Here’s my ballot for the BBA’s Walter Johnson Award for the National League. The Walter Johnson Award goes annually to the league’s best pitcher.
1) Roy Halladay, Phillies – This one is pretty easy. Halladay’s 8.2 WAR was the highest among NL pitchers by a full 1.4 wins. For the year he posted a 2.35 ERA and struck out 220 batters, the most he’s ever K’d in a season.
2) Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – I could go either way here with Kershaw or Lee, but I’m going to give Kershaw the edge due to having a slightly lower ERA (2.28), and slightly more strikeouts (248).
3) Cliff Lee, Phillies – Lee is the obvious choice for the 3rd spot (if you put Kershaw 2nd). His 6.7 WAR puts him ahead of the rest of the pack by a pretty clear margin.
Here’s where things get a little more tricky…
4) Ryan Vogelsong, Giants – Haha, why not? Vogelsong’s 2.71 ERA was 4th in the NL behind the 3 guys above and you have to love the great comeback story he has from being traded from the Giants as a top prospect to the Pirates and returning back to San Francisco after quite a long journey. Also, I won the CY Young with him in MVP Baseball 2004, so he’s got that going for him.
5) Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks – Kennedy finally had his breakout season people have been expecting in what seems like forever now. The 26-year old finished the year with a 5.0 WAR and a 2.88 ERA while striking out a career high 198 batters.