Among the front runners there was David Price who tied for the league lead in wins with a sparkling 20-5 record and also led with a 2.56 ERA, and Jered Weaver who had the same record with a 2.81 ERA and led the majors in WHIP at 1.02. And let's not forget Felix Hernandez who only won 13 games due partially to an anemic offense, but had 5 shutouts, an ERA of 3.06 and 223 strikeouts. Chris Sale and Yu Darvish (just realized I forgot to mention him in my Rookie of the Year post - wouldn't matter he wouldn't beat Trout anyways) had excellent campaigns as well, and I don't want to neglect CC Sabathia who had an average season for him... aka a great season for any other pitcher. And there were also some relievers with out of this world numbers. Baltimore's Jim Johnson saved 51 games and meanwhile Tampa's Francisco Rodney didn't give up any runs all season. Ok, he must have given up a couple while I blinked because he has a non-zero ERA, but just barely at an incredible 0.60.
With so many deserving candidates, whose name is this blog going to put for the 2012 American League Walter Johnson Award?
One name that I haven't mentioned yet is last year's winner, Justin Verlander. While being the unanimous choice both by the BBA and the BBWAA for last year's Cy Young award, he had an absolutely unbelievably season in 2011. He was 24-5 while striking out 250 in 251 innings and had a WAR (fangraphs) of 7. And maybe I haven't mentioned him because this year he had a big dropoff. He only had a 17-8 record, and it would be disingenuous to blame his offence for not getting more wins.
|Leon Halip/Getty Images|
#1: Justin Verlander
#2: Felix Hernandez
#3: David Price
#4: Jered Weaver
#5: Chris Sale