SP, New

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF -

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

Ja­cob deGrom,

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 fiel­d­ing in­de­pen­dent pitch­ing (FIP), a stat that mea­sures a pitcher’s effec­tive­ness 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 qual­ified pitch­ers in the NL. He also was first in ad­justed pitch­ing wins, a figure that es­ti­mates his to­tal con­tri­bu­tions to a team’s wins with his arm.

Vot­ing on a 7-4-3-2-1 ba­sis

Rk. Player

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

Pts

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 play­offbound 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.

Rk. Player

1.

Ron­ald Acuna, Braves (9) Pts 2. 3. Juan Soto, Na­tion­als Walker Buehler, Dodgers

NL man­ager of the year

27 9

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 first 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 Jeffress (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 fiel­der Ron­ald Acuna Jr. slugged 26 home runs, hit .293 and stole 16 bases for the NL East Di­vi­sion win­ners.

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