The votes are in, and to just about nobody's surprise, Bryce Harper is Over The Monster's choice for Hitter of the Year. Something tells me the rest of SB Nation will prove to share a similar opinion when the final winner is announced.
Now it's time for the pitchers, and it's a more interesting choice by far in my opinion. It's also one with too many potential candidates to really list them all, so I've had to cut it down to a select few:
I swear, every time I look at Arrieta's season, I double take. Really? Arrieta? The guy from Baltimore? It was surprising enough to see him go nuts in 2014. Then he added 70 innings, dropped his ERA by about 75 points, and kept his strikeout rate the same while adding one walk to his 2014 total. Either I missed the National League doubling down by having exclusively pitchers hit, or there's something in the water in Chicago, and the White Sox aren't getting enough of it.
Somehow, though, Arrieta's 1.77 ERA is not the lowest the league had to offer. That honor goes to Greinke's 1.66. Peripherally, though, Greinke is perhaps the least impressive of the bunch, not that that's saying much. He still managed a K/9 north of eight, to go with the lowest walk rate of the bunch, albeit just by a hair. However he got there, though, the fact of the matter is that Zack Greinke allowed just 41 runs in 222 innings. Even in that all-pitcher scenario mentioned above, that might be impressive. Maybe.
Maybe, though, you're not into the ERA. Maybe you want those peripherals. Well too bad, because Kershaw provides both. The ERA isn't as ridiculously low as our first two candidates, but the 11.64 K/9 is easily the best of the bunch, and his walk rate is so close to Greinke's I had to actually do the math myself to get enough significant digits to see which Dodger won. That leaves Kershaw with one of the best K:BB ratios in the game, and far and away the best K-BB% if that's more your style.
Also, he's Clayton Kershaw. So long as he looks the part, he probably belongs in the voting.
I really don't think you can just have one of these votes without including at least one American League candidate, given how different the DH can make things. And if you're choosing one guy to represent the AL, it's probably gotta be Price. He led the league in ERA, beating out Dallas Keuchel 2.45 to 2.48. He was second only to Chris Sale in FIP, 2.73 to 2.78. No, the postseason did not go his way, almost to the point where it feels like Keuchel should get this spot, but with the clear lead in peripherals for the regular season, if anyone deserves to take this down in the American League, it's Price.
Excepting, of course, the man who will take down the AL Cy Young award for 2015. I mean, he said it was going to happen. And he has great stuff. Surely he deserves this honor as well. Are you going to tell Joe Kelly he doesn't? Are you?
(Yes, you are, because this joke isn't going to continue on into the poll.)
As before, while we need your vote, we also need your nominations. This time we're onto the best celebration/bat flip by a Red Sox player in the comments section below. Thanks to all who submitted defensive plays. We'll be voting on those tomorrow.