Nolan finalist for MVP, Black for top manager
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is a first-time finalist for National League Most Valuable Player, and Bud Black is a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year Award for the third time -- including the last two years while leading the Rockies.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America awards were announced Monday on MLB Network.
Arenado, 27, led the NL with 38 home runs -- the third time he has led or tied for the league lead -- and joined Albert Belle (1993-96) as the second player in MLB history to knock at least 35 homers and 35 doubles in four straight seasons. On Sunday, Arenado earned his sixth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
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Arenado led the NL in multi-hit games and finished fifth among NL position players in wins above replacement (WAR) at 5.6, according to Baseball Reference.
However, the favorite for the award is the Brewers' Christian Yelich. The Cubs' Javier Baez is the other NL MVP finalist. The winner, which will be determined in balloting by the BBWAA, will be announced Nov. 15.
Black, 61, who won the award in 2010 with the Padres, led the Rockies to the postseason for the second straight year. The club had never been to the postseason in consecutive years in its previous 25 seasons. The Rockies, who have never won the NL West, finished the regular season with 91 wins and were tied with the Dodgers, who won a tie-breaking game.
Black led a club that posted the lowest team batting average in its history at .256, but the pitching staff rolled up 1,409 strikeouts -- most in franchise history -- and held opponents to a .250 average, which was a club-record low.
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The Brewers' Craig Counsell and the Braves' Brian Snitker are the other NL Manager of the Year finalists. The winner will be announced Nov. 13.
Two Rockies who weren't nominated for awards were left-handed pitcher Kyle Freeland, who recorded a 2.40 ERA at Coors Field and went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA overall, but didn't crack the Cy Young finalist list (the Mets' Jacob deGrom, Nationals' Max Scherzer and Phillies' Aaron Nola are up for the award). Shortstop Trevor Story, who finished second to Arenado in NL homers, didn't make the MVP final three.