Silver Slugger Award
Ok, he doesn’t play often and will never accumulate enough at-bats to qualify. It also doesn’t help that he’s spent about as many innings on the mound as he has in the field. But an award has to be handed to Charlie Culberson for his outstanding work off the bench this season. It may only be 28 ABs, but Charlie Clutch has a .429 batting average, .714 slugging percentage, and a 1.128 OPS. Never change, Charlie.
Comeback Player of the Year Award
This award did not take much time to decide. Dansby Swanson has been one of the most improved players in all of baseball, showcasing newfound power and offense to pair with his already stellar defense. The former #1 overall pick is only hitting .268, but it could be much better if not for some unfortunate luck. He already has a 1.4 WAR with six homers and 25 RBIs. On this pace, he’s close to a six WAR player with 25 bombs and 100 RBIs. Nobody expected that.
Reliever of the Year Award
The Braves haven’t had many quality relievers, but one man has shined for the entire season: Luke Jackson. The fearless leader of the Braves’ bullpen has gone from a budding joke to the best reliever in Atlanta. He’s now indisputably the Braves primary closing option, sporting a 2.25 ERA, which is inflated from his first outing of the season, and 10.8 K/9 innings.
Rookie of the Year Award
Mike Soroka has been on an absolute tear since he was called up from his rehab stint in Gwinnett. Questions about his shoulder should be shut down for the time being, as his velocity is up, and he’s forcing soft contact all over the field. His WHIP for the season is barely over one, just like his ERA which sits at 1.21. The scary part for opponents is that Soroka is only getting his feet wet in the major leagues.
Cy Young Award
Soroka could and probably should be the leading candidate for this award as well. However, since his sample size has been abbreviated, Max Fried takes home the Cy Young Award a quarter of the way through the year. Fried’s felt some bumps over his last few starts but he has still been the most consistent arm on the team since April. He’s 5-2 with a 3.25 ERA, and what pushes him over the top is his ability to limit walks. On the Braves, who lead the entire MLB in free passes, Fried is walking 1.8 batters per nine innings.
Most Valuable Player
Coming into the season, the Braves had three legitimate MVP candidates. Josh Donaldson was a former MVP in 2015. Ronald Acuña won Rookie of the Year in 2018 and is probably the most exciting young player in baseball. Then there’s Mr. Consistent, Freddie Freeman. None of the three have separated themselves to this point, but Freddie has been the best of the bunch. He leads the everyday lineup in batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, and OPS. Freeman is also second in home runs and RBIs. There may be a day where Acuña takes the mantle as the team’s MVP, but for now, Freddie continues to do his job better than anyone else.