Here's the ballot I just filled out for the 2006 SB Nation Awards, in which both Pat and I voted. I was only allowed to fill out a ballot for the National League.
- Albert Pujols
- Ryan Howard
- Miguel Cabrera
- Carlos Beltran
- Brandon Webb
- Roy Oswalt
- Lance Berkman
- Chris Carpenter
- Chase Utley
- John Smoltz
Pujols missed some time, but he was the best hitter in the NL when he played. He also played better defense than Howard, who I also considered for the top spot. I put Carlos Beltran ahead of Berkman, who was better offensively, because of Beltran's outstanding defense. Smoltz at 10 might seem like a weird pick, but he had a seriously outstanding year that few people seem to have noticed.
Webb and Oswalt were pretty similar to their teams in terms of value. I could have gone with either of them, but I went with Webb because I figured Oswalt probably has a better infield defense to work with - Adam Everett
and Morgan Ensberg
trumped Orlando Hudson
, for me. I was tempted to put Bronson Arroyo
in the third spot, partly as a shot at Dave Littlefield
and partly because Arroyo almost deserved it.
Rookie of the Year
- Hanley Ramirez
- Dan Uggla
- Josh Johnson
All Marlins, and I could've also considered Josh Willingham
, Anibal Sanchez
, Scott Olsen
... Ramirez was an easy choice, but after that it was tougher. I really wanted to put Ryan Zimmerman
in there, since I think he has more long-term potential than any of the players I picked, but I couldn't convince myself that he had a better year than Uggla or Johnson. In a year with fewer good rookies, I probably also would have considered Luke Scott
, even though he only had 249 plate appearances. In any case, the Marlins had six
legit ROY choices and a 23-year-old near the top of the MVP ballot. They're going to be really good soon.
Manager of the Year
- Joe Girardi
- Willie Randolph
- Bruce Bochy
After Girardi's Marlins, there weren't really many NL teams playing above what I thought was their level of talent, so numbers two and three were pretty arbitrary. The Mets had easily the best record in the NL, so I picked Randolph, and I picked Bochy because the Padres made the playoffs and were pretty well run the whole year, and my perception from watching the games here in San Diego is that Bochy isn't a moron.
Who are your picks?