Few pitchers are as dominant as was the Detroit Tigers' 24-game winner, and he would be our choice to win the Most Valuable Player from the American League.
Heroics of pitcher Justin Verlander catch the eye
One man's awards ballot for 2011:
Most Valuable Player: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers. Pitchers seldom deserve this over everyday players, but few pitchers are as dominant as was the Tigers' 24-game winner.
Cy Young Award: Verlander. If the vote is not unanimous, an investigation should be launched.
Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays. A 13-10 record with a 2.95 ERA is phenomenal for a first-year pitcher in the American League East.
Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays. Led the team with the second-smallest payroll to a play-off berth.
Most Valuable Player: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers. His performance kicked into high gear in June, coinciding with the Brewers' decisive surge to the NL Central title. He edges the Triple Crown threat Matt Kemp.
Cy Young Award: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers. Kemp may have missed out on the offensive Triple Crown, but his teammate got the pitching equivalent, leading the league in victories, ERA and strikeouts.
Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves. He couldn't nail down the save in the final game of the season, costing his team a play-offs bid, but his 48 saves cannot be overlooked.
Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks. His first full season as a manager saw him change a losing team's culture and lead it to the NL West championship.