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American League

2017 Home Run Daily Awards: Most Valuable Player

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It’s time for another award piece!

So far at Home Run Daily we’ve discussed and made predictions for the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Cy Young.

Now it’s time for the Most Valuable Player. Both leagues promise to have very close races for this particular hardware. That said, here are your 2017 HRD MVPs:

American League

Top Candidates: Jose Altuve- Houston, Aaron Judge- New York, Mike Trout- Los Angeles, Corey Kluber- Cleveland

Votes: Mike (@MikeAddvensky): Jose Altuve, Matthew (@Flat_Manigen74): Jose Altuve, Anthony (@AnthonyDiMoro): Aaron Judge, Me (@somebostonfan): Aaron Judge

We have a tie! Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge are your HRD co-MVPs.

In reality, it’s a two-man race between Altuve and Judge. One of the two men will take home the hardware, it’s only a matter of who. Both had sensational years for their respective teams, and arguments can be made on both sides. We’ll start with Altuve.

Altuve had another great year for the Houston Astros in 2017, picking up 200 hits for the fourth year in a row. He also won his second straight AL batting crown- and third in the last four years- hitting .346. He hit 24 homers, drove in 81, slugged .547, and was the most consistent hitter for the Astros all year. From April to September (in order), he hit .326, .313, .354, .485, .304, and .298- acting as the catalyst for Houston’s offense which scored the most runs in baseball.

For Judge, he had a truly historic rookie season for the New York Yankees. He’s already all but clinched the Rookie of the Year (pending the official announcement), and may add an MVP when it’s all said and done. Judge led the majors this year with 54 homers- a rookie record. His 1.049 OPS was second in the AL to Trout (who played in 41 less games), and he led the league with 127 walks and 128 runs scored.

The first half of the season was truly sensational for Judge, as he capped it off with a Home Run Derby title. He struggled mightily for the next 1.5 months; but once September came around, he carried the Yankees. Judge hit .311/.463/.889 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs in September, leading the Yankees to a 20-8 record in the month to help them seal the AL Wild Card. September’s the most important month of the year for contenders as they often determine who makes the playoffs, and Judge’s September performance didn’t disappoint.

Will the AL MVP go to the smallest player in the game, or (arguably) the biggest? We will find out soon!

National League

Top Candidates: Nolan Arenado- Colorado, Joey Votto- Cincinnati, Giancarlo Stanton- Miami, Paul Goldschmidt- Arizona (*honorable mentions: Charlie Blackmon- Colorado, Bryce Harper- Washington)

Votes: Mike (@MikeAddvensky): Joey Votto, Matthew (@Flat_Manigen74): Joey Votto, Anthony (@AnthonyDiMoro): Giancarlo Stanton, Me (@somebostonfan): Charlie Blackmon

Winning with two votes out of four, Joey Votto is the HRD NL MVP.

Votto had another great season in 2017, which has been a regular occurrence for him since his first full season in 2008. Votto played in all 162 games, hitting .320/.454/.578 with 36 homers, 100 RBIs, and 106 runs scored. His 134 walks led the majors, as did his on-base percentage. He struck out only 83 times giving him 51 more strikeouts than walks, beating his previous career high of eight (143 walks, 135 strikeouts in 2015).

The 34-year-old Votto was one of just six players to appear in 162 games in 2017. It also marked the second time in Votto’s career (2013) that he’s done that.

It was a miserable year for the Reds going just 68-94, but Votto had a WAR of 9.56 to lead the majors. Last year, Mike Trout won the AL MVP for the Angels who were 74-88 as his WAR was 10.5 to lead the game, so we’ll see if that trend continues this season.

Nolan Arenado, Giancarlo Stanton, and everyone else on the top candidates list had great seasons too and all have a good chance of winning. You can read up on their credentials elsewhere, but we’ll end this piece here.

So there you go, your 2017 HRD MVPs. Stay tuned for our Breakout Player of the Year award coming soon!

American League

Blue Jays Calling Up Cavan Biggio

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Cavan Biggio

The Toronto Blue Jays are calling up second base prospect Cavan Biggio to the majors for the very first time on Friday, according to ESPN.

Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, has performed well for Triple A Buffalo this season, posting a .306/.440/.507 slash line.

Toronto selected Biggio, 24, in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

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American League

Royals Assign Drew Storen To Double-A

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Drew Storen

The Kansas City Royals have assigned former big-league reliever Drew Storen to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, according to Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Paul Boyd.

Storen, who inked a minor league deal with the Royals back in February of this year, is attempting a comeback, as he hasn’t pitched in the majors since playing for the Cincinnati Reds back in 2017.

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American League

Neil Ramirez Accepts Outright Assignment With Indians

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Neil Ramirez

Cleveland Indians reliever Neil Ramirez will remain within the organization after clearing outright waivers and accepting an assignment to Triple-A, according to an official team announcement.

Ramirez landed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Indians this offseason, avoiding arbitration.

Ramirez, 29, has struggled during the 2019 season and maybe a stint in Triple A will help him work things out.

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