It’s Awards Season. No, not the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. The ones that really matter–baseball awards. And the Indians have earned more than their share for an incredible 2017 season. In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown of all the hardware Tribe players have amassed over the past week.
Let’s start with the biggie:
AL Cy Young Award
Corey Kluber was awarded his second Cy Young Award in four seasons. He was also one of three finalists in 2016. Kluber received 28 1st-place votes. How did Kluber achieve it? A few quick stats from 2017:
- Led MLB in ERA (2.25)
- Led all qualified starters in complete games (five), shutouts (three), ERA+ (202), WHIP (0.87), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.36), while tying for the lead in wins (18).
- Had 15 double-digit strikeout games, tied for second in all of MLB and the second highest single-season total in club history
- Had 265 strikeouts; 7th-highest in club history. Kluber now ranks 7th all-time in club history for career strikeouts.
All this from a guy who spent nearly a month on the disabled list and still managed to pitch more than 200 innings.
Side note: If you look down the list of vote getters, Carlos Carrasco was #5 in the voting. Yes, that does give you a little warm fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it?
Defensive Player of the Year
Carlos Santana was named Wilson Defensive Player of the Year at first base. Not bad for a guy who has willing moved from catcher to first to third to left and back to first. Santana led AL first basemen in Fangraphs’ Defensive Runs Saved metric as well as in double plays started and assists. He was also a finalist for the Gold Glove at 1st base.
Will Santana be back next year? He rejected the Indians’ one-year qualifying offer, making him a free agent. However, the qualifying offer does not prevent the Indians from negotiating with Santana on a multi-year contract. The man wants to get paid. Whether the Indians should be the ones doing the paying is another conversation.
It’s hard to believe 2017 was only Lindor’s second full major league season (he made his MLB debut June 14, 2015). He earned his second straight All-Star bid and set a single-season franchise record for home runs by a shortstop (33). Lindor hit .273 (178-651) with 44 doubles, 4 triples, 33 home runs, and 89 RBI in 159 games. He ranked 3rd in the American League in extra-base hits (81), 4th in doubles and total bases (329), 7th in hits and 9th in runs (99). Lindor’s 33 home runs were MLB record by a switch-hitting shortstop, better than Jimmy Rollins (30 in 2007) and Jose Valentin (30 in 2004). Lindor joined Hal Trosky (42 in 1936 and 35 in 1934) and Manny Ramirez (31 in 1995) as the only Indians players age 23 or younger to hit at least 30 homers in a season. He was also the first shortstop age 23 or younger to hit 30 homers since Alex Rodriguez in 1999. Not bad company.
Every time Jose Ramirez stepped up to bat this season, my eyes automatically went to second base. It just seemed like he coul He joins Grady Sizemore (2006) as the only Indians batter with at least 100 runs scored, 50 doubles, 25 home runs and 15 stolen bases in one season. He earned his first All-Star selection and finished in the top 10 in MLB in bWAR (6.9, 7th), extra-base hits (T1st), doubles (1st), and total bases (5th). His extra-base hits were second-most ever by a switch-hitter in MLB history (Lance Berkman 94 in 2001).
Ramίrez was the first Indians infielder since Al Rosen in 1953 (75) to lead the A.L. in extra-base hits, and the most by an Indians infielder since 1st baseman Hal Trosky’s 96 in 1936. He tied the Major League record for extra-base hits in a single game with five on September 3. Ramirez is one of three finalists for the AL Most Valuable Player Award, which will be announced Thursday, November 16th.