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Sports End-of-season awards for each MLB team

15:36  30 october  2020
15:36  30 october  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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  Jose Altuve may have the yips, but he's also raking Jose Altuve, the Houston Astros' embattled second baseman, is having a rough go of it in the field right now. The prevailing diagnosis is a case of the yips. At any rate, Altuve's sudden inability to make routine throws cost the Astros dearly in Games 2 and 3 of the American League Championship Series and played an outsized role in helping the Tampa Bay Rays grab a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. In Game 4, however, with the Astros on the brink of elimination, Altuve did a fine job redeeming himself, albeit in the batter's box, blasting a solo shot off right-hander Tyler Glasnow in his first at-bat of the game to give Houston a first-inning lead.

The 2020 season has come to an end, so it's time for theScore's MLB editors to hand out individual awards for each club.

  End-of-season awards for each MLB team © Ron Schwane / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Arizona Diamondbacks

MVP: Zac Gallen

Best Pitcher: Zac Gallen

Most Improved: Merrill Kelly

Most Disappointing: Madison Bumgarner

Best Rookie: Riley Smith

The Diamondbacks failed to meet lofty expectations after spending $85 million to sign Bumgarner in free agency. Gallen, however, continued to show a lot of promise in Arizona's rotation, recording a sub-3.00 ERA for the second consecutive season while maintaining high strikeout numbers (10.3 K/9).

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Atlanta Braves

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MVP: Freddie Freeman

Best Pitcher: Max Fried

Most Improved: Marcell Ozuna

Most Disappointing: Cole Hamels

Best Rookie: Ian Anderson

Freeman is undoubtedly the team's MVP. But, when Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending Achilles injury and the Braves became desperate for someone to prop up an uncertain pitching staff, Fried answered the call. He went 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and didn't surrender a home run until his final start of the campaign. When Soroka returns, he'll form an intimidating top three alongside Fried and Anderson.

Baltimore Orioles

MVP: Jose Iglesias

Best Pitcher: Dean Kremer

Most Improved: Anthony Santander

Most Disappointing: John Means

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Best Rookie: Ryan Mountcastle

Mountcastle didn't make his MLB debut until nearly a month into the 2020 season. While questions have been asked about his defense - and what position he'll ultimately stick at - his bat had no trouble adjusting to major-league pitching. Mountcastle slashed .333/.386/.492 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 35 contests while never going hitless for more than two games.

Boston Red Sox

MVP: Alex Verdugo

Best Pitcher: Nate Eovaldi

Most Improved: Alex Verdugo

Most Disappointing: J.D. Martinez

Best Rookie: Bobby Dalbec

Boston struggled to one of baseball's worst records and finished with its lowest winning percentage since 1965. Verdugo, who was acquired in the Mookie Betts deal, stood out among the chaos. He finished second on the Red Sox in WAR while recording career-best marks in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging.

Chicago Cubs

MVP: Yu Darvish

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Best Pitcher: Yu Darvish

Most Improved: Ian Happ

Most Disappointing: Kris Bryant

Best Rookie: Adbert Alzolay

Losing to the Miami Marlins in the wild-card round is not how the Cubs envisioned their season ending, but there were some highs as well. Among them was Darvish, who put together his best campaign of an already strong career. The 34-year-old finished with a 2.01 ERA and 2.23 FIP to go along with 11.0 K/9, 0.6 HR/9, and 1.7 BB/9.

Chicago White Sox

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MVP: Jose Abreu

Best Pitcher: Lucas Giolito

Most Improved: Dallas Keuchel

Most Disappointing: Edwin Encarnacion

Best Rookie: Luis Robert

Abreu might as well trademark "veteran presence," as he led a young White Sox team to the postseason for the first time since 2008. The 33-year-old had an MVP-caliber campaign thanks to a career-high .987 OPS with 19 homers and an MLB-leading 60 RBIs in 60 games.

Cincinnati Reds

MVP: Trevor Bauer

Best Pitcher: Trevor Bauer

Most Improved: Jesse Winker

Most Disappointing: Eugenio Suarez

Best Rookie: Tejay Antone

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Bauer was lights-out and should be the first pitcher in team history to collect a Cy Young award thanks to his NL-leading 1.73 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. The bad news? The righty is a free agent and may end his Reds tenure after 21 starts over parts of two seasons.

Cleveland Indians

MVP: Jose Ramirez

Best Pitcher: Shane Bieber

Most Improved: Zach Plesac

Most Disappointing: Carlos Santana

Best Rookie: James Karinchak

The Indians could very easily end up with the AL's MVP and Cy Young winners. Bieber was magnificent and put up historic numbers during the short campaign. The 25-year-old posted a 1.63 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP, and 14.2 K/9 over 12 starts. Meanwhile, Ramirez accrued the best fWAR in the Junior Circuit and finished hotter than just about anyone after batting .366 with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs in 23 September games.

Colorado Rockies

MVP: Trevor Story

Best Pitcher: German Marquez

Most Improved: Daniel Bard

Most Disappointing: Nolan Arenado

Best Rookie: Josh Fuentes

The Rockies plummeted back to earth after a scorching-hot start to the season, but Story never seemed to cool off. The shortstop not only posted an .874 OPS with 11 homers, 13 doubles, and 28 RBIs, but he also led the NL in steals and triples, finished third among MLB shortstops in WAR, and played above-average defense at one of the game's trickiest positions.

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Detroit Tigers

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Hannah Foslien / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Jeimer Candelario

Best Pitcher: Spencer Turnbull

Most Improved: Jeimer Candelario

Most Disappointing: Matt Boyd

Best Rookie: Willi Castro

The rebuilding Tigers were in playoff contention until the final month of the season, and Candelario played a big role in their run. The 26-year-old recovered from an abysmal 2019 campaign to post an .872 OPS. He led the Tigers in runs scored and doubles and finished top three in hits, homers, RBIs, batting average, and on-base percentage.

Houston Astros

MVP: George Springer

Best Pitcher: Zack Greinke

Most Improved: Framber Valdez

Most Disappointing: Jose Altuve

Best Rookie: Cristian Javier

The Astros managed to reach Game 7 of the ALCS without Justin Verlander, and some credit has to be given to Valdez. The 26-year-old left-hander was arguably as good as Greinke during the regular season, authoring a 3.57 ERA, a 2.85 FIP, and 9.7 K/9, but he was even more tremendous across 24 postseason frames, allowing five runs and winning three games. Two of his victories came against the AL champion Rays, striking out 17 in 12 innings.

Kansas City Royals

MVP: Salvador Perez

Best Pitcher: Brad Keller

Most Improved: Maikel Franco

Most Disappointing: Jorge Soler

Best Rookie: Brady Singer

Perez bounced back nicely after missing the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. The longtime Royals catcher hit .333 and led the team in homers and OPS. In fact, Perez accrued the highest WAR among catchers with 150 plate appearances during the shortened campaign, beating out elite backstops such as J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal.

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Los Angeles Angels

MVP: Mike Trout

Best Pitcher: Dylan Bundy

Most Improved: Dylan Bundy

Most Disappointing: Shohei Ohtani

Best Rookie: Jared Walsh

Bundy was one of the most pleasant surprises in an otherwise disappointing season in Anaheim. The right-hander finally emerged as a top starter after breaking into the league as a can't-miss prospect with the Orioles. The 27-year-old registered a 2.95 FIP with a career-high 9.9 K/9.

Los Angeles Dodgers

a group of baseball players standing on top of a field: Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Mookie Betts

Best Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw

Most Improved: Corey Seager

Most Disappointing: Cody Bellinger

Best Rookie: Tony Gonsolin

Very few teams feature the type of firepower that the Dodgers possess. Los Angeles rosters two MVP winners in their primes in Betts and Bellinger. However, Seager's re-emergence has been crucial to the offense reaching new heights, as he's become the star he was on track to be following back-to-back All-Star nods in 2016 and 2017. The 26-year-old accrued a .943 OPS with 15 homers and 41 RBIs in 52 games.

Miami Marlins

MVP: Brian Anderson

Best Pitcher: Pablo Lopez

Most Improved: Garrett Cooper

Most Disappointing: Jordan Yamamoto

Best Rookie: Sixto Sanchez

The Marlins are starting to see the fruits of their labor after trading away superstars J.T. Realmuto, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich in recent years. Sanchez was the key piece that came from the Phillies in the Realmuto deal. He looked good during his first taste of the big leagues, and his otherworldy changeup is poised to frustrate hitters for years to come.

Milwaukee Brewers

MVP: Corbin Burnes

Best Pitcher: Corbin Burnes

Most Improved: Corbin Burnes

Most Disappointing: Christian Yelich

Best Rookie: Devin Williams

The Brewers' rotation seemed like a mess entering the season. But following Burnes' breakout, Milwaukee now boasts a formidable 1-2 punch with him and Brandon Woodruff. It was an impressive turnaround for Burnes, who was demoted to the bullpen in 2019 while allowing 17 home runs and pitching to an 8.82 ERA in 49 innings. The 25-year-old suppressed the long ball in 2020, serving up only two in just under 60 innings.

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Minnesota Twins

MVP: Nelson Cruz

Best Pitcher: Kenta Maeda

Most Improved: Byron Buxton

Most Disappointing: Mitch Garver

Best Rookie: Randy Dobnak

Maeda was even better than advertised following an offseason trade with the Dodgers and cemented himself as a legitimate ace. His 2.70 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 10.80 K/9 were all career bests, and he failed to complete at least six innings in only three of his 11 starts. He'll continue to anchor the rotation going forward, as he's not slated to hit free agency until after 2023.

New York Mets

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Steven Ryan / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Steven Ryan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Michael Conforto

Best Pitcher: Jacob deGrom

Most Improved: Dominic Smith

Most Disappointing: Pete Alonso

Best Rookie: Andres Gimenez

After a couple of years of false starts and uncertainty surrounding his defensive position, Smith finally came into his own at the dish. He led the Mets in RBIs (42), wRC+ (165), and OPS (.993) while drilling 10 home runs in 50 games. Only Conforto (2.0) was worth more WAR than Smith (1.8) on the offensive side of the ball.

New York Yankees

MVP: DJ LeMahieu

Best Pitcher: Gerrit Cole

Most Improved: Clint Frazier

Most Disappointing: Gary Sanchez

Best Rookie: Deivi Garcia

LeMahieu became the first player in the modern era to claim a batting title in both leagues after he hit .364 over 50 games for the Yankees. His 177 wRC+ led the American League and showed he may be New York's most indispensable player just as he hits free agency.

Oakland Athletics

MVP: Liam Hendriks

Best Pitcher: Liam Hendriks

Most Improved: Chris Bassitt

Most Disappointing: Marcus Semien

Best Rookie: Sean Murphy

Hendriks blew a save on Opening Day and was saddled with his only loss in his final appearance. In between, he recorded 14 saves with a 0.78 ERA (0.37 FIP) and 34 strikeouts over 23 dominant innings and ultimately earned a much-deserved AL Reliever of the Year award.

Philadelphia Phillies

MVP: Bryce Harper

Best Pitcher: Aaron Nola

Most Improved: Phil Gosselin

Most Disappointing: Jake Arrieta

Best Rookie: Alec Bohm

If it wasn't already apparent, the Arrieta contract has not paid off. Injuries have played a part in his lackluster tenure, but that provides little consolation for a team that desperately needs more consistency from its pitching staff apart from Nola and Zack Wheeler. Arrieta's 5.08 ERA was his worst since his Orioles days, and he hadn't struggled so much to strike out opponents (6.50 K/9) since his rookie year. There's a good chance his option for 2021 doesn't get picked up.

Pittsburgh Pirates

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Kirk Irwin / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Kirk Irwin / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Ke'Bryan Hayes

Best Pitcher: Richard Rodriguez

Most Improved: Steven Brault

Most Disappointing: Josh Bell

Best Rookie: Ke'Bryan Hayes

Like the Orioles' Ryan Mountcastle, Hayes made his debut late in the season and made the most of it. Though he played in only 24 games, he slashed .376/.442/.682 with five home runs, seven doubles, two triples, and 11 RBIs while leading all MLB rookies with 1.7 fWAR.

San Diego Padres

MVP: Manny Machado

Best Pitcher: Dinelson Lamet

Most Improved: Wil Myers

Most Disappointing: Chris Paddack

Best Rookie: Jake Cronenworth

Fernando Tatis Jr. made the headlines, but Machado was slightly more consistent and finished stronger, which gives him the edge as club MVP. Machado hit .304/.370/.580 with 16 homers. Tatis suffered from a prolonged slump in September during which he hit .208 and only four bombs after going deep 11 times in August. Regardless, this should be one of baseball's most exciting duos for years to come.

San Francisco Giants

MVP: Mike Yastrzemski

Best Pitcher: Kevin Gausman

Most Improved: Alex Dickerson

Most Disappointing: Johnny Cueto

Best Rookie: Mauricio Dubon

Yastrzemski gave hope to late bloomers everywhere as he built on a solid 2019 rookie season with what looked at times like an MVP-caliber campaign in 2020. The 30-year-old hit .297 with 10 home runs and posted a .400 OBP thanks to nearly doubling his walk rate to 13.3%.

Seattle Mariners

MVP: Kyle Lewis

Best Pitcher: Marco Gonzales

Most Improved: Justus Sheffield

Most Disappointing: Evan White

Best Rookie: Kyle Lewis

Lewis made fantastic strides at the plate after a promising but undisciplined stint in 2019. He improved his walk rate from 4.0% to 14.0%, struck out much less frequently, and blasted 11 homers in 58 games. He'll likely become the first Mariner to win Rookie of the Year since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.

St. Louis Cardinals

a man wearing a hat throwing a baseball: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Paul Goldschmidt

Best Pitcher: Kwang-hyun Kim

Most Improved: Austin Gomber

Most Disappointing: Jack Flaherty

Best Rookie: Kwang-hyun Kim

Expectations were understandably lofty for Flaherty after he finished fourth in Cy Young voting in 2019, but while the overall numbers (4.91 ERA, 3.6 BB/9) are cringeworthy, much of that can be attributed to one start when he allowed nine earned runs over three innings. Still, he rarely went deep into games thanks to a drastically inflated walk rate. He's expected to be the ace for years, so the Cardinals need him to be better.

Tampa Bay Rays

MVP: Brandon Lowe

Best Pitcher: Blake Snell

Most Improved: Willy Adames

Most Disappointing: Austin Meadows

Best Rookie: Randy Arozarena

Arozarena was turning heads with his offensive prowess even before he set the postseason on fire with a record-setting 10 homers. Though he only appeared in 23 games, he mashed seven home runs and slashed .281/.382/.641. Add in his playoff exploits, and he was easily one of the brightest parts of an incredible Rays season.

Texas Rangers

MVP: Lance Lynn

Best Pitcher: Lance Lynn

Most Improved: Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Most Disappointing: Joey Gallo

Best Rookie: Jonathan Hernandez

Lynn fell off a cliff after roaring out of the gate. Over his first seven starts, he went 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA and never allowed more than two earned runs. His 5.35 ERA over his final six games was less impressive, though it's bloated by two horrible outings. Still, Lynn was far and away the best part of the Rangers' season, which is a solid indicator of how things went.

Toronto Blue Jays

MVP: Teoscar Hernandez

Best Pitcher: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Most Improved: Teoscar Hernandez

Most Disappointing: Danny Jansen

Best Rookie: Thomas Hatch

The Blue Jays' offense was powered by a group of young and exciting position players, including the surprising Hernandez. The slugger enjoyed a breakout campaign, going deep 16 times and posting a .919 OPS over 50 contests. Those numbers might have translated to a 50-homer season over 162 games.

Washington Nationals

a close up of a person throwing a baseball on a field: Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MVP: Juan Soto

Best Pitcher: Max Scherzer

Most Improved: Trea Turner

Most Disappointing: Patrick Corbin

Best Rookie: Kyle Finnegan

It was a rough season for the defending champs, but Soto showed he's going to be a perennial MVP candidate. The 21-year-old didn't miss a beat despite a late start due to a bout of COVID-19. In 47 games, the outfielder hit .351 with a ridiculous 1.185 OPS, 13 home runs, 14 doubles, 37 RBIs, and 41 walks (including an MLB-leading 12 intentional free passes) compared to 28 strikeouts.

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Opinion: Renaming AL and NL MVP awards after Josh Gibson is the right thing to do .
Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who prevented MLB from being integrated, had his name removed from the MVP awards. Changing to Josh Gibson would be fitting.Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the MLB commissioner from 1920 to '44 who prevented the game from being integrated during his reign, will no longer have his name on the MVP awards following a resounding vote by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

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