As a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, MCB has a vote this year for the Walter Johnson Award. As you might guess, this award names the top pitcher in each league, each year. The BBA is set up much like the BBWAA in that blogs that cover American League teams will vote on AL awards only. Each MLB city is broken into chapters, and each chapter will have two official ballots to be cast in each award.
The Johnson Award will be voted upon this year by MCB and the Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog, where, despite being hampered by an incredibly long blog name, Austin posted his ballot recently. These are the second annual BBA awards. To see previous winners, visit the BBA homepage. MCB’s official ballot follows after the jump.
5- CC Sabathia, New York Yankees- Sabathia lead the league in wins for the second consecutive season, topping all other hurlers with 21 in 2010. He also proved durable, logging 237.2 innings in 34 starts, marking the fourth straight season he has worked at least 230 innings. He fanned 197 batters and posted a WHIP of 1.191 in leading the Yankees to the postseason.
4- Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins- When his career began in 2006, most figured Liriano’s name would be a fixture in awards balloting for years to come. Finally fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, Liriano burst back onto the scene in 2010. Setting career-highs in wins, starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts, Liriano posted a solid 3.62 ERA and emerged as one of the top left hander in the game. He allowed only nine home runs this season and posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 3.5-to-1.
3- David Price, Tampa Bay Rays- Price announced his presence with authority in 2010 after struggling in his first season as a big leaguer last year. He ranked second in the AL with 19 victories and third in ERA at 2.72. Price also ranked in the top ten in winning percentage, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings, and topped 200 innings for the first time.
2- Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners/Texas Rangers- Lee missed a good deal of April while dealing with an injury, but neither that, nor a mid-season trade could hold him down. Though his 12-9 record doesn’t blow you away, Lee posted a 3.18 ERA and lead the league with seven complete games. In perhaps the most incredible stat of all, Lee struck out 185 batters this season while walking only 18. That’s a 10-to-1 ratio. For reference, the second best ratio in the AL this year was slightly better than 4-to-1.
1- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners- It’s just a shame that the Mariners have such an inept offense. Hernandez posted a record of just 13-12. Three years ago, no pitcher with a record like his would have come anywhere near an award like this. When you look at any every stat, and I mean any every stat, Hernandez was hands-down the best in the league. Hernandez lead the AL in innings pitched, strikeouts, and hits per nine innings. He was second in strikeouts, second in WHIP, and second in complete games.
Because we have four writers on staff here, I polled the contributors before posting this ballot. Some interesting names came up in the discussion, but in the end, theses are the names that made the final cut.