout to slam dunk the competition on AL MVP voting and Kris Bryant leading the Cubs to their first World Series title. This season the races are so tight, and when it comes to picking an MVP, I don't think there is a wrong choice unless you choose Albert Pujols (-1.8 fWAR).

Here are my award winners and who I slotted after them.

MLB: Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

AL MVP: Jose Altuve

If the Angels had made the playoffs, I would have picked Mike Trout. Instead, I'm choosing the all-around play of Jose Altuve over Aaron Judge. What is so impressive with Altuve is that despite his small frame he hits for a lot of power. Two straight seasons with 20-plus home runs to go along with his excellent contact, 30-plus steals a year and keeping his strikes out to a minimum (12.7 K%). If the game is on the line, I would rather see the White Sox face Aaron Judge over Jose Altuve. For a race that could be decided by a coin flip, that gut reaction is why Altuve gets my top vote.

2. Aaron Judge

3. Mike Trout

4. Jose Ramirez

5. Francisco Lindor

6. Andrelton Simmons

7. Mookie Betts

8. Gary Sanchez

9. George Springer

10. Elvis Andrus

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

NL MVP: Anthony Rendon

If the choice to pick AL MVP is a coin flip, the NL is a dartboard. I chose Anthony Rendon because of what the Nationals had gone through this season with injuries. They lost Adam Eaton early, Trea Turner missed a significant amount of time, and Bryce Harper just got off the DL missing most of September. Rendon has been the Nationals rock pairing his excellent offensive game with his gold glove caliber defense at third base. If Jose Quintana was the most underrated player before being traded to the Cubs, I think Rendon takes over that title, and he's my National League MVP.

2. Kris Bryant

3. Joey Votto

4. Giancarlo Stanton

5. Charlie Blackmon

6. Paul Goldschmidt

7. Corey Seager

8. Cody Bellinger

9. Nolan Arenado

10. Justin Turner

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

AL Cy Young: Chris Sale

300+ strikeouts and with slightly better FIP and DRA than Corey Kluber, I think Chris Sale finally gets his AL Cy Young. Plus I want to see this rivalry between Sale and Kluber to grow.

2. Corey Kluber

3. Luis Severino

4. Carlos Carrasco

5. Chris Archer

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

NL Cy Young: Max Scherzer

Is it time to start thinking about Max Scherzer as a future Hall-of-Famer? If he wins the Cy Young again this season, that will be his third. In 2017 he only allowed 125 hits over 197.1 innings while striking out 263 batters to 54 walks while posting a 2.92 FIP.

2. Zack Greinke

3. Stephen Strasburg

4. Jimmy Nelson

5. Clayton Kershaw

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge


2. Andrew Benintendi

3. Trey Mancini

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger

Double Duh. By the way, if any White Sox prospects want to go on a tear like Judge and Bellinger have that would be great. No pressure, Eloy Jimenez.

2. Paul DeJong

3. Rhys Hoskins

MLB: San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

NL Manager of the Year: Andy Green

According to Baseball-Reference, the San Diego Padres Pythagorean win total should be 58. Instead, manager Andy Green has found a way for the Padres to overachieve and win 70 games in 2017. More talent is coming to San Diego but if Green can continue to get the most out of his players perhaps these Padres are not as far away from being a winning club as many have thought.

2. Craig Counsell

3. Torey Lovullo

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

AL Manager of the Year: Paul Molitor

Terry Francona dealt with medical issues and an underachieving team in the first half. Then the Indians went on a 22-game winning streak and finally ended up where we thought they would be: AL Central champions with home-field advantage awaiting either the Yankees or the Twins.

The Twins. The freaking Minnesota Twins are in the playoffs. How? I don't know how a team that decides to buy in July, and then backpedal before the deadline and sells pieces off. I laughed at them because it appeared the Twins had no idea what they were.

Then Byron Buxton becomes the nightmare we've always thought he would be and the Twins win 20 games in August. Wildcard race got tight but manager Paul Molitor pushed the right buttons and for the first time in history a team that lost 100 games the previous season made the playoffs.

Call it what you want. Dumb, stupid, crazy, insane, but in the end Paul Molitor deserves a lot of credit getting this squad into the postseason. For that, he deserves Manager of the Year.

2. Terry Francona

3. Rick Renteria - This might surprise some folks, and it may come off as homer-ish, but Renteria deserves notice with the White Sox going through so much roster churn this season. Yes, the sacrifice bunting is annoying, but Renteria has done well blending young players into the fold while helping find this team's identity. "Ricky's boys don't quit" is a fun slogan but in September the league is starting to take notice that these White Sox are a scrappy bunch. With more talent on the way (knock on wood), that attitude will only help the White Sox to find their winning ways again.