This afternoon the Major League Baseball Players Association announced the finalists for the 2020 Awards that are voted on for the players. There are only four awards in play here, and only one Cincinnati Reds player was announced as a finalist (of three). Trevor Bauer, to the surprise of no one, as named one of the finalists for outstanding pitcher in the National League. He’s joined by Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish and New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom.
These votes are done by the players themselves. Take that for what you will – it may mean more to the players who win because it was their peers that actually chimed in with their opinion on who was the best. On the other hand, you would probably expect writers to put in more effort into the research behind the voting than the players do because the players have far more important things going on with their jobs.
No matter how you want to slice that pie, though, the players seemed to get the three finalists correct in the National League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher category. Trevor Bauer led the National League in ERA, complete games, ERA+, WHIP, hits allowed per 9-innings pitched, and batting average against. Jacob deGrom led the league in strikeouts for the second straight season, and he did so while posting a 2.38 ERA in 68.0 innings and a 0.96 WHIP for the Mets. Yu Darvish led the league with 8 wins while posting a 2.01 ERA in 76.0 innings with a 0.96 WHIP for the Cubs.
As we argued previously – it seems obvious to us that Trevor Bauer had the best performance of any pitcher in the National League in 2020. He should be the favorite to win the Cy Young Award this year, which would make him the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to ever win the award. But predicting awards isn’t always easy, and in 2020 we’ve come to expect the unexpected.
The players voting was done in mid-September, while games were still being played. The winners for the players choice awards will be announced on October 22nd – that’s next Thursday.