Each year, the United Cardinal Bloggers vote for various awards associated with the Cardinals. Here is the ballot for the Cardinal Blogger Awards.
For Player of the Year, I wholeheartedly agree with those who even considered Yadier Molina as NL MVP. While Posey won deservedly so, it is a testament to Yadi’s amazing 2012 season that he garnered significant NL MVP voting. He was certainly the Cardinals MVP, so I’m voting for him over Matt Holliday and the impressive Allen Craig. By my chosen offensive metric, the greatest of the catching Molina brothers was the 8th best hitter in the NL, nearly surpassing his teammate outfield slugger Holliday, while playing elite defense at a tougher position.
Yadi even beat out Allen Craig, the Cardinals’ other slugger. An amazing observation about 2012 is that the Cardinals had 4 of the top 10 hitters in wRC+: Holliday, Molina, Craig, and Freese. Yadier Molina hit 22 home runs, stole 12 bases, and lead the Cardinals in fWAR in 2012. Cardinals Player of the Year.
While it could be arguable that Adam Wainwright was the Cardinals pitcher of the year, I have no problem saying that Kyle Lohse was, a stabilizing force all year long. 211 innings pitched, fourth best BB/9 in NL, while being an escape artist with a 77.2% LOB. We will miss you, Kyle.
NLDS Game 5 is by far the most memorable game of the year, up there with the most memorable games I’ve ever seen in over 30 years of watching baseball regularly.
For performance of the year, I will remember the stellar performance and glimpse into the future we had when Shelby Miller dominated the Reds. In over 13 IP this season, the important prospect had a miniscule 1.32 ERA, amazing 1.85 FIP, and very respectable 3.35 xFIP. Which means he is probably first in line for a spot in the rotation if someone doesn’t work out.
For Surprise Player Award, this is a toughie since David Freese was a top ten NL hitter, and while I always thought he’d be a good hitter, that’s a little better than most could have imagined. The only thing that could be more surprising on the Cardinals was Pete Kozma’s .396 wOBA and .569 slugging at the end of the season, making him a possibility to replace the disappointing Rafael Furcal, who stormed out of the gates early in the season then only showed signs of aging the rest of the way.
While Berkman and Rzepczynski were both disappointing also, Furcal was a pretty big loss when he did not perform and in the end was probably hurt most of the season. Berkman was replaceable with a great player in Allen Craig/Matt Carpenter and did not factor much into the equation in 2012. And while Rzepczynski was also very disappointing, he’s just a bullpen guy/lefty specialist (I suppose those who thought he might be an option at starter were more disappointed than I was).
For Cardinals Rookie of the Year, I gotta say Trevor Rosenthal, even though Matt Carpenter is probably a better choice. Rosenthal did nothing but impress the whole time he was up, and showed composure in a playoff race and the postseason. I’m excited as much about Rosenthal’s future as any other young player.
For Acquisition of the Year, the obvious choice was Beltran, but he blew it by having a pretty lackluster second half. He did show how he might make the Hall of Fame in the playoffs though… I remain completely astounded by his postseason numbers both as a Cardinal and career-wise. However, my vote is for Mujica who is arguably the Surprise Player of the year. But I’ll give an award to him here for stabilizing the bullpen and for making Mozeliak look like a genius when at the time, the acquisition made little to no sense.
Taveras is of course the most anticipated prospect, especially after Wong had a mediocre year. Should be interesting to see when he arrives, especially with Jon Jay continuing to impress everyone.
As for best individual blog, I am not aware of any so I can’t vote here. For best team blog, I hope this isn’t cheating but I’m going to vote for 85% Sports since they invited me to write for them and I am having a lot of fun doing so.
For best media blog, I vote By Gosh It’s Langosch for merit of pun alone. The only blogs I read are vivaelbirdos, 85%, and occasionally Pitchers Hit 8th.
For Best Rookie Blog and Post of The Year, I am also not sure and don’t feel qualified to answer here.
Best UCB Project to me was the Roundtable posts, as it brought together a lot of different people in a conversational format. Might be neat to hear this in audio form some day!
I am unaware of the most optimistic blog on UCB, so I will also defer to other voting on that one. As for podcasts, I am such a music nut that I don’t really listen to podcasts, just read blogs for the most part. Anyway, last but not least, I follow Pitchers Hit 8th on twitter, and he doesn’t overwhelm with tweets but has some interesting things to say. Find me on there as @xenochronic.