Terry Francona was named a finalist for the 2016 American League Manager of the Year Award.
Jeff Bannister and Buck Showalter are also finalists.
Tyler Naquin was named a finalist for the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year Award.
Michael Fulmer and Gary Sanchez are also finalists.
Corey Kluber was named a finalist for the 2016 American League Cy Young Award.
Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander are also finalists.
This is just my personal opinion, but it’s tough to put any manager ahead of Francona for the job he did managing an injury-ridden pitching staff and how he was able to get production out of an offense missing All-Star Michael Brantley, using a platoon system with rookies and veterans, who had some of the best seasons in their careers in 2016.
Francona is a virtual lock to win A.L. Manager of the Year.
As much as Tribe fans love Naquin, Fulmer’s numbers are too good to ignore.
The Tigers’ right-hander posted a 3.06 ERA (third among A.L. pitchers with more than 150 innings pitched) and struck out 136 batters in 159 innings.
Sanchez only played only 53 games, but hit 20 homers and drove in 42 runs. Naquin hit 14 homers and drove in 43 runs in 116 games.
Fulmer seems to be the best candidate for the award, hands down.
American League Cy Young is a toss-up.
Kluber, Verlander, and Porcello are not far apart in ERA, strikeouts, or innings pitched.
Votes were already cast before the Playoffs, so despite his amazing postseason, Kluber will not be credited with those outstanding performances in the decision for the award.
As much as we know how valuable Kluber was in Cleveland, it would not be a surprise at all if Porcello or Verlander are named Cy Young, but I believe this will be the closest race of all the awards.
Francona, Fulmer, Kluber
NL Manager: Joe Maddon
NL MVP: Kris Bryant
NL Cy Young: I would like to put Jose Fernandez (rest in peace), but Kyle Hendricks is the eligible player I would choose.
The honors will be announced next week on MLB Network.
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