The BBWAA revealed finalists for American League and National League MVPs, Cy Young Awards, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year on Monday night. The winners — decided on ballots sent at the end of the regular season — will be revealed next week.
The 27-year-old Ohtani hit .257 with 46 homers, 100 RBIs and a .965 OPS as the Angels’ full-time designated hitter, while also going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts on the mound. It was his first full season in both roles — he won Rookie of the Year in 2018 even after an elbow injury shut him down as a pitcher after 10 starts.
Ex-St. Louis Cardinals skipper Mike Shildt was nominated for NL Manager of the Year less than a month after he was fired. The other finalists are Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell and San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler.
The Cardinals won 17 straight games down the stretch and made the postseason for the third time in four years under Shildt, but the 2018 Manager of the Year was cut loose because of what general manager John Mozeliak termed “philosophical differences.” Oliver Marmol was promoted from bench coach to replace Shildt.
The NL MVP race is down to Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper, Washington’s Juan Soto and San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. Harper is the only former MVP of that trio, earning the honor in 2015 with the Nationals.
In a sign of how voters’ priorities have changed, none of the six MVP finalists played for teams that made the postseason.
Soto, Tatis and Guerrero were all 22 on the final day of the season, and this is the first time a trio of players younger than 23 was among the finalists. The last time even two players that young were finalists was 1956, when Hank Aaron finished third in NL voting and Al Kaline was third in the AL.
Max Scherzer is a finalist for a fourth Cy Young Award after splitting the season between the Nationals and Dodgers, but all the other finalists would be first-time winners.
Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler are finalists in the NL, while the AL honor is down to the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the White Sox’s Lance Lynn and the Blue Jays’ Robbie Ray, who is now a free agent.
Postseason star Randy Arozarena and teammate Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays are finalists for AL Rookie of the Year along with Astros right-hander Luis Garcia. Franco appeared in just 70 games but still got attention after reaching base in 43 consecutive games, matching Frank Robinson’s record from 1956 for longest by a player age 20 or younger.