Worst Performance of the Year - Ian Kennedy gives up 10 earned runs against the Cardinals on June 6th:
In the NL West Weekly Report published on June 13th, here's what I said about Kennedy's June 6th start...
"The Diamondbacks' pitcher had one of the worst pitching performances of the year this past week. Here was his final line after last Thursday's loss to St. Louis: 4.0 IP, 13 H, 10 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 99 pitches. That line won't get you a victory in almost any baseball game. Arizona ended up losing the game 12-8."
Best Performance of the Year - Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers defeat the Giants 4-0 on Opening Day:
On April 1st, Los Angeles hosted San Francisco for the first game of the 2013 season. Clayton Kershaw dominated the defending champions on the mound, and at the plate. The lefty gave up no earned runs over nine shutout innings. Kershaw gave up four hits, struck out seven, and walked none. But that's not all he did. The 25-year-old hit his first homer of his career to break a 0-0 tie in the eighth inning. The Dodgers went on to win the game 4-0.
Most Surprising Moment of the Year - Yasiel Puig throws out Chris Denorfia at first base on June 3rd to end a 2-1 Dodgers' win:
In spring training, Puig finished with a line of .527/.509/.855 in 57 at plate appearances. The numbers proved that Puig could hit well, but didn't show how dominating he could be in the outfield. Then on June 3rd, this happened...
In short, Puig showed everyone in his MLB debut that nobody should run on him. He kept proving that as the season went on.
Best Game of the Year - Dodgers' defeat Diamondbacks 7-6 on September 19th to clinch the NL West:
On June 22nd, the Dodgers were 31-42 and 9.5 games back of the Diamondbacks in the NL West. 89 days later, Los Angeles defeated Arizona 7-6 to win the NL West title. There were many great games across the division this season, but this was the best. That's mainly because the Dodgers clinched their first NL West title since 2009.
Most Surprising Player of the Year - Dodgers' Outfielder Yasiel Puig:
Puig was dominating the minor leagues until he was called up by the Dodgers to make his major league debut on June 3rd. The young outfielder dominated the division from that point forward. But I'll go into more detail on Puig's surprising rookie campaign later on.
Most Disappointing Player of the Year - Giants' Starting Pitcher Matt Cain:
Cain was also the most disappointing player in the division halfway through the season. San Francisco's starter didn't get much better during the second half of the season and ended up winning the award once again. The righty was 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts in 2012. In 2013, Cain was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 30 starts. It was the first time since 2006, his first full season, that Cain finished the season with an ERA at 4.00 or above (his ERA was 4.15 in 2006).
Reliever of the Year - Dodgers' Closer Kenley Jansen:
Coming out of Spring Training, Jansen was Brandon League's setup man. But at the end of the season, League barely pitched, and Jansen closed for the Dodgers. The righty dominated all season long going 4-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 75 appearances. Jansen was also 28-32 in save opportunities. But what set him apart from the rest of the division's relievers was the fact that he struck out 111 batters and walked just 18. That's a strikeout to walk ratio of 6.2. Jansen's K/9 ratio was 12.97.
Comeback Player of the Year - Rockies' Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki:
Tulowitzki played in 47 games in 2012 and hit .287 with eight homers and 27 RBIs. While he didn't completely bounce back in 125 games this year, he was the division's comeback player of the year. The shortstop hit .312 with 25 homers and 81 RBIs.
NL West Rookie of the Year - Dodgers' outfielder Yasiel Puig:
The rookie outfielder brought the Dodgers back to life when he made his debut on June 3rd. The Cuban sensation hit .319 with 19 homers and 42 RBIs in 104 games. Puig also made lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of great plays. He also did some weird stuff too. But in the end, Puig was the best rookie and the most surprising player in the division.
NL West Manager of the Year - Dodgers' Manager Don Mattingly:
Who else honestly deserves this? The answer, nobody. Mattingly led the Dodgers from last to first, and ultimately to the division title. That's pretty impressive.
NL West Cy Young - Dodgers' Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw:
If a 16-9 record with a league high 1.83 ERA and 232 strikeouts isn't enough to convince someone that Kershaw deserves to be named the best pitcher in the division and league this season, I don't know what is.
NL West MVP - Diamondbacks' First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt:
This one is tricky because Kershaw, Puig, and Hanley Ramirez are all deserving of this award. But in the end, where would the Diamondbacks be without Goldschmidt this season? In my mind, probably in the division's cellar. Arizona's first baseman tied with Pedro Alvarez for the most homers in the National League with 36, led the NL in RBIs with 125, and finished with a .302 average. Goldschmidt also tortured the NL West as a whole and won multiple games for the Diamondbacks. The first baseman also had more homers this season (36) than he had in his only other two seasons combined (28).
Those are my award winners, who are yours?