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October 31, 2006

Internet Baseball Awards

Staff Ballots

by Baseball Prospectus

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Travis Hafner posted the highest OBP in the AL while nobody noticed, while Neifi Perez ended up getting playoff PT. The young guns had their day and then some. Jermaine Dye gave a lengthy spanking to his 90th percentile PECOTA projection (PECOTA's .288/.359/.516 versus an actual .315/.385/.622). The crop of AL rookies included a guy with a 0.92 ERA finishing third, and rooks like Jered Weaver (105:33 K:BB) and Francisco Liriano (144:32) threatening to be Johan Santana's biggest challengers in 2007. The National League featured tighter races, including a four-way brawl for the Pitcher of the Year and another impressive crop of newbies.

Eight staff members weighed in on the season that was, casting their ballots for the Internet Baseball Awards. We summarized their findings below, and then let them have their individual say.

To recap the rules:

The Player of the Year ballot has 10 slots, with a point system of 14, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points being awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th places. The Manager of the Year ballots have 3 slots, with a point system of 5, 3, and 1 points being awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

The Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year ballots are designed somewhat differently than the BBWAA's ballots for these awards, in part because most of our voters want to have a longer ballot than the one the BBWAA uses in these cases. So the Internet Baseball Awards Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year ballots have five slots, with a point system of 10, 7, 5, 3, and 1 points being awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places.

Before going into the individual ballots, we've got the point tallies for each, with a player's point total followed by how many first-place votes they received.

Staff Picks, American League

AL Player of the Year


1. Derek Jeter    95 (5)
2. Johan Santana  77 (2)
3. Joe Mauer      56
4. Travis Hafner  43
5. David Ortiz    41 (1)
6. Grady Sizemore 32
7. Jermaine Dye   31
8. Carlos Guillen 25
9. Roy Halladay   17
10. Miguel Tejada 15
Justin Morneau     6
Manny Ramirez      6
Michael Young      5
Jorge Posada       4
Vernon Wells       3
Nick Swisher       3
Robinson Cano      2
Vladimir Guerrero  2
Jim Thome          1
Frank Thomas       1
Curtis Granderson  1

Justin Morneau's popularity with media types didn't resonate at BP, where his .321/.375/.559 was overshadowed by bigger sluggers and up-the-middle players who could rake. BP favorite Sizemore and BP punching bag Dye both had showings to be proud of among analysts.

AL Pitcher of the Year


1. Johan Santana     80 (8)
2. Roy Halladay      52
3. Chien-Ming Wang   24
4. Barry Zito        15
5. Francisco Liriano 12
Jonathan Papelbon     8
Justin Verlander      7
Curt Schilling        3
John Lackey           3

Santana was a perfect eight-for-eight, while the rest shook out about as you might think, with Barry Zito's durability and 7.1 WARP helping him into fourth place. Liriano was the dark horse candidate, right up until injury ended his season early.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR


1. Justin Verlander   62 (4)
2. Francisco Liriano  62 (2)
3. Jonathan Papelbon  37 (2)
4. Jered Weaver       23
5. Kenji Jojima        9
Nick Markakis          2
Joel Zumaya            1

Verlander received more first place votes, and manages to win Staff ROY despite having the worst ERA of any pitcher receiving a vote, and getting beat by Liriano in the Pitcher of the Year race. His 186 IP were the most of any AL rookie.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR


1. Jim Leyland      38 (7)
2t. Ron Gardenhire  12
2t. Ken Macha       12 (1)
Joe Torre            5
Mike Scioscia        5

Leyland was the overwhelming choice, while whatever his issues with Billy Beane, Macha managed to tie with Gardenhire for second.

Staff Picks, National League

NL Player of the Year


1. Albert Pujols    107 (7)
2. Miguel Cabrera    70
3. Ryan Howard       63 (1)
4. Carlos Beltran    51
5. Lance Berkman     37
6. Chase Utley       27
7t. Brandon Webb     18
7t. Jose Reyes       18
9. Rafael Furcal     16
10. David Wright     15
Roy Oswalt           12
Alfonso Soriano      10
Jason Bay             6
Chris Carpenter       4
Brian McCann          4
Mike Cameron          3
Garrett Atkins        2
Adrian Gonzalez       1
Bronson Arroyo        1

The mighty Pujols walked away with this one, and Miguel Cabrera's quiet little .339/.430/.568 campaign spoke loudly to voters. Perhaps because he carried the Snakes on his back, Webb was the best pitcher in the Player of the Year vote, but as you'll see, he didn't fair as well in the Pitcher of the Year vote.

NL Pitcher of the Year


1. Roy Oswalt      60 (4)
2. Brandon Webb    47 (2)
3. Chris Carpenter 33
4. Bronson Arroyo  25 (2)
5. John Smoltz     16
Roger Clemens       8
Trevor Hoffman      5
Aaron Harang        3
Carlos Zambrano     2

Reversing his pattern from 2005, Oswalt turned it on after the break, posting a 2.77 ERA and going 9-2 for an Astros team that couldn't hit. Webb's October outing against the Padres, in which he turned in his worst start of the season (4 8 7 7 2 5) may have cost him dearly.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Hanley Ramirez   66 (4)
2. Dan Uggla        49 (1)
3. Ryan Zimmerman   33 (2)
4. Matt Cain        14
5. Josh Johnson     12
Russell Martin      10 (1)
Clay Hensley         7
Takashi Saito        4
Anibal Sanchez       3
Prince Fielder       1
Josh Barfield        1

A bit of a surprise here, but position matters, and while nobody's going to gainsay Ryan Zimmerman's future, Ramirez and Uggla gave their new organization a tremendous middle infield, seemingly out of thin air.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR


1. Willie Randolph 29 (4)
2. Joe Girardi     27 (3)
3. Bruce Bochy      9 (1)
Tony La Russa       6
Grady Little        3

A very tight race between two of the NL East's skippers, with Randolph's cakewalk just beating out the impressive job rookie manager Joe Girardi did with his equally inexperienced Fish.

INDIVIDUAL BALLOTS

Kevin Goldstein

First off, I'm just not a big fan of award season. I think the time spent discussing them is a bit of a waste, as they don't really mean anything. Even if the writers decided that the Player of the Years were Nick Punto and Julio Franco, what would that really mean in the real world--OK, semi-real--world of baseball? Not a thing. It doesn't change the standings or make any player better or worse. It's all kind of silly. Still, I was asked, so here goes.

AL Player of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Derek Jeter
3. Joe Mauer
4. David Ortiz
5. Carlos Guillen
6. Grady Sizemore
7. Miguel Tejada
8. Vernon Wells
9. Travis Hafner
10. Roy Halladay

There, I did it. I voted for a pitcher. I think Santana is the most valuable player in the league, period. So I voted for him. Without Santana, the Twins aren't sniffing the postseason. After that, it's pretty obvious that I favored up-the-middle players over all else.

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Chien-Ming Wang
4. Barry Zito
5. Francisco Liriano

Simple enough. If he's Player of the Year, he's the Pitcher of the Year winner as well. Halladay is an easy No. 2 choice. After that, you can argue for many players.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Justin Verlander
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jonathan Papelbon

Another obvious choice at number one for me. Despite being a little more than half a season, that it was such a remarkable half season gave Liriano the edge over Papelbon for me.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Joe Torre

I think the only case I need to state here is for number three. I think Torre did a pretty bad job in the playoffs and with the A-Rod situation, but at the same time I think he did a nice job with the injuries and underperforming pitching staff.

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Ryan Howard
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Chase Utley
6. Jose Reyes
7. Lance Berkman
8. Brian McCann
9. Roy Oswalt
10. Brandon Webb

1-2 is a gimme. I found it interesting that a lot of rookies got a large chunk of the attention when it was clear to me that Cabrera was carrying them offensively.

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Roy Oswalt
2. Brandon Webb
3. Chris Carpenter
4. Bronson Arroyo
5. John Smoltz

The 1-2-3 guys you could juggle in any order and you'd likely still be right in someone's eyes.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Dan Uggla
3. Matt Cain

Joe took Josh Johnson over Cain, I gave Cain the slight edge because of the innings.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Joe Girardi
2. Willie Randolph
3. Bruce Bochy

I think Girardi did an amazing thing this year, does a great job on the field, but he hurt his chances for future job by clashing with ownership.

Dan Fox

AL Player of the Year

1. Derek Jeter
2. Travis Hafner
3. Jermaine Dye
4. David Ortiz
5. Joe Mauer
6. Carlos Guillen
7. Johan Santana
8. Justin Morneau
9. Grady Sizemore
10. Jim Thome

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Chien-Ming Wang
4. Barry Zito
5. Justin Verlander

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Francisco Liriano
2. Justin Verlander
3. Kenji Jojima
4. Jered Weaver
5. Jonathan Papelbon

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Ken Macha

NL Player of the Year

1. Ryan Howard
2. Albert Pujols
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Lance Berkman
5. Carlos Beltran
6. Chase Utley
7. Jose Reyes
8. David Wright
9. Alfonso Soriano
10. Garrett Atkins

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Roy Oswalt
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Trevor Hoffman
4. Brandon Webb
5. Carlos Zambrano

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Dan Uggla
3. Ryan Zimmerman
4. Josh Johnson
5. Prince Fielder

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Joe Girardi
2. Tony La Russa
3. Grady Little

Jay Jaffe

AL Player of the Year

1. Derek Jeter
2. Johan Santana
3. Joe Mauer
4. Jermaine Dye
5. Roy Halladay
6. David Ortiz
7. Jorge Posada
8. Justin Morneau
9. Carlos Guillen
10. Frank Thomas

I'm all about Player of the Year candidates needing to play on teams that contended, hence no Grady Sizemore or Travis Hafner, as fantastic as their seasons were. Jeter gets the nod for an all-around fantastic season, though if I were to consider his role in the tawdry clubhouse drama surrounding teammate Alex Rodriguez, I'd dock him a notch. The main reason I didn't is because most of what I know there (to the extent I really know anything) has been discovered since the end of the season and refracted through the lens of the Yanks' first-round elimination. This is the first year I can recall giving a pitcher a fair shake in the Player of the Year, and Santana's about as good a choice for the award as any starter since Pedro Martinez. The dark horse here is Posada, who very quietly had a superb (8.6 WARP3) season that included great play behind the plate.

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Justin Verlander
4. Chien-Ming Wang
5. Francisco Liriano

No contest here, it's Santana in a landslide. Liriano would have been a top three pick had he made it through the season healthy, and one can certainly make a case that Jered Weaver or Jonathan Papelbon are just as worthy of a ballot mention.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Justin Verlander
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jered Weaver
4. Jonathan Papelbon
5. Joel Zumaya

A fantastic year for rookie pitchers in the AL. I gave the nod to Verlander for surviving the season intact, and I think it's far less important that the "right" pitcher get recognized than that they all remain healthy.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Ken Macha
3. Mike Scioscia

Not only is Leyland the obvious choice, frankly, I can barely bring myself to list any other names higher than fourth. Joe Torre's handling of the Alex Rodriguez situation undid the good work of patching through injuries to Matusi and Sheffield, Ron Gardenhire's team's fast finish was tempered by early-season decisions to play Juan Castro and Rondell White instead of Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel, John Gibbons got into a couple of serious dustups with his own players, Terry Francona presided over a team that hit an iceberg. Points for Macha for getting the A's into the playoffs despite all of the injuries and, I suppose, the communication breakdowns that proved to be his undoing--and to Scioscia for keeping the Angels competitive long past the point when everyone else had given up on their season.

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Carlos Beltran
3. Rafael Furcal
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. David Wright
6. Ryan Howard
7. Lance Berkman
8. Chase Utley
9. Brandon Webb
10. Adrian Gonzalez

Again, contention is everything, and nothing proved Pujols' value more than those two huge home runs during the season's final week. Furcal hit like Pujols in September (.369/.424/.622) and finished at 9.2 WARP3; there's simply no way the Dodgers make the playoffs without his extraordinary effort. For all the talk of Beltran's credentials, few seem to be paying attention to the fact that Wright broke double digits in WARP3 (10.2). I'd love to find a spot on here for Nomar Garciaparra thanks to his late-inning and late-season heroics, but his WARP3 (4.0) was bettered by no less than seven teammates.

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Bronson Arroyo
2. John Smoltz
3. Roy Oswalt
4. Brandon Webb
5. Chris Carpenter

A toss-up; the Support Neutral stats favor Oswalt by a hair, but WARP3 gives a big edge to Arroyo (9.3) and Webb (9.0). In the end I weighted the two equally and left it at that, despite my distaste for cornrows.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Russell Martin
2. Hanley Ramirez
3. Dan Uggla
4. Ryan Zimmerman
5. Josh Johnson

It may have been a coincidence that the turning point of the Dodger season fell exactly at the time when Martin was recalled and entered the lineup, but it's tough to deny the work he did in helping the Dodgers to the Wild Card.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Willie Randolph
2. Joe Girardi
3. Bruce Bochy

The Mets went more or less wire-to-wire, yet Randolph managed to keep the team focused, playing a huge role in Jose Reyes' development, getting great work from left-for-dead roleplayers, and showing a deft touch with the bullpen. As for Girardi, maybe I'm falling victim to the propaganda spread by Jeffrey Loria's henchmen, but if it's true that the manager's decision to bring back Josh Johnson from an 82-minute rain delay is what caused his season-ending elbow strain, then I can't justify a first-place vote there, and I'm left wondering if he belongs on the ballot at all.

Clay Davenport

AL Player of the Year

1. Derek Jeter
2. Johan Santana
3. Joe Mauer
4. Miguel Tejada
5. Grady Sizemore
6. Mike Young
7. Jermaine Dye
8. Nick Swisher
9. Robinson Cano
10. Curtis Granderson

I went with a nearly straight WARP vote in all categories, with a small bonus added to the Player of the Year vote for guys on playoff teams.

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Barry Zito
4. Curt Schilling
5. Jonathan Papelbon

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Jonathan Papelbon
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Justin Verlander
4. Kenji Jojima
5. Nick Markakis

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Mike Scioscia

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Carlos Beltran
3. Rafael Furcal
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. David Wright
6. Jason Bay
7. Alfonso Soriano
8. Mike Cameron
9. Lance Berkman
10. Bronson Arroyo

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Bronson Arroyo
2. Brandon Webb
3. John Smoltz
4. Aaron Harang
5. Roy Oswalt

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Dan Uggla
2. Hanley Ramirez
3. Ryan Zimmerman
4. Takashi Saito
5. Josh Barfield

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Bruce Bochy
2. Willie Randolph
3. Joe Girardi

Will Carroll

AL Player of the Year

1. Derek Jeter
2. Johan Santana
3. Joe Mauer
4. Jermaine Dye
5. Travis Hafner

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Chien-Ming Wang

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Justin Verlander
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jonathan Papelbon

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Joe Torre
3. Ron Gardenhire

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Ryan Howard
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Lance Berkman
5. Jose Reyes

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Roy Oswalt
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Roger Clemens

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Dan Uggla
3. Hanley Ramirez

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Willie Randolph
2. Tony La Russa
3. Bruce Bochy

Ben Murphy

AL Player of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Derek Jeter
3. Travis Hafner
4. Grady Sizemore
5. Carlos Guillen
6. Roy Halladay
7. Joe Mauer
8. David Ortiz
9. Manny Ramirez
10. Miguel Tejada

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Francisco Liriano
4. John Lackey
5. Chien-Ming Wang

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Francisco Liriano
2. Justin Verlander
3. Jered Weaver
4  Jonathan Papelbon
5. Nick Markakis

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Ken Macha
2. Jim Leyland
3. Ron Gardenhire

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Miguel Cabrera
3. Ryan Howard
4. Lance Berkman
5. Brandon Webb
6. Carlos Beltran
7. Roy Oswalt
8. Chase Utley
9. Chris Carpenter
10. Brian McCann

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Brandon Webb
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Chris Carpenter
4. Roger Clemens
5. Bronson Arroyo

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Clay Hensley
3. Dan Uggla
4. Anibal Sanchez
5. Matt Cain

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Joe Girardi
2. Willie Randolph
3 Bruce Bochy

Joe Sheehan

AL Player of the Year

1. Derek Jeter
2. Johan Santana
3. Joe Mauer
4. Grady Sizemore
5. Travis Hafner
6. David Ortiz
7. Roy Halladay
8. Carlos Guillen
9. Miguel Tejada
10. Jermaine Dye

Even after missing the last few weeks of the season, Travis Hafner led the AL in VORP and RARP. I couldn't reasonably list him any lower than fifth, behind only the high-defensive-value guys, but the highest of the sluggers. If he had completed the season, he might well have overcome my preference for up-the-middle players and topped my ballot. Derek Jeter was third in the metrics, had positive defensive value in Clay's system, and is usually a plus baserunner; I didn't consider his role in the Yankees' summer drama. Santana and Mauer could be listed in any order--Mauer's offense slipped a bit during the summer, although he had a strong finishing kick.

If you're wondering why Morneau is not on the ballot, consider that he was 16th in RARP and 15th in VORP among position players. His candidacy is a product of the emphasis on home runs and RBI, and there are many more things players do to help win games. Voting for him is, essentially, a stat vote. Mauer and Santana were both much more valuable to the Twins' division title.

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Chien-Ming Wang
4. Barry Zito
5. Justin Verlander

The top two are easy. I'm not a big fan of low-strikeout guys, but Chien-Ming Wang had the metrics to justify his place. The toughest call is whether to slot Francisco Liriano. In the end, the innings edge for the other two guys was just too much for me to overlook.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Justin Verlander
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jered Weaver

If the season had been another month longer, Weaver might have won this going away. Any ballot that doesn't have room for Jonathan Papelbon can be questioned, of course. If you wanted to put him on here instead of Weaver, I wouldn't argue.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Ken Macha
3. Ron Gardenhire

It was really a lousy year for AL managers. For all the talk of the AL being the superior league, very few teams exceeded expectations, and the ones that did had managers doing all kinds of ridiculous things along the way. John Gibbons got into at least one fistfight, just to name an example. Gardenhire probably did as much to slow the Twins down with his early-season lineup choices as he did to eventually help them get righted. Joe Torre´┐Żwell, don't get me started. Consider the above ranking a big shrug.

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Ryan Howard
3. Carlos Beltran
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. Lance Berkman
6. Chase Utley
7. Roy Oswalt
8. Brandon Webb
9. Chris Carpenter
10. Garrett Atkins

The metrics have Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Miguel Cabrera, and Lance Berkman 1-2-3-4. I bumped Beltran up because of his defense, and could have done the same for Chase Utley, but I'll stick with the above. There's a dropoff among the position players at that point, which allows the three starters to all sneak on.

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Roy Oswalt
2. Brandon Webb
3. Chris Carpenter
4. John Smoltz
5. Bronson Arroyo

I'm pretty sure that Brandon Webb blew this on the last day of the season. Had he pitched even passably well, he would have stayed ahead of the surging Roy Oswalt. Chris Carpenter also had the award in his hands, but spit the bit in his last two starts. Oswalt leads in the metrics, and with nothing much else to distinguish these guys, he gets my vote.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Dan Uggla
3. Josh Johnson
4. Matt Cain
5. Takashi Saito

There's no attempt to be cute here; the three Marlins were the three best rookies in the league. Johnson holding off a late Matt Cain challenge to get there. Takashi Saito just missed being mentioned for the Pitcher of the Year, and was nearly an Player of the Year honorable mention as well.

NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Willie Randolph
2. Joe Girardi
3. Grady Little

Willie Randolph is the default choice, the manager of the team that exceeds expectations and has a lot of success. He did handle a lot during the season, and I think he deserves he deserves credit for the development of Jose Reyes. That's enough for me. Joe Girardi leaves Miami trailing all kinds of accusations, but I like the way he committed to the young pitchers, managed his bullpen, and stuck with Hanley Ramirez at midseason. Grady Little helped the Dodgers get to the playoffs around a million nagging injuries, and one very big one to Eric Gagne. He was exposed in the playoffs, but you give him Joe Beimel and it's a different series.

Alex Carnevale

AL Player of the Year

1. David Ortiz
2. Johan Santana
3. Travis Hafner
4. Derek Jeter
5. Joe Mauer
6. Grady Sizemore
7. Manny Ramirez
8. Carlos Guillen
9. Vladimir Guerrero
10. Miguel Tejada

Jeter, Hafner and Ortiz were 1-2-3 in VORP. Hafner and Ortiz both missed time, Hafner posting his insane .366 EqA in approximately 100 less plate attempts. This was amazing, but Ortiz's numerous walk-offs helped him. Jeter's season couldn't compare, as his lack of power makes him mostly a singles hitter, if the most devasting one in the league. His defense didn't help, either. I can't argue with Jeter as Player of the Year, but he wasn't the hitter Ortiz or Hafner was, and he wasn't nearly as valuable to his team as they were to theirs. Mauer's lack of power also left a poor taste in my mouth.

The scary thing about A-Rod's 2005 13.0 WARP season is that it would make him the easy Player of the Year this year. That's how good he was last year.

AL Pitcher of the Year

1. Johan Santana
2. Jonathan Papelbon
3. Francisco Liriano
4. Roy Halladay
5. Barry Zito

For the fourth straight season, Johan Santana lowered his walk rate. When he goes to free agency, I pray he goes to the NL, because what he would do to those lineups would be flat-out scary. The dude pays for the cost of MLB.tv by himself. Papelbon's 0.92 ERA got him the two spot on my ballot.

AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Jonathan Papelbon
2. Francisco Liriano
3. Jered Weaver
4. Justin Verlander
5. Kenji Jojima

Verlander had the early edge, and even though the Tigers tried to give him rest, it's hard to blame him for wearing down during the season and pitching like he was hopped up during the World Series. Hindsight's 20/20, but they should have done what the Angels did for Jered Weaver, which would have worked out wonderfully had the Angels had the good sense to make the postseason. Jojima only hit .291/.332/.451, but as a catcher, that was good enough for 5th.

AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Jim Leyland
2. Mike Scioscia
3. Joe Torre

NL Player of the Year

1. Albert Pujols
2. Ryan Howard
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Carlos Beltran
5. Brandon Webb
6. Chase Utley
7. Alfonso Soriano
8. Jose Reyes
9. Roy Oswalt
10. Jason Bay

Pujols hit a .357 EqA, not even his career best, and he had people calling for Ryan Howard as Player of the Year. This was his best ever season according to WARP. I couldn't ignore the impact of Reyes' bat and glove.

NL Pitcher of the Year

1. Brandon Webb
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Bronson Arroyo
4. Chris Carpenter
5. Carlos Zambrano

After logging an insane 235 IP, I forgave Brandon Webb getting knocked around in his last start, when he shouldn't even have been pitching. Zambrano's 8.6 K/9 helped him get a vote from me. Arroyo, I am of two minds about. At the beginning of the year he was unbelievable, but as the league saw more of him, he posted a 5.45 ERA in July and a 4.78 ERA in August during the Reds' swoon. To me, this made Oswalt and Webb the more valuable commodities.

NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. Ryan Zimmerman
2. Hanley Ramirez
3. Matt Cain
4. Josh Johnson
5. Dan Uggla

As the best prospect of the position player candidates and the best defensive third baseman in baseball, 21-year-old Ryan Zimmerman got the nod for me. Hanley Ramirez turned it on in August and September to make him Zimmerman's equal, but outside of a slow April, Zim was just never bad.

NL Manager of the Year

1. Willie Randolph
2. Joe Girardi
3. Grady Little

Tomorrow, the people get their say, and it's time for the overall results of the Internet Baseball Awards.

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