The finalists for MLB’s four major end-of-season awards — Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player — were revealed on Monday night.
Monday, Nov. 14: Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year
Tuesday, Nov. 15: Managers of the Year
Wednesday, Nov. 16: Cy Young Awards
Thursday, Nov. 17: MVP Awards
Here’s a breakdown of the three nominees for each award in the American League and National League.
Yordan Alvarez, DH/LF, Astros
Alvarez was one of the elite hitters in the American League again this season. The Astros’ lefty slugger batted .306 with 37 home runs and 97 RBIs, and he and Aaron Judge were the only hitters to post an OPS over 1.000. Alvarez’s 1.019 OPS and 187 OPS+ (league average is 100) were both second best in the Majors, behind only Judge. He also added some memorable home runs in the postseason for the World Series champs.
Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
Judge’s historic season makes him the MVP favorite. He hit 62 home runs to surpass Roger Maris’ longstanding mark of 61 and set a new American League home run record. Judge also nearly won a Triple Crown, leading the AL with 131 RBIs and finishing second with a .311 batting average.
Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH, Angels
The reigning AL MVP followed up his historic two-way 2021 with another superstar season in ’22. Ohtani became the first player in the World Series era to qualify for both the batting and pitching league leaderboards. He had 34 home runs, 11 stolen bases and 95 RBIs as a hitter and went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts as a pitcher.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals
Goldschmidt chased a Triple Crown in the NL for a long stretch, eventually finishing with a .317 batting average, 35 home runs and 115 RBIs while leading the National league in slugging (.578) and OPS (.981). A two-time MVP runner-up and three-time finalist before 2022, Goldschmidt is looking for the first MVP Award of his 12-year career.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals
Arenado and fellow MVP finalist Goldschmidt were arguably the best teammate duo in baseball in 2022. Arenado batted .293 with 30 home runs and 103 RBIs while playing his usual superstar defense at third base, winning his 10th consecutive Gold Glove Award. But can he add his first career MVP Award to it? He’s been a top-five finisher three times and a top-10 finisher five times but has never won.
Manny Machado, 3B, Padres
Machado batted .298 with 32 home runs and 102 RBIs in his second straight All-Star season for the Padres. He led the NL in Wins Above Replacement — his 7.4 WAR, per FanGraphs, was just ahead of Arenado’s 7.3 and Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman’s 7.1. With the Padres missing fellow superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., Machado led them to the postseason. A three-time top-five MVP finisher, he’s looking to win the award for the first time.
Dylan Cease, RHP, White Sox
The 26-year-old Cease built on his breakout 2021 with an even better 2022 for the White Sox, going 14-8 with a 2.20 ERA (second in the AL to Justin Verlander) and 227 strikeouts, one more than he had last year. Cease’s season included a record-setting streak of 14 straight starts allowing no more than one earned run from May 29 to Aug. 11.
Alek Manoah, RHP, Blue Jays
After his great rookie season in 2021, Manoah was even better as a sophomore. The 24-year-old right-hander went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA — third best in the AL — and 180 strikeouts. Manoah went 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA in September to lead the Blue Jays to an AL Wild Card berth.
Justin Verlander, RHP, Astros
The ageless Verlander had yet another dominant season for the Astros as a 39-year-old in 2022 — his first season back from Tommy John surgery, no less. Verlander won the MLB ERA crown with a 1.75 mark, and he led the AL with 18 wins. He added 185 strikeouts to bring his career total to 3,198, the most among active pitchers. Verlander is looking for his third career Cy Young Award, which would make him just the 11th pitcher to win three times.
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Marlins
Alcantara was the type of workhorse you rarely see in baseball anymore. The Marlins’ ace threw six complete games — the most by any pitcher since Chris Sale in 2016 and more than any other team had in 2022. Alcantara went 14-9 and posted a 2.28 ERA in a Major League-high 228 2/3 innings. He pitched seven or more innings in 13 consecutive starts from May 11 to July 15, the longest such streak by any pitcher since the 2014 season.
The ace of the 2021 World Series champs was just as good in 2022 — maybe even better. Fried went 14-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 170 strikeouts in his first All-Star season, and he was instrumental in leading the Braves past the Mets for their fifth straight NL East title, with a 2.21 ERA in nine starts in August and September.
Julio Urías, LHP, Dodgers
With Los Angeles missing Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw for large chunks of the year, Urías was rock steady as the ace of the best team in baseball in the regular season. The 26-year-old lefty won the NL ERA title with a 2.16 ERA for the 111-win Dodgers. A year after he led the Majors with 20 wins and received Cy Young votes for the first time, Urías went 17-7 in 2022 with 166 strikeouts.
Steven Kwan, LF, Guardians
Kwan’s contact hitting made him a darling early in the season, and he kept it up all year. The 25-year-old outfielder batted .298 with six homers and 19 stolen bases for the season and finished with more walks than strikeouts (62 to 60), one of only six qualified hitters to do so. He bookended the season with AL Rookie of the Month Awards in April and September.
Julio Rodríguez, CF, Mariners
The AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner, J-Rod was instantly one of the most electric players in baseball and sparked the Mariners to their first postseason appearance since 2001. Rodríguez batted .284 with 28 home runs, 25 stolen bases and a 147 OPS+ along with stellar defense in center field. The 21-year-old became one of three rookies ever with both 25 homers and 25 steals, and the first since Mike Trout in 2012.
Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles
The 2019 No. 1 overall Draft pick made his big league debut on May 21 and quickly emerged as one of the top all-around catchers in the game. Rutschman ended up batting .254 with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a 128 OPS+, and the 24-year-old showed a strong arm behind the plate and excellent pitch framing.
Brendan Donovan, UTIL, Cardinals
Donovan played all over the field for the NL Central champions — the 25-year-old appeared at every infield position and both corner outfield spots in his rookie season, and he won a Gold Glove Award for his versatile defensive efforts. Donovan also batted .281 and posted a .394 on-base percentage for St. Louis.
Michael Harris II, CF, Braves
The Braves have both 2022 NL Rookie of the Year frontrunners — one hitter, one pitcher. Harris is No. 1. The 21-year-old stole the show in center field for the NL East champs after his callup at the end of May, batting .297 with 19 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a 135 OPS+ while playing great outfield defense. Harris led NL rookies with 5.3 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
Spencer Strider, RHP, Braves
While Harris was patrolling the outfield for Atlanta, Strider was overpowering hitters on the mound. The 24-year-old flamethrower went 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA and 202 strikeouts, the most by a rookie pitcher since Yu Darvish in 2012. Strider started the season in the bullpen but moved into the Braves’ starting rotation at the end of May — and he was equally dominant in both roles. His 16 strikeouts on Sept. 1 against the Rockies were the most by any pitcher in a game this season.
Terry Francona, Guardians
Tito led the Guardians to a 92-70 record and the AL Central title in his 10th year as their manager. Cleveland has made the postseason in six of Francona’s 10 seasons, and 2022 marked his fourth division title.
The Orioles were one of the biggest surprises of 2022, finishing 83-79 in Hyde’s fourth season as manager after a 110-loss season in 2021. It was Baltimore’s first winning season since 2016. The O’s had lost over 100 games in each of their last three full seasons before their turnaround in 2022.
Servais took the Mariners to the postseason for the first time since 2001, ending a 20-year playoff drought that was the longest not just in MLB, but in any of the four major North American sports leagues. It was Seattle’s second straight 90-win season under Servais.
Roberts led the Dodgers to a franchise-record 111 wins in 2022, tied for the fourth most in a season all-time and the most by any team since the 116-win 2001 Mariners. It was Roberts’ fourth 100-win season and sixth NL West title in seven years as the Dodgers’ manager.
Showalter took over the Mets and promptly piloted them back to the postseason for the first time since 2016. New York won 101 games in Showalter’s first season with the Mets, the second most in franchise history behind only the legendary 1986 World Series championship team.
The Mets led the NL East for almost the entire season, but under Snitker’s leadership, the 2021 World Series champs surged back to seize the division for a fifth straight time in ’22 — including a crucial sweep of the Mets at the very end of the regular season. The Braves’ 101 wins were their most in a season since 2003, when they also won 101.