Milwaukee Brewers End of the Year Awards

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Milwaukee Brewers End of the Year Awards

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

The Milwaukee Brewers may have missed out on a chance to clinch the second National League Wild Card spot, but they did finish the season strong by taking two out of three from the San Diego Padres. With an 83-79 record and third in the NL Central standings, the Brewers certainly have plenty of positive things to build off of for next year.

Many thought there was no way the Brewers could make a run at a playoff berth shortly after the July 31 trade deadline. However, the players proved everyone wrong – including their own management – by making a historic run. Starting on Aug. 20, the Brewers went 26-9 over the next 35 games to come within four of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot.

Unfortunately, Milwaukee was unable to reel it in completely as they lost four of their last seven to end the season. However, with a majority of the same team coming back next year with an improved bullpen, the Brewers should be able to make some noise in the NL Central once again. I fully expect Milwaukee to be as good as they were in 2011 if not better with the improvements the team will be making in the off-season.

With the season finally coming to a conclusion it is time to hand out the end of the year awards to the players who are most deserving. Some of the players will be happy with their acknowledgement while others may wish they had a better season to avoid being mentioned in this slideshow.

Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.

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Most Valuable Player: Ryan Braun

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Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

This is by far the easiest award to hand out, as there is no question Ryan Braun was the Most Valuable Player on the Brewers this season. Without Braun, Milwaukee is nowhere near an above .500 team and they certainly would not have had one of the top offenses in all of baseball. Braun was not only the best player on the Brewers this season but I would be shocked if he was not named the 2012 NL MVP.

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Least Valuable Player: Rickie Weeks

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Even though Rickie Weeks picked up his game in the last month of the season, he still deserves to receive the Least Valuable Player award. After an outstanding season in which he started for the NL in the All-Star game, Weeks dropped off dramatically this year. He finished the season batting .230 with 21 home runs, 63 runs batted in, 169 strikeouts, and 16 stolen bases. If Weeks could have given just a little bit better performance throughout the year there is no telling where the Brewers would be right now.

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Most Valuable Starting Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo

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Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Milwaukee’s starting rotation had plenty of moving parts this season, which made it difficult for the staff to get any kind of consistency. With that being said, Yovani Gallardo dealt with the pressure and gave a solid performance this year, which is why he is named the Most Valuable Starting Pitcher. Gallardo posted a 16-9 record with a 3.66 earned run average and 204 strikeouts in 204 innings. Expect plenty of big things next season when Gallardo will be pitching in a contract year.

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Least Valuable Starting Pitcher: Randy Wolf

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Randy Wolf may not have finished the season with the Brewers but there is no question he was the Least Valuable Starting Pitcher on the team. It seemed Wolf could never fully control his pitches, as he struggled with his command in a majority of games. With that being said, there were plenty of times when he would give Milwaukee enough to win the game but the bullpen would blow his leads. Wolf was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA, 96 strikeouts, and an opponent batting average of .314 in 142 1/3 innings.

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Rookie of the Year: Norichika Aoki

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

There were plenty of rookies that made their mark on the Brewers this season but none of them had a bigger impact then Norichika Aoki. The Japanese sensation started the season out on the bench but quickly forced manager Ron Roenicke’s hand to start him after giving outstanding performances game in and game out. Aoki came to the majors to prove he could play the game with the best players on the planet and there is no doubt he accomplished that. He finished the season batting .288 with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, 37 doubles, four triples, and 30 stolen bases while posting a .355 on-base percentage.

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Biggest Disappointment: Bullpen

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

I wanted to do a most valuable and least valuable relief pitcher but I came to the conclusion that was impossible. I could not find any reliever that deserved to be called valuable and it would have taken up too much space to list the many reasons why the bullpen was the least valuable part of the team in 2012. John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez combined for a 7-15 record with a 9.05 ERA, 16 blown saves, and 71 earned runs in 141 1/3 innings. Do I need to say more?

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