The Jet Stream Vol. 12 — “Hot Take Factory III”

NOV. 1— The Factory. Back again, and no longer about the Boston Red Sox, thank God. Season Awards. Double the takes. Let’s do it.

First, the AL:

1. Cy Young

Although its pretty boring, Blake Snell is the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2018. He won 21 games (and was the only pitcher in the AL to reach 20) and posted an impressive 1.89 ERA. Also, the Tampa Bay Rays being pretty good should definitely help his case. Chris Sale being on and off the field, Verlander being good on a great staff, and Luis Severino being awful in the second half help his case even more.

2. MVP

Mookie Betts, clearly. His triple-stat line is immense (.346/.438/.640) and he finished the season with an OPS of 1.078, which is unfair…32 HR, 47 doubles, and 129 runs scored doesn’t hurt either. Oh, and he is the best defensive outfielder in the league, bar none. Mookie takes the award going away.

3. Rookie of the Year

“Not Shohei Ohtani. NOT SHOHEI OHTANI!!”

4. Manager of the Year

It’s hard not to pick Alex Cora, although Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has a case for winning the award as well. 108 regular season wins, followed by the dismantling of the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers en route to a World Series Championship isn’t half bad, for a freshman.

5. Platinum Glove Award

Given to the best defender in each league, who in the case of the American League, is Matt Chapman. Do yourself a favor and go watch his highlights at third base this year for the A’s. Filthy.

6. Surprise of the Year

The Tampa Bay Rays winning 90 games is far and away the biggest surprise in the American League, if not the whole of baseball. An even bigger surprise than the number of games they won is the fact that they did it “bullpenning” in the worst stadium in professional sports.

7. Performance of the Year

James Paxton’s no-hitter was brilliant. To do it against the Toronto Blue Jays made the moment for the Canadian-born lefty all the more special, and gave us something to get excited about early in the year.

8. Moment of the Year

The 13 pitch war between Mookie Betts and the baseball gods that resulted in a moon shot grand slam over the Green Monster was wild, and highlighted the invincible nature of the Red Sox all year. That ball was mutilated.

9. Favorite Player

Francisco “Mr. Smile” Lindor…great ballplayer, even better human. Cleveland doesn’t know how good they’ve got it being able to watch him play shortstop everyday.

Now, the NL:

1. Cy Young

Although it would be super cool if Jacob DeGrom won the award, (and I do think there is a case to be made) it is suredly going to be Max Scherzer’s this year. 220 IP and 300 K’s, which equates to a 12.24 ‘Strikeouts per 9 IP’. Scherzer won 18 games on a terrible Washington Nationals team, and posted a 2.53 ERA…he’s a baller.

2. MVP

.326/.402/.598…36 homeruns, 110 RBI, 22 stolen bases. He led the league in total bases with 343 as well as in ‘Adjusted OPS+’ with 164 (the next closest came in at 150). Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich had arguably one of the most offensively proficient seasons we have seen in a long time, and did it all in his first year coming over from Miami, which should not be overlooked. He’s a complete freakshow.

3. Rookie of the Year

“Thank God it can’t be Shohei Ohtani”

4. Manager of the Year

Although Craig Counsell led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 96–67 record and the NL Central Division title (as well as an appearance in the NLCS) my winner is Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black. 91–72 for a team that lacks the quality of a team like the Brewers or even the Los Angeles Dodgers is rather impressive. Believe it or not, they finished the year winning nine of their last 11 games, which is in part to Black’s knowledge of the game and his team.

5. Platinum Glove Award

It should be Nolan Arenado. It probably WILL be Nolan Arenado, but my Platinum Glove Award winner for 2018 is Lorenzo Cain. He posted a Defensive WAR of 2.4 on the year, which came in second to only Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and makes really difficult plays looks like they require no effort. What’s great about all of this is that when either Arenado or Cain goes and wins the award, I will be able to say “At least it wasn’t Shohei Ohtani”.

6. Surprise of the Year

The surprise of the year in the National League is the Pittsburgh Pirates, for first letting go of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in the offseason, only to then be buyers at the trade deadline. As far as bad moves go, that one is way up there.

7. Performance of the Year

To a player that won’t win much of anything this year, Matt Carpenter. His triple-slash line looks good (.257/.374/.523) and he hit 36 homeruns. If the St. Louis Cardinals made the postseason there would’ve been a legitimate case that Carpenter should’ve garnered MVP consideration, but he will have to deal with ‘Performance of the Year’ on The Jet Stream as a consolation prize. I’m sure he will be happy to find out he won…

8. Moment of the Year

The moment of the year, for all of the wrong reasons, was Manny Machado looking to intentionally injure Brewers first basemen Jesus Aguilar in the NLCS. Besides Bryce Harper, Machado will garner the most attention during this offseason as a free agent, and instances of his poor sportsmanship and dangerous play will be the talk of the winter. Purely based off of the frequency in which it will be brought up in the coming months, that moment wins the award without much competition.

9. Favorite Player

Javy Baez…the living, breathing highlight reel.

Happy Thursday, Go Yanks

, Jet

My name is Maxwell Argento and I am a John Carroll University and Connecticut School of Broadcasting Alum who is an aspiring sports media professional!