Welcome to the first annual MelonAwards for Outstanding Achievement in Baseball. Over the 2008 seasonwe've seen some remarkable things. It's time to give them somerecognition.Cy Melon
Cliff Lee deserves this, hands down.His team, the Cleveland Indians, finished the season with a record ofexactly .500. Yet Lee won a league leading 22 games with a puny 2.54Era, a 1.11 WHIP and 170 strikeouts. When you can win that many gameson a team this is very average, you've had a hell of a season. Andthe numbers show that it wasn't a fluke. Cliff Lee really was thatgood this year.
Runner Up- Roy Halladay20 Wins, a 2.78 ERA and a remarkable246 innings. And 9 Complete Games! Who completes games anymore?Impact Pitcher of the Year
This award is a little different fromthe Cy Young. This award is specifically for a pitcher who was amajor factor in their team's success. Without them, they might notbe in the playoffs.There are a lot of guys who deservethis, but I give this award to James Shields. His 3.54 ERA isrespectable, but it doesn't blow you away. Same with his 14 wins.But he was a horse for the Rays, pitching 215 innings and keepingrunners off the bases with a 1.15 WHIP. Without a performance likethis, it would have put a bigger strain on the Rays' bullpen andthey may not have won the division.
Runner Up- Gavin FloydHe managed to get his team 17 Wins andgave them 206 innings. With a lesser pitcher, the Twins are in theplayoffs instead of the White Sox.MVP- Melon's Valuable Player
This one goes out to Dustin Pedroia ofthe Boston Red Sox. It was a remarkable year from an up and comingstar. Pedroia batted .326 (just .002 points shy of the league leader)with a .376 OBP. Not to mention he also drove in 83 RBIs and scored aleague leading 118 Runs. He was a major catalyst for the Red Sox andbacked it up with exceptional defense at Second Base. He shows whyyou don't need to be a big slugger to be a major offensive threat.
Runner Up- Josh HamiltonAside from being a great human intereststory, considering his past battles with addiction and hisredemption, Hamilton batted .304 this year with a .371 OBP. He alsohit 32 HRs and lead the American League with 130 RBIs and came injust shy or 100 Runs scored with 98.Impact Player Award
Kevin Youkilis just gets better andbetter every year. And nobody in the American League had a biggerimpact on their team as Youk. Aside from being the definition of"gritty", he also managed to bat .312 with a very impressive .390OBP. Then he hit 29 Home Runs, drove in 115 Runs and scored 91 Runs.Youk can hurt you with his bat in just about every way possible. Andto top it off, just in case your Third Baseman gets injured, he canslide across the infield and play that position too.
Runner Up- Carlos Quentin What Floyd did for the White Sox withhis pitching, Quentin did with his bat. He was the major offensiveforce for the White Sox and without him, that lineup doesn't lookso great."I F-ing rocked in lateinnings" Award
Joakim Soria gets this. Yes, I know hedidn't lead the league in saves, but you can't fault a guy fornot having as many opportunities. But in the innings where he waspitching, his numbers were phenomenal. He had a miniscule 1.60 ERAwith 66 Strikeouts in 67 innings and an even more miniscule 0.86WHIP. And with 42 Saves in 45 attempts, it's a pretty good samplesize.
Runner Up- Francisco RodriguezHe set a record for most saves in aseason with 62. When you set a major league record, you deserverecognition."Everybody thought I'd suck,but I was pretty damn good" Award
Remember when Mike Mussina lost his jobto Ian Kennedy at the end of 2007? Things worked out kind of funnythere. Kennedy sucked and didn't seem to mind being sent toTriple-A while Mike Mussina blew away expectations by winning 20games for the first time in his career and was, for all intents andpurposes, the New York Yankees' Ace when the team struggled allseason.
Runner Up- Cliff LeeYeah, he had a better year than Mussinaand nobody expected it from him either. But I hate to double up onawards. Still, he should be recognized for his outstanding season."Hey, I'm new but I wasawesome" Award
Evan Longoria wins this. He was a hugeasset to the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .272 with a a .343 OBP. On topof that, he hit 27 Home Runs and drive in 85 RBIs. Not bad at allfrom a rookie who missed a few weeks with a bum wrist. Imagine howmuch better those numbers would have been if he wasn't limited to122 games. And unlike some of the recent ROY winners, this one lookslike he could be a legitimate super star in the future.
Runner Up- Joba ChamberlainHe was dominant as a set-up man andwent on to be a damn fine starter, managing to strike out 118 battersin 100 innings. He's still rough around the edges, but if this isany indication of things to come, he'll have an outstanding career.Discuss