MLB awards week is here, and that means it’s time to hand out some hardware as baseball’s best of 2019 vie for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year honors.
Will Mike Trout hold off Alex Bregman for his third American League MVP award? Did Cody Bellinger separate himself from Christian Yelich and Anthony Rendon as the National League’s most valuable player? And which Astros ace will take home Cy Young honors in the AL? Here’s when each award will be announced, the finalists to win and a quick take to get you in the know — and make sure to check back during the week as we update this page with winners and more key information.
MLB awards schedule
Monday: AL and NL Rookie of the Year
Tuesday: AL and NL Manager of the Year
Wednesday: AL and NL Cy Young
Thursday: AL and NL MVP
(All awards announced at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network.)
Rookie of the Year: Yordan Alvarez and Pete Alonso
Yordan Alvarez’s ability to clobber the long ball in the middle of the Astros’ lineup awarded him the 2019 AL Rookie of the Year.
Why Alvarez won AL Rookie of the Year:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the overwhelming choice heading into the season as top rookie, but this was an easy call for voters, even though Alvarez didn’t make his debut until June 9 — yes, he homered — and spent most of his time at DH. He hit .313/.412/.655 with 27 home runs in 87 games. Prorate his numbers over 150 games and you get 47 home runs and 134 RBIs. Among players with at least 300 PAs, he ranked behind only Christian Yelich and Mike Trout in wOBA and behind only Trout in wRC+.
It was one of the great rookie offensive performances in the game’s history. His .655 slugging percentage is the highest ever for a rookie with at least 300 PAs and only Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1911 had a higher adjusted OPS. Alvarez’s fellow finalists, Brandon Lowe and John Means, both made the All-Star team, and maybe Guerrero or Bo Bichette is the player you would most want for the next decade, but no AL rookie impressed like the young Astros slugger. — David Schoenfield
Why Alonso won NL Rookie of the Year:
Year of the Home Run or not, hitting 53 homers as a rookie is a pretty good way to state your Rookie of the Year case. Alonso wasn’t just the best rookie in the league this year, he was the best offensive first baseman in baseball this year, period.
Fellow finalists Mike Soroka and Fernando Tatis Jr. both showed they’re well on their way to stardom as well and it would have been interesting to see how ballots would have looked if Tatis stayed healthy all season, but it’s no surprise that Alonso ran away with the voting here. — Dan Mullen
Which Rookie of the Year would you rather have for the next five years?
Sign me up for Pete Alonso. Yordan Alvarez’s numbers in just over half a season project very close to what Alonso did for a full season and I think the Astros slugger might have even more potential at the plate, but this isn’t just about the numbers. There was an “it” factor to everything Alonso did this season that I’m buying as the face of my franchise. He handled everything that comes with being a Mets phenom in New York while showing a magnetic personality at every chance.
A rookie slugger becoming the Polar Bear, outlasting Vlad Jr. for the Home Run Derby crown, ripping off his shirt during pennant-race celebrations and also tearing up on the field after his record-setting 53rd home run — those are some of the best memories of the entire MLB season — and the guy who produced them in his first year in the Big Apple is the guy I want going forward. — Mullen
Dan is spot on about Alonso having the “it” factor. The way he won over New Yorkers with his enthusiasm, genuineness, prodigious power and bare-chested interviews was impressive and immediately made him one of the faces of the sport. But I’ll take Alvarez over the next five years, even if he is mostly limited to DH (although I think he has enough athleticism to be not awful if he had to play left field on a regular bases). Of course, Alonso isn’t exactly a Gold Glover at first base.
Anyway, the big difference between the two: Alvarez is more than two years younger, so there is still some growth potential with the bat. Alvarez also has an elite hit tool, as evidenced by his .313 average. He hit more line drives and fewer grounders and popups than Alonso, and also had a slightly lower strikeout rate and higher walk rate. Both are going to mash a lot of home runs, but Alvarez is more likely to post the higher batting averages and higher OBPs. — Schoenfield
Manager of the Year (Tuesday)
Quick take: Baldelli excelled in his first season as a manager and Cash steered the small-market Rays to the postseason, but it will be hard to top Boone leading the Yankees to 103 wins and an AL East crown in an injury-filled season for New York.
Quick take: This one is wide open. Snitker could take home the honor for a second consecutive year, and Shildt has a strong case after leading the Cardinals to the top of the NL Central, but Counsell getting the Brewers back to the playoffs with a strong finish after Christian Yelich’s season-ending injury might be too much for voters to ignore.
Cy Young (Wednesday)
Quick take: With all due respect to Morton, this is a race between the two Astros aces — and Cole is likely to come out on top.
Quick take: Ryu faded down the stretch after dominating this conversation for most of the year and Scherzer lost part of his season to injuries, leaving deGrom in line for back-to-back Cy Young victories.
Quick take: Trout’s September injury opened the door for a close race with Bregman here. The big question is how much of a boost voters will give Bregman for playing on a winning team and appearing in 22 more games than Trout in 2019.
Quick take: A strong case could be made for any of the three finalists here. Bellinger might be the favorite after Yelich’s season ended in mid-September and with much of Rendon’s best work coming in October. Remember, this is a regular-season award.