The Royals have handed out a few team awards, most notably giving their Player and Pitcher of the Year trophies to Billy Butler and Greg Holland, respectively. If you’ve been keeping up with KoK content, you know how I feel about the Player of the Year Award. Hint: it should’ve been Alex Gordon.
Don’t get me wrong. Billy was the hitter of the year, no doubt. But not the player of the year. I get it. He was an All-Star and he raked all season. I don’t hate that he won…but Alex was more deserving.
The choice at pitcher is one I can’t argue with. There were no starters worthy of the nod, and Holland had a dominant year and has a lot of upside heading into 2013 as the closer.
At the start of the 2012 season, I had high hopes for Holland, as did most fans. He thanked us for that support by starting out the year with a couple of losses, a blown save, and an ERA of 11.37 in 6.1 innings before heading to the DL. I think the general consensus at that point was pretty much “Wha’ Happen?”
Holland, however, came back from the DL fairly quickly and hit the ground running. He returned to the bullpen on May 12 and threw 6.2 innings that month. He posted a 1.35 ERA with 8 K’s in that small sample size. Although he also walked 6, he only allowed a .095 batting average. And he never looked back.
Holland finished the season with a 7-4 record and 16 saves, becoming the closer after Jonathan Broxton was traded to the Reds along with his giant pants. In 67 innings of work, Holland had an ERA of 2.96 and struck out 91 batters – that’s a rate of 12.22 K’s per 9 innings. According to Fangraphs, his WAR of 2.2 was the highest of any pitcher in Kansas City last season.
Alcides Escobar was honored this year with the Special Achievement Award. I can’t argue with this. Escobar is a freak. He may not be the team MVP, but he is definitely special. All he did this year was rack up 177 hits (most ever by a KC shortstop), steal 35 bases, hit 30 doubles, 7 triples, and raise his AVG and OBP both by about 40 points. Oh…and he makes highlight reel plays in the field pretty much every night. Well deserved award.
Another award was given to Lorenzo Cain (seriously?), naming him the Royals Defensive Player of the Year. Yes, really. The same Lorenzo Cain who, due to injury, only managed to play 61 games in 2012. Yes…I know Alex Gordon won the Gold Glove.
Gordon played 161 games with a 14.1 UZR versus Cain’s 61 games and 7 UZR. Gordon won his second straight Gold Glove in left field. And to top it off, Gordon got screwed out of the Player of the Year award. Give the guy SOMETHING. This one should have been a lock. I was shocked Cain received this honor. I won’t be shocked if he wins in the future…but for 2012, it should’ve been Alex.