The Baseball Writers Association of America unveiled the results of the Cy Young Award vote tonight. Robbie Ray from Blue Jays (now a free agent) and Corbin Burnes Brewers was named the winner of the American League and the National League, respectively.
Ray won the AL award in a great way, an achievement made even more significant by his 2020 struggle. South Paw dealt with significant control issues during the abbreviated campaign, which led D-Backs to change him to Toronto with virtually no return. After the end of the year, Jays jumped into the market to bring Ray back and bought the talented hurler on a cheap one-year, $ 8 million deal.
This transfer counts as one of the best in the Toronto term for CEO Ross Atkins. In addition to getting back to the heights where he got on the All-Star team and received support from Cy Young in 2017, Ray released the best show of his eight-year career. Ray worked 193 1/3 turns from 2.84 ERA balls, hitting the elite against 32.1%. That swing-and-miss thing was nothing new, but the 29-year-old also cut his walking pace by nearly two-thirds. Just a year after he walked 17.9% of opponents, Ray distributed free passes to only 6.9% in 2021.
64 American League passers collected more than 100 innings last season. Of this group, Ray ranked third in ERA, percentage of crossing, difference in crossing / walking speed (25.2 percentage points), and SIERA (3.22). He led all AL attackers in both innings and swinging attacks (15.5%). This brilliant performance earns Ray his first Cy Young Award and makes him one of the best pitchers in the free agent market this season.
As mentioned, the vote was tilted quite strongly in Ray’s favor. He appeared in all 30 ballots and received 29 first place votes and one second result. Yankees ’Gerrit Cole (who got the only number one attack that didn’t go to Ray) was a clear second with Lance Lynn. Third from the upcoming White Sox. Nathan Eovaldi, Carlos Rodón, Frankie Montas, Lance McCullers Jr., Liam Hendriks, José Berríos, Chris Bassitt, Lucas Giolito and Raisel Iglesias also received down-regulation support.
Voting in the National League was much more controversial, with little difference between Burnes and Zill Wheeler of Phillies at the top. Both players received twelve first-place votes and appeared in all 30 ballots to some degree, but Burnes ’14-9 second-place finish ended up. The other six first-place rules eventually went to third-place Max Scherzer, who split the season between the Nationals and the Dodgers.
To some extent, the battle between Burnes and Wheeler was due to weighing the efficiency of volume and speed. Wheeler threw MLB’s best 213 1/3 innings, while Burnes made 167 frames. It’s a pretty significant nod for Wheeler, but Burnes ’per-game accomplishments were incredible. The Milwaukee right ranked second among 62 NL players with more than 100 innings in the ERA (2.43) while accelerating the league in the SIERA (2.61), the percentage of overtaking (35.6%), the difference in overtaking / walking speed (30, 4 percentage points) and in a fluctuating beat. (16.6%).
This does not mean that Wheeler is ineffective. Phils ’right-hand man was also among the top ten in the series in most price ranges. But voters ultimately always gave Burnes such a small advantage over the complete dominance of opponents, even if it was a lighter workload than Wheeler’s shoulders.
Like Ray, Burnes takes home his first Cy Young Award. He finished sixth in last year’s poll and now looks forward to one of the game’s most handful throwers ahead. It would come as no surprise if Brewers, who will rule Burnes in arbitration until the end of 2024, would try to start further talks with his representatives at CAA Sports this interim.
In addition to the three finalists, Walker Buehler, Brandon Woodruff, Kevin Gausman, Adam Wainwright, Julio Urías and Jacob deGrom received some support in the vote. Buehler was the only non-finalist to collect second-place votes, and two runners-up nodded.
See the full vote results.