Reliever of the Year
I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but on this award my first, second, and third place winners also received those distinctions from NL Fansided writers as a whole. You can read the final tallies here.
I could not have given my first-place vote to anyone other than the Braves’ Craig Kimbrel. He set the rookie record for saves with 46, which is why he won my Rookie of the Year vote as well, and he was one of only two NL relievers to save that many games. He’s a rock star.
That other reliever who saved 46 was the Brewers’ John Axford, and he received my second-place vote. Axford emerged as one of the game’s premier closers this season, and he’s partly to thank for the Crew’s success so far. He strikes out more than a batter per inning, which is handy when he’s most often brought in to get the 3 most crucial outs in the game. We should all be so lucky to have a closer with a sub-2.00 ERA. And don’t mess with that mustache. It deserves an award of its own.
Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates got my third-place vote. It was so great to see the Pirates finally have some relevance this season, and Hanrahan gets as much credit for that as anyone. His ERA was 1.83, best among National League closers, and he saved 40 games. The Bucs still have some work to do before they can become a contending team, but they’re much further along than they would be without Hanrahan.