The finalists for MLB's four major end-of-season awards -- Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player -- were revealed on Monday.
The 2021 award winners for each league will be announced next week, starting at 6 p.m. ET each day:
• Monday, Nov. 15: Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award
• Tuesday, Nov. 16: Manager of the Year Award
• Wednesday, Nov. 17: Cy Young Award
• Thursday, Nov. 18: Most Valuable Player Award
Here's a breakdown of the three nominees for each award in the American League and National League.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Blue Jays
Guerrero was the best hitter in the AL in 2021 (169 OPS+). He tied Salvador Perez for the Major League lead with 48 home runs in 2021, more than his Hall of Fame father ever hit in a single season. Vlad Jr. also led the AL in on-base percentage (.401) and slugging (.601) and the Majors in runs scored (123) and total bases (363).
Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Angels
Ohtani’s unprecedented performance as a two-way superstar will be one of this season’s lasting memories. He had 46 home runs, 26 steals, 100 RBIs, 103 runs, 96 walks and a .965 OPS (158 OPS+) in 155 games as a hitter -- and went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA (141 ERA+) and 156 strikeouts over 130 1/3 innings in 23 starts as a pitcher. In 2021, seven players had at least a 150 OPS+ over 400-plus plate appearances, while 17 pitchers had an ERA+ of 140 or better over 100-plus innings. Ohtani did both. Combining his hitting and pitching, Ohtani finished with 9.0 WAR, per Baseball Reference, more than one win better than the next-closest player (Wheeler at 7.7).
Marcus Semien, 2B, Blue Jays
One of the best free-agent signings for any team last offseason, Semien joined the Blue Jays on a one-year deal after struggling with the A’s in 2020. Shifting to second base with Bo Bichette manning shortstop, Semien went on to play all 162 games and hit 45 home runs to set the single-season record for a second baseman, while also winning the Gold Glove Award. Semien was an AL MVP finalist in 2019 with Oakland.
Bryce Harper, OF, Phillies
Harper is the only one of this year's MVP finalists who's won the award before (2015). In his third year with the Phillies, Harper led the Majors in slugging (.615) and OPS (1.044) while hitting .309 and reaching base at a .429 clip. Harper was at his best down the stretch, hitting 19 of his 34 homers after the calendar flipped to August and posting a 1.194 OPS in his final 58 games.
Juan Soto, OF, Nationals
Soto was already drawing comparisons to Ted Williams before this season. Then he put up a .313/.465/.534 slash line with 29 homers in 151 games in his age-22 campaign, leading MLB in OBP and walks (145) and the NL in Baseball Reference WAR (7.0). Soto reached base in more than half of his plate appearances after the All-Star break (.525 OBP), batting .348 with 18 homers and a 1.164 OPS. He had 87 walks in the second half, a figure only six hitters topped in the entire season.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres
There’s no denying Tatis made his presence felt all over the diamond in 2021. The 22-year-old nearly became the first AL/NL player since Chuck Klein in 1932 to lead his league in home runs and steals, finishing first in the NL in homers (42) and third in stolen bases (25). Tatis posted a .975 OPS and finished tied for second in the NL in WAR (6.5), per Baseball Reference, just behind Soto, despite missing 32 games with a recurring left shoulder injury.
Gerrit Cole, RHP, Yankees
This is Cole's second time as a Cy Young Award finalist after his 2019 season with the Astros, when he was the AL runner-up to teammate Justin Verlander. Cole led the AL with 16 wins and a 5.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 31-year-old posted a 3.23 ERA in 181 1/3 innings and had 243 strikeouts, third in the Majors behind fellow Cy Young Award finalists Robbie Ray (AL) and Zack Wheeler (NL).
Lance Lynn, RHP, White Sox
The White Sox starting rotation was full of aces in 2021, with Lynn (176), Carlos Rodón (185), Lucas Giolito (201) and Dylan Cease (226) averaging close to 200 strikeouts between them. Lynn's the one who earned a Cy Young finalist spot after he went 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA. Lynn, who finished fifth and sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting the last two years while with the Rangers, had the best ERA among AL pitchers who threw at least 150 innings this year.
Robbie Ray, LHP, Blue Jays
Ray led the league in a bunch of major pitching categories, including two of the three Triple Crown stats: Ray won the AL ERA title with a 2.84 mark, and he led the Majors with 248 strikeouts. The 30-year-old lefty also led the AL with 193 1/3 innings pitched and a 1.045 WHIP while making a league-high 32 starts. Ray's 10 double-digit strikeout games were the most of any pitcher.
Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers
Burnes won the MLB ERA crown in 2021 with a 2.43 mark. The 27-year-old led the Majors in strikeout rate (35.6%), K/9 (12.6) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.88) after racking up 234 strikeouts in 167 innings. He was also the pitching leader in Wins Above Replacement with 7.5, per FanGraphs. Burnes' 15 strikeouts on Aug. 11 were tied for the most in a game this season, and he was part of a combined no-hitter by the Brewers on Sept. 11, throwing eight no-hit innings with 14 strikeouts against the Indians before Josh Hader finished the job.
Max Scherzer, RHP, Nationals/Dodgers
Scherzer started the season with the Nationals and ended it with the Dodgers, but he was the same old Mad Max. The 37-year-old went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings, with an MLB-best 0.864 WHIP. After joining the 3,000-strikeout club on Sept. 12, Scherzer has a chance to become just the fifth pitcher all-time to win four or more Cy Young Awards, along with Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux.
Zack Wheeler, RHP, Phillies
Wheeler went 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA in 32 starts in 2021. He led baseball in innings pitched (213 1/3), complete games (three), shutouts (two), batters faced (849) and bWAR (7.6). He also led the NL in strikeouts (247) and finished second in the league in fWAR (7.3), FIP (2.59) and xERA (2.78).
Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year
Randy Arozarena, OF, Rays
Coming into this season, Arozarena looked like a clear favorite for this award after turning in one of the great postseason performances of all time in 2020. The 26-year-old retained rookie eligibility in '21 and was a productive player for the AL East champions, one of 10 players to put together a 20-20 campaign, with 20 homers and 20 steals. Arozarena could be the Rays' fourth Rookie of the Year after Evan Longoria (2008), Jeremy Hellickson ('11) and Wil Myers ('13).
Wander Franco, SS, Rays
Then again, it could be Franco, MLB's No. 1 overall prospect and the youngest player in the Majors, who becomes the Rays' newest Rookie of the Year. In his debut season, Franco reached base in 43 consecutive games to tie Frank Robinson's AL/NL record from 1956 for a player 20 years old or younger. The switch-hitter now has a shot to become only the eighth player to win a Rookie of the Year Award following a season he ended prior to his 21st birthday, and the first since Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2018.
Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Garcia was a key piece of the AL West champions’ rotation this year. The 24-year-old threw 155 1/3 innings over 30 games (28 starts) and went 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA (123 ERA+), while striking out 167. Garcia led all Major League rookies in innings, wins and strikeouts, and he could give the Astros their second AL Rookie of the Year Award winner in the last three seasons, following Yordan Alvarez in 2019. No Houston pitcher has ever won, and Garcia would snap a four-year drought for full-time pitchers since the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer won in '16.
Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals
Carlson started 145 games for the Cards and joined Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. as the only players 22 or younger to qualify for the batting title. He posted a 117 OPS+ and smacked 31 doubles, four triples and 18 home runs. Carlson would be only St. Louis' second Rookie of the Year Award winner in the past 35 years, joining Albert Pujols (2001).
Jonathan India, 2B, Reds
India batted .269/.376/.459 (113 OPS+) with 34 doubles, 21 homers and 12 steals in 150 games. He finished fifth among NL qualifiers in on-base percentage, just ahead of teammate Joey Votto, and produced 3.9 WAR. India would be the Reds’ first Rookie of the Year since pitcher Scott Williamson in 1999, and their first position player to win since Chris Sabo in '88.
Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins
Rogers' 2.64 ERA was the third-lowest by a rookie with at least 130 innings pitched since 2000, trailing only José Fernández (2013 Marlins) and Walker Buehler (2018 Dodgers). The lefty allowed no more than two earned runs in 22 of his 25 starts. Rogers could be the Marlins' fifth Rookie of the Year Award winner since 2003 and the third pitcher after Fernández and Dontrelle Willis. He would be the first NL starter to claim the honor since the Mets’ Jacob deGrom in '14.
Manager of the Year
Dusty Baker, Astros
Baker, who won three NL Manager of the Year Awards with the Giants (1993, '97 and 2000), is looking to join Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox as the only four-time winners. Baker led the Astros to a first-place finish in the AL West in 2021. After a slow start, Houston seized first place in June and never looked back, spending 118 days atop the division.
Kevin Cash, Rays
Cash is seeking his second straight AL Manager of the Year Award after leading the Rays to an AL-best 100-62 record during the regular season. It marked the second straight season that Tampa Bay claimed the best record in the AL after Cash's club went 40-20 in the shortened 2020 campaign. This two-year stretch also marks the first time that the Rays have won back-to-back division titles.
Scott Servais, Mariners
The Mariners were one of the biggest surprises of 2021, remaining in postseason contention until the final weekend of the regular season. Seattle just missed a Wild Card spot, and the team's 90-win season was its first since winning 93 games in '03. It also came on the heels of a 27-33 finish in the shortened '20 campaign (a 72-win pace over 162 games).
Craig Counsell, Brewers
Counsell is an NL Manager of the Year Award finalist for the third time in the last four years, though the previous two instances (2018 and '19) each ended in a runner-up finish. He'll be looking to win the honor for the first time after leading the Brewers to an NL Central title and a fourth consecutive postseason berth.
Gabe Kapler, Giants
Not many expected the Giants to even factor into the postseason picture in 2021, let alone the NL West race -- but they did far more than that. Kapler, in his second season at the helm in San Francisco, guided the club to MLB's best record, a franchise-best 107 wins and its first division title since 2012. Locked in a tight battle with the Dodgers all season, the Giants finished 21-5 down the stretch to win the division by a game over their rivals.
Mike Shildt, Cardinals
The Cardinals went on one of the more incredible late-season runs in MLB history, reeling off 17 straight wins in September to secure the second NL Wild Card spot. Just 71-69 prior to the streak, St. Louis sat 3 1/2 games back of the Padres for that final postseason berth -- and went on to claim it by seven games. Shildt was also the 2019 NL Manager of the Year after guiding the Cards to a 91-win season. St. Louis parted ways with Shildt following the end of this season.