2020 was a strange year for baseball with a 60 game season, cardboard cut out fans, and a new expanded playoff format. It has now come to an end with all the awards being announced. The offseason is upon us, but before we close the book on 2020, let’s take a deep dive into the award winners and why the BBWAA voted them.
NL MVP – Freddie Freeman
Let’s start with the 2020 National League MVP, Freddie Freeman. After years of being a top first baseman and top player in the league, Freeman finally gets a well deserved MVP. He put up an incredible .341/.462/.640 slash line in 60 games. To go along with that he posted a 187 wRC+, second in all of baseball behind Juan Soto and a league leading 3.4 WAR. Although Mookie Betts put up exceptional numbers in his first year on the Dodgers, I think there was no other way for the voters to go on their ballots. Freeman received 28 first place votes and 2 second place votes giving him 410 total points and a National League Most Valuable Player Award. I agree with the writers 100% on this one.
NL Cy Young – Trevor Bauer
What a year for Trevor Bauer. He is quietly becoming one of the faces of baseball with his YouTube vlogs and now is performing on the field. Bauer posted a 1.73 ERA, 2.94 SIERA, and a 2.5 WAR in 73 innings of work in 2020. After a strong 2018 campaign for Bauer, injury in 2019 prevented him from being a top pitcher, and in 2020 he put it all together. Why I think Bauer is deserving of the National League Cy Young, I think there is someone who deserved it more. Jacob deGrom was the winner of the award in 2018 and 2019, many thought he was deserving of a third in a row and I agree. deGrom posted a 2.38 ERA, 2.70 SIERA, and a 2.6 WAR in 68 innings. I would have to go into some more details with advanced stats to prove my point further but I think deGrom should’ve been the winner. Not to take anything away from Trevor Bauer though who is great for the game of baseball and I’m still glad to see him walk away with the award. I don’t quite agree with the BBWAA on this one but I can live with it.
NL ROY – Devin Williams
Devin Williams. This kid was absolutely dominant this year posting a 0.33 ERA, 1.56 SIERA, and put up 17.67 K/9 in 27 innings. While there were a few other candidates worth giving a look like Alec Bohm and Jake Cronenworth, Williams was the clear winner in my eyes. Williams was a second round draft pick back in 2013 for the brewers and like we have seen before with this organization, they know how to coach young bullpen arms. Just like we saw with Josh Hader in 2017, Williams came out of nowhere to put together a fantastic season. My only complaint about him is that we couldn’t see him for a full season. This is another one that I 100% agree with the BBWAA.
AL MVP – Jose Abreu
I’ve thought for years that Jose Abreu has been one of the most underrated players in all of baseball. In 2020 he finally had that MVP season White Sox fans have been looking for. A .317/.370/.617 slash line, 167 wRC+, and 60 RBI’s in 60 games, Abreu has cemented himself in baseball history with his first-ever American League MVP Award. Some think Jose Ramirez was the more deserving of the two but I will tell you why I don’t. Although at the end of the season both of their numbers looked rather similar, Ramirez was a well below average hitter to start the 2020 season off. In the first 28 games of the season, Ramirez put up a .241/.341/.454 slash line with a 113 wRC+. Some may disagree but when I’m voting for MVP, I’m looking for a season of consistent MVP production. Abreu raked all year long and showed no sign of slowing down. So for me, I want my MVP to produce all year long because we are talking about the best player in each league here and I need consistency from my MVP. On that note, I agree with the BBWAA writers on this one.
AL Cy Young – Shane Bieber
I don’t think there is much to say about this one. Shane Bieber was on a level above all other pitchers in 2020. Bieber put up a 1.63 ERA, 2.52 SIERA, and 2.04 xFIP and no other pitcher in baseball can come close to those numbers. Along with that Bieber collected the American League Triple Crown for pitchers. Leading the league in Wins, ERA, and Strikeouts. There wasn’t much protest from anybody here with Bieber receiving all 30 first place votes becoming the Unanimous winner. Myself and I’m sure everyone else agrees with the BBWAA on this one.
AL ROY – Kyle Lewis
Kyle Lewis was promising in 2020 and should have Mariners fans excited for years to come. After a hot start from White Sox center fielder Luis Robert, it looked like he would be a lock for the award. A poor finish from Robert and consistent production from Lewis is what won him this award. Lewis put up a .262/.364/.437 slash line in his rookie season along with a 126 wRC+ and 11 homers. Lewis showed solid speed and glove in centerfield this year and has the makes of a future five tool player. Although Luis Robert was fun to watch this year and should be for many more, I think the BBWAA got this one right.