BBA: 2011 Walter Johnson Award

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.