It's time to vote on our first of five SB Nation Awards! Today we will determine the MLB Hitter of the Year for 2015. There are three nominees -- Toronto's Josh Donaldson and Washington's Bryce Harper tied for the most nominations, and Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt was the best of the rest. Here is the case for each.
2015 stats: .297/.371/.568, 155 OPS+, 41 HR, 8.8 bWAR
Donaldson will probably be named the AL MVP. In his first year with the Blue Jays, he posted career-highs in homers and OPS while turning in another year of excellent defense. He's the only one of the three nominees whose team reached the postseason.
2015 stats: .330/.460/.649, 195 OPS+, 42 HR, 9.9 bWAR
Harper will probably be named the NL MVP. At age 22, in his fourth season with the Nationals, he finally stayed healthy and exploded into the superstar he was always supposed to become. Strictly in terms of pure offense, he was by far the best in baseball, and he wasn't that far from a triple crown -- 1st in homers, 2nd in average (by 3 points), and fifth in RBI. Toss in some excellent outfield defense and you basically have an NL version of Mike Trout. And, just like the real Trout in most years, the rest of Harper's team was so awful that even he couldn't drag them to October.
2015 stats: .321/.435/.570, 170 OPS+, 33 HR, 8.8 bWAR
Goldschmidt could win an MVP award one of these days. He had a runner-up finish in 2013, and he will probably have another one this year. In the meantime, Arizona was named the Wilson Defensive Team of the Year, and Goldschmidt was a big part of that effort as the Fielding Bible award winner at 1B. Since I mentioned the triple crown stats, Goldy didn't do so bad himself -- third in average, fifth in homers, second in RBI.
... What's that? We have one more surprise nominee?
2015 stats: Nope.
Koooooooooouz!! He didn't play in the Majors or minors in 2015, but he did lead the A's in homers in 2010 and he'll always have that.
Alright, now you have two calls to action. The first is to vote for Hitter of the Year in the poll at the bottom. The second is to make your nominations for 2015 Pitcher of the Year in the comments. A reminder of the process:
1. I will kick off the nominations in the comments with a handful of obvious names.
2. To vote for a nominee, "Rec" the comment with that player's name. You can Rec however many of the nominees you want.
3. If you want to nominate a player who has not yet been nominated, then make a new comment with "Nomination: (Player Name)" in the subject line. Please double-check to make sure that the player actually hasn't been nominated yet.
4. On Monday, at 9 p.m. PT, the nomination process will end and the THREE nominees with the most Recs will advance.
5. I'll have a post for you Tueday morning, which will include a poll at the bottom so that we can vote from among the three Best Pitcher nominees and choose a winner. In the comments of that Monday post we will nominate our candidates for A's Defensive Play of the Year.