It’s awards season, which means I’ll take a break from my usual off-season updates and reflect upon the year that was.
- Cardinal Player of the Year:Albert Pujols-This one isn’t even close. Albert had a monster season, putting up a .327/.443/.658 line and being an 8.4 WAR player.
Cardinal Pitcher of the Year: Adam Wainwright-I can see the argument for Carpenter, but I went with Wainwright because of the quantity of innings over Carpenter’s slightly better quality of innings. Also, Wainwright was worth 5.7 WAR, and Carpenter was a 5.6 WAR pitcher. If the Cardinals had more viable replacements to step in the rotation and help if other pitchers got hurt, I might go with Carpenter, but with the Cardinals being pretty thin in rotation depth, the innings that Wainwright provided helped save the bullpen from being overworked and helped the Cardinals limit the innings guys like Mitchell Boggs and PJ Walters had to throw.
Game of the Year: September 26 @ Rockies-This was the closest thing the Cardinals had to celebrating a World Series this year, and it was also a fantastic game in itself. Wainwright struck out 11 in 8 strong innings, and the go-ahead homer from backup Jason Larue was huge as well.
Surprise Player of the Year: Brendan Ryan-Raise your hand if you thought Brendan Ryan would be a 3.2 WAR shortstop this year? Yeah, me neither. Ryan now appears to be the long term solution at shortstop after flashing a .740 ops and playing gold glove caliber defense. Schumaker and Franklin were also pleasant surprises, but Schumaker was labeled the second baseman in spring training and Franklin was a candidate to close all along.
Disappointing Player of the Year: Rick Ankiel-Ankiel managed a .672 ops in his free agent year and generally just looked lost at the plate. I don’t need to post stats here when it was clear to everyone who watched the Cardinals that Rick Ankiel was a massive bust in 2009. Some blame it on his shoulder, which he reportedly injured in his collision with the wall early in the year, but the truth is he wasn’t hitting before that either. Khalil Green was also a candidate here, but he wasn’t coming off an .843 ops season like Rick was.
Cardinal Rookie of the Year: Colby Rasmus-Another no brainer, Colby had an up and down rookie campaign offensively, but was a defensive standout and was worth 2.3 WAR. Colby looks to have the center field position for the Cardinals covered for a long time.
Off-Season Acquisition of the Year: Trever Miller-This was really an uninspiring list, as the Cardinals were unable to really make a splash last off-season. Miller, however did fill the role of lefty specialist very nicely, posting a 2.01 ERA and a sub-1 whip on the year.
Mid-Season Acquisition of the Year: Matt Holliday-Matt Holliday was so productive in the 2 months the Cardinals had him that he was their fourth most productive player for the season per WAR, finishing behind Pujols, Molina, and Brendan Ryan.
Most Anticipated Cardinal: Shelby Miller(RHP)-My most anticipated Cardinal is also the farthest away. Miller arguably has the most potential of any Cardinal prospect and is their best pitching prospect since Ankiel. Miller possesses a low to mid 90-‘s fastball and complements it with sharp but inconsistent curve. His arrival date is still several years away, but Miller has the potential to be a top of the rotation starter for the Cardinals.
Best Individual Blog: Fungoes-Obviously there are a lot of good choices, but I am a huge fan of the Sabermetric viewpoint of the Fungoes blog.
Best Team Blog: Viva El Birdos-I have followed VEB for a long time and it’s a must read every morning. Highly recommend.
Best Media Blog: Cardinal Beat-This was another hard choice, but with different Cardinal beat writers contributing, it’s very good for off-season rumors and other stories around baseball.
Best UCB Project: Roundtables-I think this is a fantastic way for bloggers to weigh in on different issues and happenings surrounding the Cardinals
-For the final 3. questions(which can be found here http://www.cardinal70.com/united-cardinal-bloggers/2009-cardinal-blogger-awards-n.php#bottom), I have to admit I am new to some of these other sites and didn’t want to voice an opinion that I did not feel strongly about.
-Special thanks to cardinal70.com “c70 at the bat” for organizing these awards, be sure to visit his site to see the results coming up soon!
-Agree or Disagree? Drop a comment in the section below and I’ll be happy to explain my reasoning.
-As for Saturday, I’ll be delving into the rumors and ramblings of the winter meetings and examining John Mozeliak’s strategies in building the 2010 Cardinals.