Brewers' top 2011 performances rewarded

Brewers' top 2011 performances rewarded

MILWAUKEE -- Another offseason has meant another opportunity for Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun to add to an already-full trophy case.

Here's his latest honor: Braun is the first MLB.com Brewers Player of the Year, an easy pick after he batted .332 with 33 home runs, 111 RBIs and 33 stolen bases in what might have been his finest all-around season. Braun led the National League with a .994 OPS and became Milwaukee's first 30/30 player since Tommy Harper in 1970.

As selected by MLB.com, awards have been designated in three categories -- Pitcher, Perfomer and Breakout Player -- for each of the 30 teams.

Team Awards 2011

Yovani Gallardo earned Pitcher of the Year, edging closer John Axford after leading the club's starters with a 3.52 ERA and 207 strikeouts.

Axford did not go empty-handed. He was selected as the club's Breakout Player of the Year after setting a franchise record with 46 saves in his first full Major League season.

More awards are coming. Manager Ron Roenicke is a candidate for the Baseball Writers' Association of America's NL Manager of the Year Award, to be announced along with the American League winner on Wed., Nov. 16. Roenicke led the Brewers to a club-record 96 wins and the team's first division title and postseason series win in 29 years. But the favorite for the award is the D-backs' Kirk Gibson, whose club made a surprise run in the NL West before losing a five-game NL Division Series to the Brewers.

BBWAA voters cast their ballots after the regular season but before the start of postseason play.

The Brewers could have two players in the top five when the NL MVP Award is announced on Tues., Nov. 22. Braun is considered a leading contender with the Dodgers' Matt Kemp, and Brewers teammate Prince Fielder and D-backs outfielder Justin Upton are also worthy of votes.

If it comes down to Braun vs. Kemp, then it becomes a matter of voting philosophy. Kemp mostly owned the better numbers, edging Braun in homers (an NL-best 39 for Kemp to 33 for Braun), RBIs (an NL-best 126 to Braun's 111) and steals (40 to 33). Braun had the better average (.332 to .324) and OPS (NL-best .994 to Kemp's .986).

Plus, the Brewers won their division, clinching with about a week to go on Braun's go-ahead home run against the Marlins on Sept. 23.

Outfielders Braun, Kemp, Upton and first baseman Fielder all won NL Silver Slugger Awards, handed out to the best offensive players at each position in both leagues. It was the fourth such award for Braun, who became the first National Leaguer to win four in a row since Barry Bonds garnered five straight Silver Sluggers from 2000-04.

Fielder claimed his second Silver Slugger Award. He also won in 2007. Facing pending free agency in 2011, Fielder had a stellar season, batting .299 with team bests in home runs (38) and RBIs (120). He played all 162 games for the second time in three years, walked more than 100 times for the third straight year and cut down his strikeouts to 106, fewer than 31 other NL players.

The Brewers handed out one award of their own, honoring reliever LaTroy Hawkins with the Michael Harrison Award for Community Service.

National Awards
MVPYearCy YoungYear Rookie of the Year Year
Rollie Finger1981Rollie Fingers1981Pat Listach1992
Robin Yount1982, 1989Pete Vuckovich1982Ryan Braun2007
       
Manager of the YearYear Rawlings Gold GloveYear Silver Slugger Year
George Bamberger1978George Scott1972-76Cecil Cooper1980-82
Harvey Kuenn1982Sixto Lezcano1979Robin Yount1980, 1982, 1989
  Cecil Cooper1979-80Ben Ogilve1980
  Robin Yount1982Paul Molitor1987-88
    Dave Parker1990
    Carlos Lee2005
    Prince Fielder2007
    Ryan Braun2008-09
       
Hank Aaron AwardYear This Year in Baseball     
Prince Fielder 2007 Scott Podsednik (Rookie)2003  
  Gabe Kapler (Play)2008
Local Awards
Most Valuable PlayerYear Most Valuable PitcherYear  
Tommy Harper1970Moose Haas1980  
Ken Sanders1971Pete Vuckovich1981-82  
George Scott1972-73, 1975Pete Ladd1983  
Davey May1973(No award)1984  
Don Money1974, 1977Teddy Higuera1985-87  
Bill Travers1976Dan Plesac1988  
Larry Hisle1978Chris Bosio1989  
Sixto Lezcano1979Ron Robinson1990  
Cecil Cooper1980, 1983, 1985Bill Wegman1991  
Rollie Fingers1981Jaime Navarro1992  
Robin Yount1982, 1987-89Cal Eldred1993  
Jim Gantner1984Ricky Bones1994  
Teddy Higuera1986Mike Fetters1995-96  
Dave Parker1990Bill Wickman1998-99  
Paul Molitor1991-92Jeff D'Amico2000  
Greg Vaughn1993Chad Fox2001  
Dave Nilsson1994Mike DeJean2002  
B.J. Surhoff1995Ben Sheets2003-04  
John Jaha1996Derrick Turnbow2005  
Doug Jones1997Francisco Cordero2006-07  
Jeromy Burnitz1998-99CC Sabathia2008  
Geoff Jenkins2000Yovani Gallardo2009  
Richie Sexson2001-03    
Lyle Overbay2004    
Carlos Lee2005    
Bill Hall2006    
Prince Fielder2007    
CC Sabathia2008    
Prince Fielder2009    
       

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.