Awards season begins with Players Choice picks
End-of-year hardware to be handed out over next two weeks
The crown sits atop the Royals' heads after their run to the World Series title, but the trophy circled with pennants that the champions paraded through the streets of Kansas City on Tuesday represents just the first in a long line of hardware to be handed out in the coming weeks.
With the team title in place, the most coveted individual honors for 2015 are about to find homes. They range from the Most Valuable Player Awards and Cy Young Awards, which elevate players into the upper echelon of baseball history, to honors that acknowledge all aspects of the game, shining a spotlight on the best the 2015 season had to offer.
A fortnight of celebrating everything that made the season special awaits. Here's an itinerary for the upcoming run of awards:
Players Choice Awards
Monday, 8 p.m. ET
As voted on by their peers in September, the MLB Players Association's awards begin the November hardware show. This year's finalists for Player of the Year are three men whose names will be repeated often throughout the awards season: Josh Donaldson, Zack Greinke and Bryce Harper. The Blue Jays third baseman, Dodgers starter and Nationals outfielder, respectively, will be vying for league honors as well, while other honors, including the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, will be presented.
BBWAA Finalists Show
Tuesday, 6 p.m. ET
The first glimpse of the most coveted individual honors will emerge in a one-hour special, when the finalists are announced for each of the four Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards: MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year for each league.
All four are determined via balloting by two BBWAA members per each league city, submitted prior to postseason play. On Tuesday, the top candidates will be revealed, and no doubt up for debate.
Rawlings Gold Glove Awards
Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
As the Royals reminded everyone, defense wins. When the best individual defensive performers are announced, it's more than likely a few Royals will be among them. Last year, Kansas City matched the Orioles with three winners in the American League, as determined by a combination of voting by MLB managers and coaches, along with statistical analysis. In the National League, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals has won seven consecutive Gold Gloves, the longest current streak.
Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Awards
Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET
More love for the leather. Since 2012, these awards have used a formula that balances scouting information, sabermetric analysis and basic fielding stats to determine the best players at each position overall, and the best individuals and teams.
Louisville Silver Slugger Awards
Thursday, 6 p.m. ET
Donaldson, who won the AL Hank Aaron Award as the league's outstanding offensive performer, figures to win his first Silver Slugger at third base, as determined by a ballot of managers and coaches. Fellow AL MVP Award candidate Mike Trout of the Angels is poised to claim his fourth Silver Slugger in the first four years of his career. NL Hank Aaron Award-winner Harper seeks his first Silver Slugger honor, while Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Nats shortstop Ian Desmond have three-year runs going.
The likelihood that past winners become present honorees remains to be seen in the first week of awards. But the one that begins the second week, featuring BBWAA awards, has a perfect history of having zero repeat winners.
BBWAA Rookie of the Year Awards
Monday, Nov. 16, 6 p.m. ET
The finalists for Rookie of the Year Awards won't be revealed until Tuesday. But in a year that saw a wide array of impressive debuts, it's safe to say two spectacularly skilled shortstops will lead the way in the AL -- the Astros' Carlos Correa and the Indians' Francisco Lindor. And in the NL, the power of the Cubs' Kris Bryant arrived as promised, while Matt Duffy's breakthrough for the Giants was a pleasant surprise.
BBWAA Manager of the Year Awards
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m. ET
With the Cubs' Joe Maddon leading a quantum leap on the North Side and Terry Collins managing the Mets back into the postseason, a couple of big-city skippers head a deep NL field. In the AL, will managing the best team mean hardware for the Royals' Ned Yost? Or will an impressive rookie performance from Jeff Banister in Texas or Paul Molitor in Minnesota rule the day?
BBWAA Cy Young Awards
Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. ET
Greinke somehow put together a season that ranks with the historic one Dodgers teammate Clayton Kershaw posted the year before. But the Cubs' Jake Arrieta might have outdone both. What a year in the NL for pitching.
In a packed AL field, left-hander Dallas Keuchel was everything an ace needed to be to help the Astros reach the postseason, while fellow lefty David Price's midseason switch to the Blue Jays helped Toronto return to the postseason for the first time since 1993.
BBWAA Most Valuable Player Awards
Thursday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m. ET
Donaldson's place in the hearts of Toronto fans down the stretch could be heard in "MVP" chants, but Trout's presence in the AL conversation remains strong after a 2014 trophy and two second-place finishes (to the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera) before that. Harper's stellar offensive season puts him atop the NL class, but top-notch performances were turned in by the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt and 2013 winner McCutchen, the only one of the three whose team reached the postseason.
Esurance MLB Awards
Friday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m. ET
The November run of awards will wrap up with the first edition of the Esurance MLB Awards, an extensive list of honors that cover the best players, but also recognize moments, personalities and trending topics. To cast your ballots, visit mlb.com/awards. Voting is open through Friday.
Fan voting is combined with balloting from a comprehensive panel featuring Hall of Fame players, club presidents and general managers, many of the industry's everyday reporters, and the Society for American Baseball Research to determine the Esurance MLB Awards.