Gonzalez narrowly edges Anderson for second career AL Cy Young
One vote was all that separated Buffalo's AJ Leonard and Monterrey's Sean Simpson in the AL MVP race. In the end, it was Leonard taking home his second straight MVP, denying Simpson his second career distinction, first on the American League side.
It's not very often that an MVP imrpoves his numbers the season after he wins the award but that's just what Leonard did this year. The Blue Cheese LF batted .328 with 56 homeruns 166 RBI and a 1.086 OPS, up from his season 9 OPS of .993. Leonard won the voting 13 votes to Simpson's 12 in what was the tightest (obviously) of all awards voting.
The AL Cy Young race was nearly as close as Monterrey's Albert Gonzalez edged out St. Louis pitcher Yogi Anderson, 14 votes to 11, and earned his first career Cy Young Award in the process. Gonzalez posted a 16-4 record with a 2.60 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 33 starts for the division champion Sultans. Gonzalez led the American League in ERA for the regular season.
Over in the National League there was far less competition among the award winners. Atlanta's Santiago Perez received a comfortable 15 votes on his way to his first career NL Cy Young Award. Perez led all of The Bigs with 23 wins while posting a 2.64 ERA in 35 starts for the Bandits this season. Perez's teammate, Kazuhiro Wang, finished second in the voting with 7 votes.
Huntington 2B Willie Scott had quite the career season and it earned him his first career All-Star appearance and a National League MVP Award. Scott produced an all-around performance including a .316 batting average with 30 homeruns 115 RBI with 31 stolen bases. Scott also posted a .934 OPS on his way to winning the award.
The Rookie of the Year votes were comfortable wins as well for the award winners. In the AL, it was starting pitcher Bruce Stairs of the Shadow Wolves taking home the hardware. In 33 starts, Stairs posted a 17-11 record with a 3.70 ERA. Washington 2B Andrew Clayton was the NL ROY after he racked up 42 homeruns and 110 RBI in his debut season with the Blue Coats.
Cheyenne's Coco Hines won his second straight AL Fireman of the Year Award after a regular season that saw him collect 56 saves in 61 opportunities while posting a 3.11 ERA. The 56 saves is three shy of the single-season record of 59, set by Hines last season. Alex Javier took home his second NL Fireman of the Year Award in three seasons with Washington, posting 45 saves in 47 opportunities. Javier finished the season with a 1.40 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 77.1 IP.