Presenting the 2014 National League BBWAA Awards finalists, with GIFS
The National League BBWAA Awards finalists, with GIFS
Every fall, the group known as the Baseball Writers' Association of America gathers in a cavern to sip pumpkin spice lattes and discuss the season that was (this scenario is true until proven false). When they emerge, we are presented with contenders for the best players in baseball. So, without further ado, here are your National League BBWAA Awards finalists for 2014:
Rookie of the Year
Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets
The 26-year-old joined the growing crop of young talent in the Mets' rotation in 2014, striking out 144 in just over 140 innings pitched. That kind of K-rate makes sense considering deGrom had outings like this one in September, when he tied the record for most strikeouts in a row to start a game, fanning eight Marlins batters in a row.
Plus, the dude can rock camouflage and a shoulder-length 'do.
Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds
On his way to batting .250 with 141 hits, 25 doubles and 56 stolen bases (good for second in the National League) in 152 games for the Reds, Hamilton bended physics to his will. Just watch him dodge a tag on his way to first and try to fit it within the constraints of reality:
Maybe he should try out for Cirque du Soleil in the offseason. Or at least Dancing with the Stars:
Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
Wong hit .249 with 12 home runs, 14 doubles, and 20 stolen bases for the Cardinals during the regular season, but he turned it on for the postseason, tallying three doubles, a triple, and three home runs, including his walk-off blast against the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS.
When your jersey looks like that after a game, you probably earned it. And don't forget -- Don Mattingly referred to Wong as "a dangerous cat." Of course, votes are submitted after the end of the regular season, but that has to count for something.
Cy Young Award
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
If you're unfamiliar with Kershaw's work this season for some reason, here's a quick rundown: 21 wins, 1.77 ERA, and 239 strikeouts (his average of 10.8 Ks per 9 innings was best in the MLB) in just under 200 innings pitched. Included there are six complete games, highlighted by his no-hitter back in June, in which he amassed a whopping 15 strikeouts. It was simply a historic year for Kershaw.
Johnny Cueto, SP, Reds
Even though Kershaw had the best strikeout average, he didn't actually lead the NL in total strikeouts -- two pitchers beat him out. One of those would be Cueto, who posted a respectable 20-win, 2.25-ERA season in which he led the NL in both games started (34) and innings pitched (243.2). Cueto was a workhorse, and the Reds relied on him all season long, awkward pick-off throw or not:
Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals
The NL's starting pitcher for the All-Star game, Wainwright was his usual consistent self in 2014. He finished third in the NL in ERA and tied Cueto for second in wins at 20. Plus, he was so hot this season he set off fire alarms:
Most Valuable Player
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
You already know that Kershaw can pitch because A) you have heard of the sport called "baseball" or B) you read the blurb just above this one. But don't forget that he's also pretty phenomenal when it comes to defense:
Clayton Kershaw -- there's nothing he can't do. Well, except for beat Mo'ne Davis in a pitch-off.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
Even though he missed the last 17 games of the season, Giancarlo Stanton was second only to Andrew McCutchen in on-base percentage in the NL. He hit .288/.395/.555 (for the highest slugging percentage in the NL). You know what else he hits? Lots and lots of homers:
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
Cutch: the MVP of your heart. Of course, he was also the NL MVP in 2013, and he followed that season with another spectacular year, in which he hit 314/.410/.542 and led the league in on-base percentage and offensive WAR.
He's got legs, too: