6. Trevor Story, Rockies
7. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
8. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 9. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
10. Jacob deGrom, Mets
11. Jesus Aguilar, Brewers
12. Nick Markakis, Braves
T13. Joey Votto, Reds
T13. Ronald Acuna, Braves
T13. J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
T16. Scooter Gennett, Reds
T16. Justin Turner, Dodgers
T16. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
NL Cy Young
York Mets: In the era of advanced metrics where stats that showcase skills are valued more than wins, deGrom is our unanimous choice. Despite his 10-9 record (for a team that went 7785), the right-hander led the NL in ERA (1.70), WAR, ERA+ (where he rated more than twice as good as league average) and fielding independent pitching (FIP), a stat that measures a pitcher’s effectiveness at preventing home runs, walks and hits by pitch and causing strikeouts. DeGrom struck out 11.2 hitters per nine innings, had a 0.912 WHIP and allowed 0.4 home runs per nine, the lowest ratio among qualified pitchers in the NL. He also was first in adjusted pitching wins, a figure that estimates his total contributions to a team’s wins with his arm.
Voting on a 7-4-3-2-1 basis
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Jacob deGrom, Mets (9) Max Scherzer, Nationals Aaron Nola, Phillies
Kyle Freeland, Rockies Miles Mikolas, Cardinals Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks Mike Foltynewicz, Braves
NL rookie of the year
Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves: The Braves were 12-10 when they called up Acuna on April 25 and he was a primary reason they closed the season with an NL East title. Despite missing a month with a knee injury, Acuna led NL rookies with 26 homers, a .552 slugging percentage and 16 steals. He was right behind the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto with 64 RBI (to Soto’s 70) and OPS (.917 to Soto’s .923). Both played last season as 20year-olds, JAYNE KAMIN-ONCEA/USA TODAY SPOR but what distinguishes Acuna are that his contributions were on a playoffbound team. As the pennant race heated up in the second half, Acuna hit. .322 with a 1.028 OPS, 19 homers, 45 RBI and 14 steals in 18 tries over 68 games. That period coincides with when he became the Braves’ regular leadoff hitter and the team put away the race for the NL East.
Ronald Acuna, Braves (9) Pts 2. 3. Juan Soto, Nationals Walker Buehler, Dodgers
NL manager of the year
Brian Snitker’s Braves came of age and improved by 18 wins to 90-72 with the help of a surge of young players like Ronald Acuna, second baseman Ozzie Albies (24 homers, 72 RBI) and starter Mike Foltynewicz (13-10, 2.85 ERA) and some well-placed veterans like first baseman Freddie Freeman (.309-23-98) and Nick Markakis (.297-14-93). Craig Counsell’s Brewers improved by a more modest 10 wins to 96-67 but had the more impressive closing stretch to run down the Cubs for the NL Central title that set them up for a playoff run. First baseman Jesus Aguilar (.274-35-108) blossomed under his watch, Christian Yelich became the MVP front-runner while Counsell wisely managed an array of dominant relievers from Josh Hader (6-1, 2.43 ERA) to Jeremy Jeffress (8-1, 1.29) that carried his team to the division crown.
Voting on a 5-3-1 basis
Rk. Manager 1. 2. 3. Craig Counsell, Brewers (4) Brian Snitker, Braves (3) Bud Black, Rockies (2) Pts
Braves rookie left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. slugged 26 home runs, hit .293 and stole 16 bases for the NL East Division winners.