Saturday, February 5, 2011

Henriquez captures seventh career Cy Young

Simpson awarded second consecutive MVP

The National League Cy Young Award voters may be coming to a point where they'd prefer to get it over with and award Javier Henriquez with the award before the season even begins. Fargo's ace was named the NL Cy Young Award winner for the second consecutive season and the seventh time in his career after posting a 16-9 record with a 1.95 ERA and 223 strikeouts in 226.1 innings pitched.

There was speculation that award voters would be turned off by Henriquez's mere 16 wins, a product of his playing for a bad Fargo team whose offense ranked 30th in runs scored last season. But staggering numbers like Henriquez's measley .278 slugging percentage allowed helped make up for the lack of wins.

In the American League, Charleston's third-year starter Ronn Lincoln took home the Cy Young Award for a season that saw him rack up a 17-5 record with a 2.83 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 219.2 innings pitched. Lincoln helped lead the Chew to a total of 82 wins, the most for the franchise since season 5.

The American League MVP race, much like the NL Cy Young race, also saw a repeat winner as Monterrey's Sean Simpson took home his second straight and third career MVP award. Simpson batted .347 for the season while posting career highs in doubles (50), homeruns (56), RBI (159) and slugging percentage (.719). For the eight-time All-Star, season 12 may go down as the best one in a Hall of Fame career.

Voters for the National League MVP weren't as certain as to who was most deserving of the award, so they awarded it to both Phil Creek and Matty Pena. Washington's Pena, who wasn't even selected to the season 12 NL All-Star team, used a dominant second half to get the attention of voters. The 25-year-old 1B/OF batted .313 for the season with 42 homeruns, 93 RBI and a .433 OBP.

Salt Lake City first baseman Creek, who was selected to the All-Star team, hit .364 with 29 homeruns, 129 RBI with a .446 OBP. Both men helped lead their respective teams to the top two seeds in the National League playoffs while Pena's Blue Coats made it all the way to the World Series.

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