Box-Toppers pitching leaders are among the finalists for the Cy Young Awards, but Box-Toppers batting leaders were excluded from the list of finalists for the Most Valuable Player Awards.
Award finalistsHere are finalists for the Cy Young and the Most Valuable Player awards to be given Wednesday and Thursday, as named by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Players are listed by their Box-Toppers point (BTP) total for 2015 and their Box-Toppers rank in their award category. Both players who led their leagues in batting in Box-Toppers points who were not named as finalists are listed in italics.
|Cy Young finalists|
|David Price||Blue Jays||21.1||2|
|MVP Awards finalists|
|Josh Donaldson||Blue Jays||9.9||7|
* Rank shows a player’s rank among potential players eligible for the award. For example, AL Cy Young finalists are ranked among AL pitchers, AL MVP finalists are ranked among AL batters.
** Adrian Beltre and Carlos Gonzalez both led their leagues in Box-Toppers points among batters but neither was named a finalist for their league’s MVP award.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who vote on the award-winners, announced the finalists, who usually are the top three in voting. The Cy Young Award winners will be announced Wednesday and the Most Valuable Player Award winners will be announced Thursday.
NL Cy Young
Box-Toppers’ 2015 Player of the Year Jake Arrieta of the Cubs is among the finalists for the National League Cy Young Award. Arrieta led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2015 with 29.1, the eighth-highest single-season point total since 1995, when Box-Toppers record keeping began.
Other NL Cy Young finalists:
- Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw finished second in Box-Toppers points among all players with 25.7, which is tied for the 20th-highest single-season point total since 1995. Kershaw led NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points from 2011 to 2014 and led all players in Box-Toppers points in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Kershaw won the 2014 Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards in the NL.
- Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke finished fifth among NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points with 20.7. Besides Arrieta and Kershaw, the NL pitchers ranked ahead of him are Jacob deGrom of the Mets (22.4 Box-Toppers points) and Max Scherzer of the Nationals (21.0 points). However, Greinke was voted as NL Outstanding Pitcher in the Players’ Choice Awards given by the players’ union.
AL Cy Young
Box-Toppers’ top-ranked AL pitcher Dallas Keuchel of the Astros is among the finalists for the American League Cy Young Award. Keuchel led AL pitchers with 21.4 Box-Toppers points, ranking fourth among all players. Keuchel was voted as AL Outstanding Pitcher in the Players’ Choice Awards given by the players’ union.
Other AL Cy Young finalists:
- Blue Jays pitcher David Price ranked second among AL pitchers with 21.1 Box-Toppers points. Price was traded from the Tigers to the Blue Jays prior to the July trade deadline.
- Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray ranked sixth among AL pitchers with 17.8 Box-Toppers points. The other AL pitchers ranked ahead of Gray are Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (19.4 Box-Toppers points), Chris Sale of the White Sox (18.8 points) and Carlos Carrasco of the Indians (18.0).
It was a down year for batters in both leagues in Box-Toppers points. The leaders in both leagues had the lowest Box-Toppers point total to league their leagues in batting in 21 years of Box-Toppers record keeping.
Adrian Beltre of the Rangers led AL batters in Box-Toppers points with 12.5, tied for the lowest point total to lead a single season in AL batting with Aubrey Huff of the Orioles, who led AL batters in 2008 with 12.5 points.
But Beltre is not among the three finalists listed by the baseball writers for the AL MVP award. They are:
- Mike Trout of the Angels, who ranked second among AL batters with 12.0 Box-Toppers points. Trout was AL MVP in 2014.
- Josh Donaldson the Blue Jays, who ranked seventh among AL batters with 9.9 Box-Toppers points. Donaldson actually ranked third among Blue Jays batters in Box-Toppers points behind Edwin Encarnacion (10.4) and Jose Bautista (10.0). Donaldson was voted Players Choice Player of the Year and AL Outstanding Player by the players’ union.
- Lorenzo Cain of the Royals, who ranked 10th among AL batters with 8.2 Box-Toppers points.
Other AL batters high in Box-Toppers rankings who were excluded from the AL MVP finalist list are Prince Fielder of the Rangers (third among AL batters with 11.5 Box-Toppers points), Chris Davis of the Orioles (fourth with 11.0 points), Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox (eighth with 9.5) and Eric Hosmer of the Royals (ninth with 9.0).
Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies led NL batters in Box-Toppers points with 11.5, the lowest point total to lead any single season category since Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995. The previous low was in 2014 when Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies led NL batters with 11.6 points.
Gonzalez is not among the three finalists for NL MVP. They are:
- Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, who ranks fourth among NL batters with 10.2 Box-Toppers points.
- Bryce Harper of the Nationals, who ranks seventh among NL batters with 9.0 Box-Toppers points. Harper was voted as NL Outstanding Player in the Players’ Choice Awards given by the players’ union.
- Joey Votto of the Reds, who ranks 32nd among NL batters with 5.0 Box-Toppers points. How could someone who ranks so low be deemed an MVP finalist? Votto ranks highly in statistics involving wins above replacement (WAR). Baseball-Reference.com has him listed as seventh among all players with a WAR of 7.6. He led the NL in bases on balls in 2015 with 143. Batters who lead in Box-Toppers points often hit for power and/or come from teams with a lot of wins. Votto’s power numbers are decent (29 homers, 80 RBIs) but his Reds had one of baseball’s worst records, winning only 64. (Still, Gonzalez led NL batters though his Rockies won only 68.)
Other NL batters high in Box-Toppers rankings who were excluded from the NL MVP finalist list are Yoensis Cespedes of the Mets (second among NL batters with 10.9 Box-Toppers points—though 6.7 of the points came while he was with the AL Tigers), Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates (third among NL batters with 10.5 Box-Toppers points), Randal Grichuk of the Cardinals (fifth with 9.5 points), Justin Upton of the Padres (sixth, 9.0) and Todd Frazier of the Reds (eighth, 8.9).
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers points are a measure of how much a player provides key contributions to his team’s wins. Specifically, Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.