Four Cubs finalists for BBWAA Awards in the National League … Kris Bryant (MVP), Jon Lester (Cy Young), Kyle Hendricks (Cy Young) and Joe Maddon (Manager)
Three players and the skipper of the World Series Champion, Chicago Cubs are finalists for Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) Awards for the 2016 season.
Kris Bryant is one of three finalists for the NL MVP. Bryant is the favorite to win the award over Daniel Murphy (Nationals) and Corey Seager (Dodgers). At the very least, Bryant is the first Cubs’ player to finish in the top three in NL MVP voting since Derrek Lee (2005).
Two of the three finalists for the NL Cy Young Award pitched in the same rotation this season. Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are in the running for the top pitching award in the NL, along with favorite Max Scherzer of the Nationals.
Joe Maddon led the Cubs to 103 wins in the regular season and an NL Central Division Crown. The Cubs have won 200 games under Maddon the last two seasons. Maddon was the NL Manager of the Year last season and is up against Dusty Baker (Nationals) and Dave Roberts (Dodgers), who is expected to win the award in his first year as a big league manager.
2016 BBWAA Awards – Finalists
- NL Rookie of the Year: Kenta Maeda (Dodgers), Corey Seager (Dodgers), Trea Turner (Nationals)
- NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker (Nationals), Joe Maddon (Cubs), Dave Roberts (Dodgers)
- NL Cy Young Award: Kyle Hendricks (Cubs), Jon Lester (Cubs), Max Scherzer (Nationals)
- NL Most Valuable Player: Kris Bryant (Cubs), Daniel Murphy (Nationals), Corey Seager (Dodgers)
- AL Rookie of the Year: Michael Fulmer (Tigers), Tyler Naquin (Indians), Gary Sanchez (Yankees)
- AL Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister (Rangers), Terry Francona (Indians), Buck Showalter (Orioles)
- AL Cy Young Award: Corey Kluber (Indians), Rick Porcello (Red Sox), Justin Verlander (Tigers)
- AL Most Valuable Player: Jose Altuve (Astros), Mookie Betts (Red Sox), Mike Trout (Angels)
Theo Epstein was in charge of the baseball operation departments in Boston and in Chicago when Mookie Betts (2011) and Kris Bryant (2013) were drafted.
2016 BBWAA Awards Announcements
- Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards – Monday, Nov. 14 (5:00pm CST)
- Manager of the Year Awards – Tuesday, Nov. 15 (5:00pm CST)
- Cy Young Awards – Wednesday, Nov. 16 (5:00pm CST)
- Most Valuable Player Awards – Thursday, Nov. 17 (5:00pm CST)
Kris Bryant is the prohibitive favorite to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Bryant had a sensational season in his first full year in the majors. Bryant excelled at the plate after making the adjustments from year one to year two. And he played six different positions in the field while spending most of his time at third base.
Bryant batted .292/.385/.554 with 35 doubles, three triples and 39 home runs for a .939 OPS. Bryant had 102 RBI and scored a league-best 121 runs. Bryant lined up behind Dexter Fowler and batted a majority of the season in the two-hole of Joe Maddon’s order.
If Bryant wins the NL MVP Award, he will join Ryan Howard (2005, 2006) and Cal Ripken Jr. (1982, 1983) as the third player in Major League history to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons.
Kris Bryant has a very good chance of being the College Player of the Year (2013), Minor League Player of the Year (2014), NL Rookie of the Year (2015) and NL MVP (2016) in consecutive seasons.
Jon Lester pitched this past season like many thought he would in his first year with the Cubs. Lester had an excellent season while posting numbers similar to the ones he did a year ago. Lester led the best rotation in baseball throughout the 162-game schedule and into the postseason.
Lester made 32 starts and was 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 3.41 FIP. Lester allowed 57 runs, 55 earned, on 154 hits with 52 walks and 197 strikeouts in 202 2/3 innings.
Lester finished second in ERA to Kyle Hendricks, second in wins in the National League and third in WHIP.
Kyle Hendricks led all of baseball in ERA (2.13) during what is viewed as his breakout season. Hendricks had an excellent year while putting up similar peripheral numbers to the ones he had last season in his first full year in a big league rotation.
Hendricks did not allow more than four earned runs in any of his 30 starts this past season.
Kyle Hendricks was 16-8 with a 2.13 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 3.20 FIP. Hendricks gave up 53 runs, 45 earned, on 142 hits with 44 walks and 170 strikeouts in 190 innings.
While it will have zero impact on him winning the NL Cy Young Award, Hendricks started both Game 6 of the NLCS and Game 7 of The World Series. And Hendricks was sensational in two of the biggest games in last 75 years of the franchise.
If Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks wins the Cy Young Award, the Cubs would become the ninth team, first since the 2007-08 Indians (C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee) , to have the Cy Young Award winner in consecutive seasons on the same team.
Joe Maddon won his third Manager of the Year award last season and led the Cubs to 103 wins in his second year at the helm. Maddon has won 200 games over the past two seasons, a NL Pennant and a World Series title.
Maddon is the first Cubs’ manager to win 200 or more games combined in back-to-back seasons since Frank Chance posted 208 victories in 1909-10.
Joe Maddon and his coaching staff did an incredible job of navigating the Cubs through the rigors and expectations of the regular season. The Cubs were the best team in baseball from Day 1 of Spring Training to the final game of the year on Nov. 2.
Maddon is not expected to repeat as the NL Manager of the Year. The Dodgers’ Dave Roberts is the favorite to be named NL Manager of the Year in his first season as a big league skipper.