The envelope, please
Reds writer John Fay hands out the awards to the 2007 Reds
MVP: David Weathers.
If you go with the name of the award - Most Valuable Player - you can make a strong argument that Weathers deserves it. No player had more value to the club on an everyday basis.
Without Weathers, the Reds conceivably could have lost 100 games. He converted 33 of 39 saves chances, despite going more than one inning in 11 of those saves, second most in the majors.
Aaron Harang certainly brought a lot of value to the team, as well.
If you go with Most Outstanding Player, Brandon Phillips is the guy. He went 30-30, drove in 94 runs and played the best second base since Pokey Reese was with the club.
CY YOUNG: Aaron Harang. He developed into the 200-inning, 200-strikeout horse at the front of the rotation the Reds have been looking for since Jose Rijo's elbow blew up. The Reds were 24-10 when Harang started. That's a remarkable stat for a team so far under .500. Harang was a lot harder to hit this year. He allowed 213 hits in 231 2/3 innings. Last year, he gave up 242 hits in 234 1/3 innings.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jared Burton. Josh Hamilton had a remarkable year - .292, 19 home runs and 47 RBI in 90 games - for someone basically out of baseball for four years.
But again, if you talk about value to the team, Burton has him beat. Burton is 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA.
But his ability to lock down the eighth inning was the biggest difference after manager Pete Mackanin took over.
COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Josh Hamilton. It's hard to come back when you've never been someplace, as with Hamilton and the major leagues. But when you consider what Hamilton came back from in life, there's no other choice.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Pete Mackanin. Mackanin took a team that was dead in the water and got it to play with energy and heart. Fans fixate on the lineups and pitching changes. But the mark of a manager is getting the most out of his players. Burton is an example of that, as is Javier Valentin.
BIGGEST SURPRISE (in a good way): Jeff Keppinger. You could have asked 100 people on Fountain Square who Keppinger was on Opening Day, and maybe three would have known. But Keppinger can hit. He showed that by batting .393 in July. His emergence gives the club another chip to rebuild with.
BIGGEST SURPRISE (in a not-so-good way): Mike Stanton. The Reds were hoping he'd be part of the closing tandem with David Weathers. Stanton never found his groove. His ERA is over 6.00. Hitters are hitting well over .300 off him, and he has a year remaining on his contract.