The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is doing a couple of things for the first time this year, and they both are as enlightened as the San Francisco Giants are successful in a World Series these days.
The first thing already is done. That is, the BBWAA this week announced the finalists for each of its eight major individual honors -- the American League and National League Rookie of the Year Awards, the AL and NL Manager of the Year Awards, the AL and NL Cy Young Award winners, and the AL and NL Most Valuable Player Awards.
As for the other thing, MLB Network will on Monday night start announcing the winners on four consecutive nights.
In case you can't wait, I'll tell you who likely will get the nod in each of those categories from my BBWAA colleagues, and then I'll mention who actually deserves that particular award the most -- and why.
AL Rookie of the Year Award
Candidates: Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout
The winner will be Trout, and it should be Trout.
Reason: Well, forget about Trout as AL Rookie of the Year. He is in the running for Baseball Rookie of the Century. Ichiro Suzuki would have something to say about that, since his overall brilliancy in 2001 also led to AL MVP Award honors. It's just that Trout's season (.326 batting average, 30 homers, 49 stolen bases, near Gold Glove in center field) may produce the same double results, and this is for sure: Trout was peerless this year among his rookie class.
NL Rookie of the Year Award
Candidates: Todd Frazier, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley
The winner will be Frazier, and it should be Frazier.
Reason: The Cincinnati Reds wouldn't have won the NL Central without Frazier's ability to become one of the most versatile (and effective) players in the game. Courtesy of significant injuries to veterans Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, Frazier spent his rookie season going between first base and third base. Despite it all, Frazier ranked among the rookie leaders in home runs, RBIs and versatility.
AL Manager of the Year Award
Candidates: Bob Melvin, Buck Showalter, Robin Ventura
The winner will be Showalter, but it should be Melvin.
Reason: The A's purged their roster before the season -- again. They had the lowest payroll in the league. They trailed the AL West-leading Texas Rangers by 13 games on June 30. They also were five games behind the Rangers in the division with nine games left to play. Somehow, with Melvin leading the way, the Oakland A's made the playoffs.
NL Manager of the Year Award
Candidates: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson
The winner will be Johnson, but it should be Baker.
Reason: Votto is among the game's most complete players, and he has an NL MVP Award trophy to prove it. Well, he wasn't around for 48 of the Reds' games down the stretch, but they won 32 of them. It goes back to Baker, who did a masterful job of juggling his lineup all season. And for a guy who traditionally gets ripped for how he handles pitchers, every Reds starter made all of his scheduled starts.
AL Cy Young Award
Candidates: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver
The winner will be Price, and it should be Price.
Reason: Let's just say it's difficult to become the AL's top pitcher for a season if you're not named Verlander. Once again, he led the Majors in strikeouts and innings pitched. Still, Price finished with three more victories (20) and a lower ERA (2.56 to 2.64) than Verlander. Not only that, Price also ranked in the top 15 in the Major Leagues in strikeouts and innings pitched. Good enough for me.
NL Cy Young Award
Candidates: R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw
The winner will be Gonzalez, but it should be Dickey
Reason: Who'd have thought a knuckleballer could be so relevant at this point in baseball history? Dickey became the first of his ilk in the past 30 years to win 20 or more games, and he fell one victory shy of Gonzalez's MLB-leading total of 21. Anyway, Dickey gets the edge over Gonzalez, because he had two fewer losses (6 to 8) while pitching for an inferior team, and he had a better ERA (2.73 to 2.89).
AL Most Valuable Player Award
Candidates: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Josh Hamilton, Trout
The winner will be Cabrera, and it should be Cabrera.
Reason: I mean, the man won the Triple Crown, which hadn't been done in either league since 1967. That's enough. The vote will be close, though. What Trout did as a rookie was incredible. The problem for Trout is that Cabrera was even better. In addition to those Triple Crown items (batting average, homers and RBIs), Trout led the AL in slugging percentage, total bases, OPS and scaring pitchers.
NL Most Valuable Player Award
Candidates: Ryan Braun, Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey
The winner will be Posey, and it should be Posey.
Reason: It isn't a coincidence the Giants were unable win a World Series championship during the second of Posey's three years in the Major Leagues. That's because Posey was injured for most of 2011. He returned this past season to lead the NL in batting average, and there's more: As a highly respected signal caller behind the plate, Posey was a huge reason for the Giants' overall pitching success. He also continued as the undisputed leader of the team -- as in MVP stuff.
Terence Moore is a columnist for MLB.com