Picking Every Team's Hank Aaron Award and Cy Young Award Winner

Picking Every Team’s Hank Aaron Award and act Young Award Winner

Written by: Nathan Middleton

It is mid-June and the best players are beginning to separate themselves from the rest, it's the time of year when the leaderboards become a bit more stable and we start thinking about who will be taking home the hardware at the end of the season.

I am going to do something to honor the best hitter and pitcher from every team because every team has a best hitter and pitcher regardless of how poorly the team has played. We already have a Hank Aaron Award for best hitter and a Cy Young Award for best pitcher in each league and I will expand this to each team.

*All stats are as of the end of play on June 11th

AL East

Baltimore Orioles

Hank Aaron Award- Austin Hays

This was a close race between him and Trey Mancini but I went with Hays because of his slightly superior power numbers (although they aren't gaudy because the Orioles decide to move their fences back 30 feet).

Cy Young Award- Jorge Lopez

A failed starter who was 3-14 with a 6.07 ERA last season has turned into one of the best closers in baseball as of late leading a surprisingly good Orioles bullpen (3.19 ERA). He has 8 saves in 29 innings where he has a 0.93 ERA.

Boston Red Sox

Hank Aaron Award- Rafael Devers

Devers is easily the best hitter on the Red Sox and is leading the league in hits and doubles. He is on pace for 221 hits (would be the most since 2014) and 62 doubles (would be the most since 1936 and tied for the fifth most all time.

Cy Young Award- Michael Wacha

An amazing comeback story for him. He recently had an ERA under 2.00 (although he is not qualified for the ERA title). He even threw a shutout earlier this month (one of five all season across MLB). I thought he was done but he has a shot at the All-Star team.

New York Yankees

Hank Aaron- Aaron Judge

The best hitter in baseball so far this year. He is leading the AL in runs, homers, slugging, OPS, OPS+, total bases and intentional walks. Is on pace for 66 home runs which would set the AL record (61 by Roger Maris).

Cy Young- Nestor Cortes

One of the breakout stars in baseball this year and is not just the Yankees Cy Young but an AL Cy Young candidate as he has an ERA of 1.96 with a 5-2 record and 71 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. He could be the All-Star starter as well.

Tampa Bay Rays

Hank Aaron- Randy Arozarena

Nowhere near his insane 2020 season but has still been an extremely solid player for the contending Rays. Hitting just .267 with a .312 OPB and a .439 slugging for a .751 OPS but an OPS+ of 123 makes his stat line look much more impressive.

Cy Young- Shane McClanahan

An outstanding start to his second season has him not just the Cy Young winner for the Rays as of now but in my opinion for the entire American League as he leads in wins and strikeouts and is just 0.06 behind Alek Manoah for the ERA lead.

Toronto Blue Jays

Hank Aaron- George Springer

The Blue Jay offense has been relatively disappointing overall despite being in playoff position. This was a close race as Alejandro Kirk was a very solid runner up as a catcher but I went with Springer due to his superior slugging percentage and more playing time (due to Kirk being a catcher). Springer has 12 HR and a .280/.351/.530 stat line which is an .881 OPS.

Cy Young- Alek Manoah

An excellent rookie season has turned into an insane second season for Manoah as the leads in wins, win percentage, ERA and ERA+. He is doing this despite pitching in Rogers Centre which is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox

Hank Aaron- Tim Anderson

One of the few hitters who can consistently hit over .300 (.326 since 2019) does not have enough plate appearances to qualify but he would have the second highest average in the league (.003 behind Luis Arraez). He also has a .503 slugging percentage so he has some power.

Cy Young- Michael Kopech

He has been excellent in his first full season as a starter and had a ERA on 1.29 through the end of May punctuated by his dominating seven shutout innings against the Yankees where he allowed just one hit. Despite giving up 5 ER in 3 IP against Toronto he still has an ERA of 1.94 (which would be fourth in the league if he had enough innings to qualify).

Cleveland Guardians

Hank Aaron- Jose Ramirez

One of the best hitters in baseball for the past five or so seasons and he is having his best season this year. Is leading the league in triples and RBI with 56 (is on pace for 165 which would tie Manny Ramirez in '99 for the highest total since 1937). On pace for 47 homers as well (which would be another career high). He is the main reason the Guardians are in the playoff picture.

Cy Young- Shane Bieber

The 2020 AL Cy Young (and Triple Crown) winner is not quite at that level this year but has been outstanding with a 2.91 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 65 innings. He has also been a key reason the Guardians could be a surprise playoff team.

Detroit Tigers

Hank Aaron- Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera picked up his 3000th hit in April as expected but what wasn't expected is that he would be be far the best hitter in Detroit. This has been an atrocious Tigers offense (2.79 runs per game or 452 total runs) which would be the lowest runs scored total for a team in a 162 game season and the fewest runs per game for any team in a season of any length since 1909.

Cy Young- Tarik Skubal

Much improved in his third season as he is 5-2 (for one of the worst offenses ever) with a 2.33 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 65.2 innings and it seems sustainable (he has a 2.10 FIP). He should be heading for L.A. next month for his first All-Star Game.

Kansas City Royals

Hank Aaron- Andrew Benintendi

Having a solid offensive season and is still the best hitter on the Royals so far despite his insanely low power numbers (2 HR and a .402 slugging percentage). He is making up for it by hitting .308 with 66 hits so far this year.

Cy Young- Scott Barlow

Barlow is the clear Cy Young for the Royals so far as their best starter is Brad Keller who is 1-8 with a 4.78 ERA. Barlow is not a strikeout guy especially for a closer (23 in 25.1 IP) has just 6 saves for a poor Royals team but he does have a 1.78 ERA.

Minnesota Twins

Hank Aaron- Luis Arraez

Is not the prototype of a modern hitter (just 3 HR and 17 strikeouts) but has been successful due his .367 average, which would be the highest since Ichiro in 2004. He is leading the league in average and on base percentage (.449) which is actually higher than his slugging (.444).

Cy Young- Joe Ryan

It is rare that you think of the best pitcher on the team as a starter who is nowhere near qualifying for the ERA title but no one on the Twins is close to qualifying for the ERA title (Dylan Bundy leads with just 46 IP when he would have needed 61 to qualify). He has been very good as he has a 2.28 ERA and is averaging over 5.1 innings per start (which is about the league average).

AL West

Houston Astros

Hank Aaron- Yordan Alvarez

One of the best hitters in baseball ever since his 2019 debut, he just signed a well-deserved six year deal for 115 million dollars (a record for a DH). Is on pace for 47 homers and 107 RBI while having a .302/.397/.620 slash line.

Cy Young- Justin Verlander

His return from Tommy John could not have gone better as he is leading the league in wins and WHIP (0.837) which would be the second lowest in a 162 game season since Pedro Martinez had a 0.737 WHIP in 2000. The other one was Verlander himself in his last full season with a 0.083 WHIP in 2019.

Los Angeles Angels

Hank Aaron- Mike Trout

Trout is having his typical season on pace for over 40 HR (42) with an average near .300 (.294) and an on-base near .400 (.394) with a slugging percentage over .600 (.628). This looks like it will be his tenth top-five MVP finish in his eleven (non cup of coffee) seasons and his tenth All-Star Game out of ten opportunities for him (no All-Star Game in 2020). Taylor Ward would have won if he had played more as he has a .333/.443/.644 slash line in just 40 games.

Cy Young- Patrick Sandoval

Not a lot of innings (but not that far behind the leader Michael Lorenzen with 60.0) but by better inning for inning (Lorenzen has a 3.45 ERA). Sandoval has not allowed a home run all season which is insane through nine starts (even in pitcher-friendly Angels Stadium).

Oakland A's

Hank Aaron- Seth Brown

Not a lot of hitters to choose from because the teardown they do every few years has meant Matt Olson and others were traded while Coliseum and its ridiculous foul territory don't help with that. This is how a .211/.276/.417 slash line leads to an above-average 101 OPS+.

Cy Young- Paul Blackburn

Has been excellent this season after having a 5.74 ERA through his first five seasons. He has a 2.31 ERA with a 5-2 record. Doesn't strike out that many batters but he keeps the ball in the park (3 HR allowed) and has a 2.0 BB/9.