MLB Awards: Top Contenders for 2017 NL Cy Young Award

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Clayton Kershaw /
4 of 6

3. Stephen Strasburg: Washington Nationals

In a year when every MLB player was hitting home runs, Stephen Strasburg proved quite adept at keeping the ball in the yard.

Over the course of his 175.1 innings, Strasburg allowed just 13 home runs, three of which came in one outing. In his final seven starts of the year, Strasburg did not allow a single homer, while posting a 0.57 ERA. Although the Nationals had the NL East pretty well wrapped up, he was at his best down the stretch.

Overall, Strasburg had an excellent season. Buoyed by his ability to keep the ball in the yard, he posted a 15-4 record for the second consecutive year. He threw his second career shutout, while posting a 2.58 ERA and a 1.015 WHiP. In his 175.1 innings, Strasburg struck out 204 batters while issuing only 47 walks. This was the type of season that Nationals fans had been waiting for since he was drafted.

Given his reputation, it is surprising that Strasburg has only received Cy Young votes in only one season. Not only should that change this year, but we may be starting to see his ascension to becoming a true ace. Strasburg has the weapons; now, he may be ready to take that next step forward.

Health has always been a concern for Stephen Strasburg. Healthy this year, the Washington Nationals starter proved why he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.