Cy Young: Halladay (2003)
Gold Glove: Vernon Wells OF (2006), O-Dog 2B (2005)
Silver Slugger: Jose Bautista OF (2011)
Hank Aaron Award: Jose Bautista (2011)
Relief Man Award: Never Won (instituted 1976)
MVP: George Bell (1987)
These are the most recent individual award winners for the Blue Jays franchise. Given all the hype surrounding this upcoming season, and the raw individual talents we now possess, I thought it would be fun to take a look at potential award winners.
First, unlisted above, is the Roberto Clemente Award (not won ever won by a Jay). I lead off with this because R.A. Dickey has to be a lock. Max donation to JaysCare upon arrival, the recent tour of India raising awareness for the prevention of sexually motivated crimes abroad and at home, and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for awareness of the same cause.
Above all a great man (If you haven't read 'Wherever I Wind Up' yet, I highly recommend it before seasons first pitch) that deserves recognition in some capacity. Though I'm sure he'd rather not, such is the case with most philanthropists.
The Cy Young Award:
This is certainly intriguing, because with all the strength in pitching around the AL, I find it hard to believe that should R.A. Dickey match his numbers of last year, it won't enough for the coveted AL Cy Young. The pitching is too strong for him to be an outright winner. I also don't see any let up in the careers of David Price, or Justin Verlander.
My Long Shot: Should he stay healthy for the better part of the season, is Brandon Morrow. There's no denying his heater, and the ability he had to work both sides of the plate last year. I think we also saw Morrow mature with his secondary pitches, and develop the ability to locate them, creating the confidence to throw anything in any count. Add in the facts he will be pitching behind the 'Angry Knuckle', making his fastball look 110mph, and his groundball defense has improved behind him. I believe a healthy season, and not giving up that costly mistake pitch will lead to Morrow possibly having not only the Jays best pitching stats, but comparable to the entire AL.
Rolaids Relief Man Award:
A stats award based on a points system (explained in link above). Unless Casey Janssen takes the closer's role and runs a muck the entire season with it, I don't think this award is within reach. I expect solid performances out of our bullpen members, but I can see a platoon-like situation happening between Janssen and Sergio Santos. Especially with both men coming off "minor" off-season surgeries, pitching back-to-back days seems risky.
Interesting to note here, Mark Buehrle will be going for his fifth consecutive Gold Glove at the pitchers position. He won last year in the NL as a member of the Marlins, and the three years prior hurling for the White Sox. His defense is exquisite and a lot of fun to watch. Given that Gold Glove awards seem to be the 'Old Boys Club', he has a real shot at it again from prior winnings alone.
No one tests Joey Bats arm anymore, We know what we get with Reyes, EE/Lind, and Melky. I see a shot at this positional award for Brett Lawrie if he can stay consistent on the defensive side of the ball. We saw the flashes of brilliance the last year and a bit with some of his circus plays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_mDTk6tULo.
I also see the arm strength and glove quickness that we saw in Scott Rolen and Troy Glaus. Now he just needs to consistently hit the 1B glove.
Silver Slugger/Hank Aaron Awards:
Combined, as they should go hand in hand, but don't really for some reason.
Regardless, here is the fun part of this post because its the best shot at indiviual awards.
Jose Bautista, should he regain pre-injury form.
Edwin Encarnacion, should he build on last seasons form.
Jose Reyes, should he stay healthy and stay involved in the batting title race.
Perhaps if Brett Lawrie puts up a good season at the plate, he could enter discussions. Evan Longoria would have to miss some time again for this to happen I believe.
Any Candidate above. It sure would be nice to see Jose Bautista take this hardware home. But let's be honest, I'll take any member of our roster winning DS, CS, and WS MVP honours over any of these accolades, because that usually means all of them are getting a ring (The best honour of all).
Let me know what y'all think: Any other sleepers on our rosters I missed? Anyone I shouldn't have included? Or have I completely lost my mind with Off-Season Cabin Fever?