MLB announced the winners of the American League and National League Cy Young Award, and the names will probably not surprise you. Especially in the AL, judging by the voting.
Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees won the AL Cy Young Award, and Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres has won the NL Cy Young.
Cole was a unanimous winner, while Snell took 28 out of 30 first-place votes from the BBWAA voting body, NL finalists Logan Webb of the San Francisco Giants and Zac Gallen of the Arizona Diamondbacks each received one of the remaining first-place votes.
This is Cole’s first Cy Young Award, and one that was long overdue. He could have won it in 2019 (he was second behind Justin Verlander), and again in 2021 (he was second behind Robbie Ray, if you can believe it), but this time there are no almosts. The game’s highest pitching award is finally his.
It is also the first Cy Young winner for the Yankees since Roger Clemens in 2001, and the team’s sixth overall, after Clemens, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, Whitey Ford and Bob Turley.
Cole, 33, was truly one of the only bright spots on a dismal Yankees team that finished fourth in the AL East, 19 games behind the first-place Baltimore Orioles. He had a 2.63 ERA over 33 starts and 209 innings, as well as a league-leading two complete game shutouts. He’s at or near the top of numerous pitching stat categories, including bWAR for pitchers (7.4, first place), WHIP (0.981, first place), hits per nine innings (6.8, third place), innings pitched (209, third place), and strikeouts (222, fifth place).
The Yankees were an absolute mess this year, but Cole wasn’t even close to being a reason why.
Over in the NL, Snell was also pitching for a team that failed to live up to expectations. The Padres and their high-priced payroll were expected to compete in the NL West; instead they finished 18 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Just like with Cole, Cy Young voters didn’t let the team’s futility tarnish Snell’s individual accomplishment.
Snell, who is now a free agent after rejecting the Padres’ qualifying offer, led all of MLB in ERA at 2.25, and was the only qualifying starting pitcher with an ERA below 2.50. He allowed the fewest average hits per nine innings (5.8), with second place Corbin Burnes finishing at 6.6 hits per nine innings. While Snell pitched just 180 innings over 31 starts and averaged 5.6 innings per start (quite a difference from a guy like Cole, who averaged 6.3 innings per start), his dominance in a traditional stat like ERA put him over the top with voters. He may not pitch past the fifth or sixth inning, but when he does pitch, he takes care of business.
This is Snell’s second Cy Young award, his first in the National League. He won his first in 2018 when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. He becomes the seventh pitcher in MLB history to win a Cy Young in both the AL and NL, joining the impressive group of Max Scherzer, Roy Halladay, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and Gaylord Perry.