Henriquez collects third NL Cy Young
The voters have spoken and they say that Chicago's Osvaldo Johnson is the season 6 National League Most Valuable Player, making this the second straight season and fourth time overall that O.J. has been named the NL MVP in his six seasons of play. O.J. compiled a .322 batting average and .394 OBP to go with his 51 homeruns and 143 RBI in his first season with Chicago.
Johnson didn't run away with the award though as teammate Sean Simpson, Fargo's Alex Lim and Salt Lake City's Vic James gave him some competition. In the end, O.J. received 11 votes, Simpson 7 and six a piece for Lim and James.
The American league Most Valuable Player award voting wasn't nearly as close as Milwaukee's Burt Stevenson took home his second career AL MVP. Stevenson amassed a .342 batting average and a .449 OBP along with his 48 homeruns and 123 RBI for the Manic Maulers this season. He received 15 votes while Jackson's Dennis Tamura finished second with 8.
Much like the MVP, the Cy Young vote was a close one in the National League. Fargo's Javier Henriquez narrowly edged Atlanta's Steven Michaels to earn his third career NL Cy Young award, 14 votes to 12. Henriquez went 18-6 this season with a 2.29 ERA and 0.93 WHIP and struck out a league-leading 262 batters in 224 IP.
Over in the American League, Seattle's Miguel Benitez ran away with the Cy Young award, receiving a total of 17 votes. Benitez compiled a 23-8 record with a 3.00 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 267.1 innings pitched. Benitez's 23 wins fell just one short of the single season wins record of 24, set by Fargo's Jim Arnold in season 2.
In other awards news, Salem's Melvin Taylor was named the NL Rookie of the Year after hitting .316 with 31 homeruns, 106 RBI and a .393 OBP in his first major league season. St. Louis pitcher Yogi Anderson won the AL ROY after he posted a 14-6 record with a 3.09 ERA in 25 starts this season.
Houston's Matt Skinner was named NL Fireman of the Year for converting 36 of 42 save opportunities and posting a 2.56 ERA while striking out 90 in 84.1 IP. St Louis' closer Carlos Carrasco took home the award in the AL. Carrasco converted 51 of 52 save chances and posted a 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP in 55 innings pitched.