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Article:The Travis Time MLB Awards Ballots: June 23, 2008

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Travis goes back to the ballot box, and finds some new leaders for both of the MVP awards.

It’s been a few weeks, and maybe saying that I’d do these weekly was a bit much, but let’s take a look at how the landscape has changed in the “competitions” to determine each league’s best.  Each player’s performance on the previous ballot will be put in parentheses.

AL MVP

1. (6) Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers

2. (1) Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

3. (UR) Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

4. (2) Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox

5. (UR) J.D. Drew, Boston Red Sox

6. (UR) Jason Giambi, New York Yankees

7. (9) Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians

8. (UR) Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

9. (3) Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox

10. (10) Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers

What a difference a few weeks makes.  What’s scaring me off of Hamilton is his .358 OBP.  If he bumps that up a bit, he wins this thing.  Until then, consider A-Rod the prohibitive favourite, as his cumulative totals are just gonna keep piling up.  By the way, I’m stunned that the names Milton Bradley, Josh Hamilton, J.D. Drew, and Jason Giambi are all in the top six of this list.  Talk about a motley crew in the American League this year.

NL MVP

1. (2) Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves

2. (1) Lance Berkman, Houston Astros

3. (4) Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

4. (7) Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins

5. (3) Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies

6. (UR) Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves

7. (5) Pat Burrell, Philadelphia Phillies

8. (UR) Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs

9. (UR) Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins

10. (UR) Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres

Though I’m definitely still high on Utley, Uggla’s outpowered him at his own position and I realized that I haven’t been giving enough credit to Pujols’ skill in getting on base.  If I did an all-MLB MVP list, this top five would likely be the same.  Also, as long as Chipper floats around a .400 BA, I’ll have him in first, though I expect Berkman’s likely going to sneak back up top.

AL Cy Young

1. (1) Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians

2. (2) Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays

3. (4) Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels

4. (3) Shaun Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays

5. (UR) Justin Duchscherer, Oakland Athletics

6. (UR) Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

7. (UR) Joe Saunders, Los Angeles Angels

8. (10) John Danks, Chicago White Sox

9. (9) Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

10. (UR) Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox

I had a bit of trouble justifying Greinke and Beckett in there over Jon Lester and Gavin Floyd, especially with Beckett’s ERA, but those K/BB numbers couldn’t be passed up.  Otherwise, not much action at the very top, though Duchscherer should climb if he keeps up that ERA.

NL Cy Young

1. (1) Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds

2. (3) Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

3. (4) Ben Sheets, Milwaukee Brewers

4. (10) Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs

5. (7) Johan Santana, New York Mets

6. (2) Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks

7. (UR) Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

8. (9) Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks

9. (5) Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves

10. (8) Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

With the exception of Hamels replacing Carlos Zambrano, it’s the same group in here!  I tried giving some weight to the guys who overpower with strikeouts, as nothing’s left to chance with that type of pitching, but having a record like Dempster or Webb’s or an ERA like Hudson’s definitely merits top ten consideration.  I’ll definitely try to fine tune my methods in the coming weeks, as I was probably even a little narrow-minded on the earlier MVP rankings, but I feel the list I came up with here is a fairly accurate one.

AL Rookie of the Year

1. (1) Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

2. (UR) Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

3. (3) Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins

4. (UR) Armando Galarraga, Detroit Tigers

5. (UR) Jesse Carlson, Toronto Blue Jays

It’s gonna be tough for anybody to beat out Ellsbury in the race this year, though Longoria’s got the best shot if he can keep raising those power numbers.  Also, I might admit to a slight amount of bias in that five-spot.

NL Rookie of the Year

1. (3) Jorge Campillo, Atlanta Braves

2. (1) Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs

3. (2) Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

4. (UR) Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves

5. (UR) Kyle McClellan, St. Louis Cardinals

It might still be early (and Jay Bruce still has something to say about this list), but Campillo’s held his own as a starter thus far, and should be considered the best guy until any drop-off occurs.  For now, his line’s still fantastic, he doesn’t walk too many (though they are starting to go up), and his starts have been pretty good.  I doubt he’ll hold on, but he’s the best of the lot for now.

Best Closer

1. (1) Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

2. (5) Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies

3. (UR) Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals

4. (3) Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins

5. (UR) Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels

I know K-Rod’s ERA makes him a bit tougher to justify over a lights-out Jonathan Papelbon, but he’s already got 30 saves.  Once I digest that fact, I’ll probably take him off the list.

Best Set-Up Man

1. (2) Scott Linebrink, Chicago White Sox

2. (5) Taylor Buchholz, Colorado Rockies

3. (UR) Kyle McClellan, St. Louis Cardinals

4. (1) Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs

5. (UR) Damaso Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates

I’m honestly unsure of whether this category’s even worthwhile, as everybody in the role’s incredibly similar.  As for Marmol’s drop from the top, his walks are a bit high, but his total holds and his incredibly high strikeout rate definitely place him in a prominent spot on this ballot.

My AL All-Star Ballot (Using the vague stats provided by MLB.com!)

1B: Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

2B: Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

SS: Michael Young, Texas Rangers

3B: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees

C: A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox

OF: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers

OF: Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers

OF: Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox

DH: Aubrey Huff, Baltimore Orioles

SP: Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians

My NL All-Star Ballot

1B: Lance Berkman, Houston Astros

2B: Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins

SS: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins

3B: Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves

C: Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves

OF: Carlos Lee, Houston Astros

OF: Ryan Ludwick, St. Louis Cardinals

OF: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

SP: Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds

All of Travis MacKenzie’s work can be found on his site, Travis Time. He also covers sports for the Brock Press. Any questions or comments directed towards Travis can be placed in comments on Travis Time, on any of his Armchair GM posts, or e-mailed to TravisTime@gmail.com


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