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Clubhouse Leaders MLB Awards Final Edition

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Clubhouse Leaders  MLB Awards Final Edition (AP file photo)

And here we are. We've reached the end of another thrilling MLB season. The last teams left standing are battling it out for the right to advance along the path that (hopefully) ends in a World Series championship, while the rest are left to dream of next year's possibilities.

With that ending comes awards season. I've been checking in quarterly with the various awards races, but now the time has come to predict the actual winners. The last six weeks or so of the season have definitely resulted in a few changes in the various races, but there are at least a couple of picks that I'm sticking with.

Here are some final thoughts on the potential winners of MLB's postseason hardware.

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AL Rookie of the Year

Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers (Previous: Fulmer)

This one has turned into a two-man race; the odd part is that the other guy in the race Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was barely a blip on the radar two months ago. All he's done since is club 20 homers in just 50 or so games; it's a shocking level of production. But Detroit's Fulmer just has too big of a lead to overcome he's one of the league leaders in ERA and has won double-digit games. If Sanchez had another month, this would be a very different conversation. As things stand, however, Fulmer wins it.

(Also noteworthy: Sanchez)

NL Rookie of the Year

Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: Seager)

There's a bit more competition for this one. Aledmys Diaz of the Cardinals has had a great year, as has Colorado's Trevor Story. Washington's Trea Turner has been phenomenal in slightly more action than the aforementioned Gary Sanchez. But Seager has had an all-time great season for a rookie shortstop he's scored over 100 runs, blasted more than 25 homers and batted around .310. He's been good enough to merit some MVP attention, so you better believe he's good enough to be 2016's Rookie of the Year.

(Also noteworthy: Diaz; Story; Turner)

AL Cy Young Award

Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox (Previous: Cory Kluber, Cleveland Indians)

I know that this could be construed as a homer pick and I struggled with it but the reality is that Porcello is the best candidate in a less-than-enthralling field. He's got over 20 wins and a top-five ERA with strong peripheral numbers. The argument could be made for guys like Kluber or Chicago's Chris Sale; a bounceback year from Justin Verlander in Detroit and the historic performance of Orioles closer Zach Britton warrant notice as well. Still, in the end, Porcello has been rock-solid in a division-winning rotation. He's the guy.

(Also noteworthy: Kluber; Sale; Verlander; Britton)

NL Cy Young Award

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals (Previous: Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants)

Much like in the AL, there are plenty of options here though they're considerably more impressive across the board. Scherzer has put together a monster year, managing a top-10 ERA and a sub-one WHIP to go with a league-leading strikeout total. He's the guy although he likely wouldn't be if Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had managed just a few more starts. Madison Bumgarner has also been excellent, while the Cubs have three legitimate candidates. Frankly, I'd love to see the late Jose Fernandez honored and it would be a valid pick.

(Also noteworthy: Bumgarner; Kershaw; Fernandez; Jon Lester, Cubs; Kyle Hendricks, Cubs; Jake Arietta, Cubs)

AL MVP

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (Previous: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros)

I did it I finally succumbed. Despite my well-documented affection for the diminutive second baseman, I can no longer tout Altuve as the MVP. He has been surpassed by Trout, who is once again the best player in the league a borderline 30/30 guy who leads the league in both runs scored and walks. Boston's Mookie Betts is a real contender, though he's also pushing 30/30 with more RBI and nearly as many runs as Trout. However, Trout's 60-plus walks advantage seals the deal. There are others, but those two are definitely the crme de la crme.

(Also noteworthy: Betts; Altuve; Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays; David Ortiz, Red Sox; Robinson Cano, Mariners)

NL MVP

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (Previous: Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals)

Daniel Murphy is having a phenomenal year, but he was never going to win the MVP. It has been clear for some time that this award is Bryant's to lose. He has put up huge offensive stats he's at or near the top in homers, runs scored, RBI and slugging percentage while also displaying defensive acumen at multiple positions. He's the best player on the best team; apologies to the great seasons by Murphy and Colorado's Nolan Arenado and Atlanta's Freddie Freeman and even Bryant's teammate Anthony Rizzo, but Bryant is a no-brainer to win this one going away.

(Also noteworthy: Murphy; Arenado; Freeman; Rizzo; Joey Votto, Reds; Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks)

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