Last day to cast ballot for MLB Awards
Fans have until today at 11:59 p.m. ET to cast ballots
It's awards season in baseball, and with that comes plenty of conversation about who deserves to be recognized as the best pitcher and the best position player.
A separation of positions, traditionally, means separate awards -- except when it comes to the Esurance MLB Awards, which offers categories of all kinds, including one comprehensive, very cool award that is simply titled "Best Major Leaguer."
Voting for the Esurance MLB Awards has been in full swing for weeks, and while it's winding down, there is still time to cast your vote. Balloting will conclude today at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The Esurance MLB Awards cover, quite literally, everything. Fans have been voting on a host of categories that range from the mainstream to the quirky, from both the regular season and postseason, including one of the most popular categories: Best Major Leaguer.
Best Major Leaguer candidates include the absolute greatest performers of 2015, regardless of position. You might decide Jake Arrieta, who threw a no-hitter and put together an historically dominant second half that may just net him the National League Cy Young Award, is the most deserving.
Or perhaps Yoenis Cespedes, who made a seamless transition from the American League to the NL and whose offensive dominance helped catapult the Mets to the NL East title and later, the NL pennant, is more to your liking. That's part of the uniqueness of the Esurance MLB Awards -- many categories are all-encompassing, designed to honor the accomplishments of deserving players, regardless of position.
Other players up for Best Major Leaguer include Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Dodgers starters Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Blue Jays starter David Price and Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor Major League Baseball's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five components, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.
Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Everyday Player, Starting Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Breakout Player, Bounceback Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and Postseason Performer.
Winners will also be recognized for the year's Best Offensive Play, Defensive Play, Moment, Single-Game Performance, Social Media Post, Celebrity Fan, Fan Catch, Interview, TV Call, Radio Call, Player-Fan Interaction, Video Board Moment and Trending Topic.
There are categories that separate pitchers and positions players as well. Among the candidates for best everyday player are Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who emerged as one of the Major Leagues' most feared sluggers, hitting 42 homers and logging 130 RBIs. Amazingly, Arenado may still be better recognized more for his defense, which has netted him the Gold Glove Award in each of his first three big league seasons.
Arenado has some heady competition: Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, Giants catcher Buster Posey and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, plus Cespedes, Donaldson, Goldschmidt, Harper, McCutchen, Trout and Votto.
The Best Rookie category has lots of intriguing options as well, and because it includes players from both leagues, this particular race could be a close one. How to decide between Kris Bryant, who jumped into the Cubs' fray in mid-April and ended up anchoring the middle of the order all the way to the NL Championship Series, or Houston's Carlos Correa, who used his exciting blend of power and speed to become arguably the AL's best shortstop?
In addition to the more mainstream categories, there are lots of unique ones as well that make the Esurance MLB Awards different from all others. For example, you can vote on Best Moment, including David Ortiz's 500th home run, Todd Frazier's dramatic Home Run Derby win, Eric Hosmer's daring dash in Game 5 of the World Series and Edwin Encarnacion's hockey-centric tribute from Toronto fans after he completed the home run "hat trick."
Eighteen category winners will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET. Winners from two categories -- Best Manager and Best Executive -- will be revealed at the Winter Meetings in Nashville in early December, and four more winners -- Best Video Board, Best MLB Interview, Best Trending Topic and Best Social Media Personality -- will be revealed over MLB social media platforms throughout the day on Nov. 20.
Time is running out, but it's not over yet. The Esurance MLB Awards are asking for your input. After all, who better to decide on the best of the best than the fans who watch them every day?