The 2013 SB Nation MLB Awards Fish Stripes ballot

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation released its 2013 SB Nation MLB Awards, and I wanted to explain my ballot for Fish Stripes.

The 2013 SB Nation MLB Awards were released yesterday, and they look beautiful, and you should consume them entirely. The awards rewarded many of the players whom I feel were the best in the game, and the winners eventually turned out to be exactly the players for whom I would have voted. Here are your winners for both the American and National League.

Award National League American League
Best Player Andrew McCutchen Mike Trout
Best Pitcher Clayton Kershaw Max Scherzer
Best Rookie Wil Myers Jose Fernandez

Marlins fans should not be surprised that Fernandez won the SB Nation equivalent of Rookie of the Year, as it seems like he has been vacuuming up all of the award picks. Fernandez has already won two versions of this award, with the BBWAA official version being announced next Monday, November 11.

The rest of the players who won are completely unsurprising, but I wanted to quickly share the ballot I submitted for the awards. I voted only for the National League side, and I believe I did a solid, responsible job of voting for htis year's awards.

NL Best Player
Rank Player
1 Andrew McCutchen
2 Matt Carpenter
3 Clayton Kershaw
4 Paul Goldschmidt
5 Joey Votto
6 Carlos Gomez
7 Adam Wainwright
8 Matt Harvey
9 Yadier Molina
10 Troy Tulowitzki

My ballot did not differ too significantly from our other Fish Stripes ballot, submitted by Fish Bites author Dakota Schmidt. I ranked three pitchers in the top 10 because I honestly believe that, if the question is about a particular player, pitchers more than deserve to win the award too. But because we are less certain about the evaluation of many pitchers, I tend to knock them down a peg in the voting. I gave plenty of love to Carpenter, who performed as well as the next two batters on offense and did not depend on a mammoth and naturally questionable defensive season like Gomez's. Did you know that Carpenter was worth 46 runs above average, compared to 45 runs for Goldschmidt and Votto, when we consider his baserunning? An impressive season indeed.

As for the winner, the choice was clear. McCutchen was amazing this season, as he was among the group of elite offensive players while providing stellar defense at a premium position and running the bases very well. Plus, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the feel-good story of the year. I could not say no given the numbers and the feels.

NL Best Pitcher
Rank Player
1 Clayton Kershaw
2 Adam Wainwright
3 Matt Harvey
4 Cliff Lee
5 Jose Fernandez

These were essentially the final results of the voting tally for the SB Nation pitcher award. The unfortunate thing about this vote is that it excluded good performances from Mat Latos and Jhoulys Chacin in 2013, but I felt Fernandez had to be included for being part of the ERA race. Depending on which system you ask, Fernandez was worth between 4.5 and six-plus wins this year, so I figured he had to be a part of the final tally. Most observers would probably find the Lee inclusion here most odd, but Lee had another quiet ace-level campaign, with a 2.87 ERA and 2.82 FIP in 222 2/3 innings. Of the five pitchers here, he received clearly the least amount of buzz thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies' struggles.

NL Best Rookie

Rank Player
1 Jose Fernandez
2 Yasiel Puig
3 Hyun-Jin Ryu

Again, my vote mirrored the final tally for the award. Of course Fernandez would be at the top of my ballot, but had I legitimately felt that Puig had a better season, I would have voted him that way. Puig received seven of the 36 available first-place votes, with no one else receiving any first-place tallies. Fernandez's dominant final months seem to have quietly but surely overwritten the hot start by Puig, leaving this as potentially a case of not only voting for the better player, but the player who did the most recently. Folks remember everything Fernandez did as he gained more and more national coverage towards the tail end of his regular season, and Puig-mania had long subsided by that point. A well-deserved award for Fernandez, in this case.

Hyun-Jin Ryu earned the most third-place votes, and he was ahead of Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran.

What did you think about my votes and about the awards? Tell me in the comments below!

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