June Award Race Updates

With the calendar having turned to June, I continue with my monthly awards race series, which from here on out will consist of cumulative totals to this point in the season. As mentioned in my previous post, the four awards categories that I will focus on are MVP, Cy Young, Silver Sluggers, and Gold Gloves. Unlike last month, however, I have decided to make a slight alteration to the statistics that I use to determine these leaders. MVPs and Cy Youngs will still be determined by overall WAR, and Silver Sluggers with still be based on Offensive Runs Above Replacement (Off). Now though, for Gold Gloves, UZR will be used for position players, Defensive Runs Above Replacement (Def) for Catchers, and Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) for pitchers. This will provide the most accurate and consistent rankings from here on out. Still, advanced metrics are not perfect, so I will continue providing a brief summary of the results for each league.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL MVP:

1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA, 3.5 WAR

2. Manny Machado, SS/3B, BAL, 3.3 WAR

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS, 2.9 WAR

AL Cy Young:

1. Jose Quintana, SP, CHW, 2.7 WAR

2. Chris Sale, SP, CHW, 2.4 WAR

3. Rich Hill, SP, OAK, 2.0 WAR

AL Silver Sluggers:

Position – (leader)

  • (runner up)

C – Salvador Perez, KCR, 1.7 Off

  • Brian McCann, NYY, 0.3 Off

1B – Eric Hosmer, KCR, 11.0 Off

  • Miguel Cabrera, DET, 8.6 Off

2B – Jose Altuve, HOU, 15.4 Off

  • Robinson Cano, SEA, 15.3 Off

SS – Manny Machado, BAL, 17.9 Off

  • Xander Bogaerts, BOS, 14.5 Off

3B – Josh Donaldson, TOR, 11.4 Off

  • Nick Castellanos, DET, 9.6 Off

LF – Michael Saunders, TOR, 9.5 Off

  • Ian Desmond, TEX, 8.5 Off

CF – Mike Trout, LAA, 23.0 Off

  • Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS, 16.8 Off

RF – George Springer, HOU, 11.8 Off

  • Mark Trumbo, BAL, 11.0 Off

DH – David Ortiz, BOS, 20.5 Off

  • Nelson Cruz, SEA, 11.4 Off

AL Gold Gloves:

C – Salvador Perez, KCR, 7.2 Def

  • Yan Gomes, CLE, 3.9 Def

1B – Miguel Cabrera, DET, 3.7 UZR

  • Joe Mauer, MIN, 3.2 UZR

2B – Dustin Pedroia, BOS, 4.7 UZR

  • Jason Kipnis, CLE, 4.5 UZR

SS – Xander Bogaerts, BOS, 3.5 UZR

  • Francisco Lindor, CLE, 3.1 UZR

3B – Adrian Beltre, TEX, 4.7 UZR

  • Evan Longoria, TAM, 3.3 UZR

LF – Colby Rasums, HOU, 2.5 UZR

  • Brett Gardner, NYY, 0.8 UZR

CF – Kevin Pillar, TOR, 10.3 UZR

  • Lorenzo Cain, KCR, 3.1 UZR

RF – Adam Eaton, CHW, 11.3 UZR

  • Mookie Betts, BOS, 4.8 UZR

P – Hector Santiago, LAA, 3 DRS

  • Dallas Keuchel, HOU, 3 DRS

Notes:

There are no major surprises as far as the AL MVP race goes. Trout, who missed the list last month, has worked his way back to the top. Machado falls from one to two, but remains right there, and Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts climbs into the number three spot on the strength of a 24-game hit streak and a .350/.401/.516 batting line. Quintana and Sale maintain their presence at the top of the Cy Young standings, but this month are joined by the stunning performance of 36-year old Rich Hill (2.25 ERA, 10.41 K/9). There are no major changes in the Silver Slugger award competitions, as most of the names present are likely ones that could have been predicted at the start of the season. A major surge for Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in the month of May has put him in second place at his position, behind only Mike Trout’s league-leading 23 Runs Above Replacement.The Gold Glove race is also filled with the usual suspects, with the only noticeable exception being Miguel Cabrera, who typically profiles as a below average first baseman.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NL MVP:

1. Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD, 4.1 WAR

2. Dexter Fowler, OF, CHC, 3.2 WAR

3. Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, CHC, 2.9 WAR

NL Cy Young:

1. Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD, 4.1 WAR

2. Noah Syndergaard, SP, NYM, 2.7 WAR

3. Johnny Cueto, SP, SFG, 2.5 WAR

NL Silver Sluggers:

C – Jonathan Lucroy, MIL, 9.3 Off

  • Buster Poser, SFG, 2.5 Off

1B – Paul Goldschmidt, ARZ, 11.0 Off

  • Brandon Belt, SFG, 9.9 Off

2B – Daniel Murphy, WAS, 21.5 Off

  • Ben Zobrist, CHC, 17.5 Off

SS – Jonathan Villar, MIL, 8.7 Off

  • Aledmys Diaz, STL, 8.1 Off

3B – Matt Carpenter, STL, 11.5 Off

  • Jake Lamb, ARZ, 10.1 Off

LF – Ryan Braun, MIL, 13.9 Off

  • Christian Yelich, MIA, 11.4 Off

CF – Dexter Fowler, CHC, 18.0 Off

  • Marcell Ozuna, MIA, 13.9 Off

RF – Stephen Piscotty, STL, 12.9 Off

  • Gregory Polanco, PIT, 12.8 Off

P – Adam Wainwright, STL, 1.2 Off

  • Francisco Liriano, PIT, 0.1 Off

NL Gold Gloves:

C – Jonathan Lucroy, MIL, 4.2 Def

  • J.T. Realmuto, MIA, 4.1 Def

1B – Wil Myers, SDP, 2.2 UZR

  • Joey Votto, CIN, 1.9 UZR

2B – Ben Zobrist, CHC, 3.2 UZR

  • Cesar Hernandez, PHI, 3.0 UZR

SS – Brandon Crawford, SFG, 8.0 UZR

  • Nick Ahmed, ARZ, 4.8 UZR

3B – Nolan Arenado, COL, 5.9 UZR

  • Matt Duffy, SFG, 4.0 UZR

LF – Starling Marte, PIT, 5.0 UZR

  • Adam Duvall, CIN, 4.2 UZR

CF – Dexter Fowler, CHC, 4.6 UZR

  • Marcell Ozuna, MIA, 2.2 UZR

RF – Bryce Harper, WAS, 6.8 UZR

  • Gregory Polanco, PIT, 5.3 UZR

P – Adam Wainwright, STL, 3 DRS

  • 9 Players Tied with 2 DRS

Notes:

The National League award races provide a bit more excitement than those in the AL. Clayton Kershaw, who continues to perform like a perennial Cy Young candidate, leads in both the MVP and Cy Young races. The two names who follow Kershaw in the MVP race are both guys who would not normally be expected, as both CF Dexter Fowler (.967 OPS) and 2B Ben Zobrist (.974 OPS) represent the Cubs in that regard. Also interesting to note is the strength of the pitching in the NL (which is typically the case), as names such as Jake Arrieta, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Madison Bumgarner all failed to make the cut.

In the Silver Slugger races, a bunch of high-performing youngsters make their presences known. Milwaukee’s Jonathan Villar (.412 OBP, 19 SB) and St. Louis’s Aledmys Diaz (.909 OPS), who makes his second appearance on this list, lead the way at shortstop. Jake Lamb (.900 OPS) represents Arizona at third base, while Stephen Piscotty (.323 AVG) of the Cardinals and Gregory Polanco (.942 OPS, 8 HR, 7 SB) of the Pirates lead offensively in right field.  Defensively, the expected leaders are joined by more up-and-comers, specifically Catcher J.T. Realmuto, 2B Cesar Hernandez, SS Nick Ahmed, 3B Matt Duffy, and LF Adam Duvall. Only time will tell, but being at the 1/3 point in the season, there may be a changing of the guard in some award categories compared to years past.

References: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2016&month=0&season1=2016&ind=0

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