Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Predicting the Award Winners

                           Clayton Kershaw: Likely to Win 2nd CYA in 3 Years

The season is winding down in it's final week, and the playoffs will start next week. There should be some interesting discussions on who wins the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year. The awards won't be announced until after the season in November, but the writers vote on them at the season's end before the playoffs. Today, I will predict who will win these awards and how I would vote.

AL Manager of the Year

1) John Farrell, Red Sox
2) Terry Francona, Indians
3) Bob Melvin, Athletics

The Red Sox were a mess last year in Bobby Valentine's only season as manager and finished in last place. The year before, they collapsed in the final week and missed the postseason, leading to Francona's demise. Boston hired Farrell to be their 3rd manager in 3 years and overhauled their roster. It worked out and the Sox have the best record in the AL. Francona took over the Tribe this year and has the team in position to make the final wild card spot. The A's weren't expected to repeat last year's success, but have won the AL West again with one of the league's lowest payrolls. The Yankees Joe Girardi might get some votes for keeping them in contention despite numerous injuries.

NL Manager of the Year

1) Clint Hurdle, Pirates
2) Don Mattingly, Dodgers
3) Mike Matheny, Cardinals

After two straight second half collapses, the Pirates have changed their luck this year. Hurdle has led the club to their first postseason appearance since 1992. Mattingly's job was thought to be in danger in May, but the Dodgers went on a tear this summer. At one point, they went 42-8 in a 50 game stretch. The Cardinals have played 20 rookies this season, but have the lead in the NL Central.

AL Comeback Player of the Year

Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Even with Rivera retiring after the season, he still had a deserved All Star selection this year. He fully came back from tearing his ACL in Kansas City last season. The Yankees will miss the postseason this year, but at least Rivera was able to go out in his own terms.

NL Comeback Player of the Year

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Last season, Tulo was limited to 47 games due to injury. He's missed some time this year, but has played in 122 games so far and put up his usual big numbers. He's batting .315 with 25 home runs, and playing terrific defense.

AL Rookie of the Year

1) Wil Myers, Rays
2) Chris Archer, Rays
3) Martin Perez, Rangers
4) Leonys Martin, Rangers
5) Matt Dominguez, Astros

Myers was the big piece in the James Shields trade with the Royals last year. The trade helped both teams and Myers has been a big bat for Tampa Bay. Archer has also been a solid starter for the Rays. Lefty starter Perez and center fielder Martin have helped out the Rangers quite a bit this year.

NL Rookie of the Year

1) Jose Fernandez, Marlins
2) Shelby Miller, Cardinals
3) Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
4) Julio Teheran, Braves
5) Hyun-Ji Ryu, Dodgers

The NL rookie class is deep, and I left out the Pirates Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole, the Diamondbacks AJ Pollock and Didi Gregorius, the Cardinals Matt Adams, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, and Michael Wacha, and the Padres Jedd Gyorko. Matt Harvey, Patrick Corbin, and Jean Segura just missed being rookies this year. I think the most impressive rookie is the Marlins Jose Fernandez. Fernandez went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts on a 100 loss team.

AL Cy Young Award

1) Max Scherzer, Tigers
2) Yu Darvish, Rangers
3) Bartolo Colon, Athletics
4) Anibal Sanchez, Tigers
5) Felix Hernandez, Mariners

Scherzer has had a career year with Detroit and is the AL's only 20 game winner. He also is second in strikeouts and first in WHIP. Sanchez has also had a great season, with Justin Verlander having a relative off year(although most pitchers would love to have that kind of off-year). 40 year old Colon has been the A's ace this year. Chris Sale, Hisashi Iwakuma, and CJ Wilson will probably also get a few votes.

NL Cy Young Award

1) Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
2) Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
3) Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
4) Cliff Lee, Phillies
5) Jose Fernandez, Marlins

Kershaw has had a dominant season, leading the NL in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Kershaw has a 1.88 ERA. There were a lot of good pitching performances in the NL this year. Wainwright and Zimmermann should get some 2nd and 3rd place votes, but I think Kershaw will be a unaminous winner. Other pitchers who will get votes should include Madison Bumgarner, Patrick Corbin, Zack Greinke, Matt Harvey, and Francisco Liriano.


1) Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
2) Chris Davis, Orioles
3) Mike Trout, Angels
4) Robinson Cano, Yankees
5) Adrian Beltre, Rangers
6) Josh Donaldson, Athletics
7) Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
8) Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
9) Manny Machado, Orioles
10) Evan Longoria, Rays

Cabrera won't win the Triple Crown again this year, but he should win the MVP. The sabermetrics crowd was upset that Cabrera beat out Trout last year, and might be upset again this year. Trout does have the advantage in defense and baserunning, but not hitting. Plus, Trout's Angels are below .500 at a distant third place this season. Davis became the first player since Jose Bautista in 2010 to hit 50 home runs in a season this year. I think Cano deserves some votes for keeping the Yankees in contention while surrounded by castoffs this year.


1) Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
2) Yadier Molina, Cardinals
3) Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
4) Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
5) Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
6) Freddie Freeman, Braves
7) Joey Votto, Reds
8) Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
9) Jayson Werth, Nationals
10) Shin-Soo Choo, Reds

I think McCutchen is the obvious pick for NL MVP. He is a five tool player who's having a terrific season, and the Pirates wouldn't sniff the playoffs without him. The Cardinals have Molina, Carpenter, and Allen Craig as possible candidates, but I left Craig off because of time missed. Goldschmidt has had a monster year, leading the NL in home runs and RBI's. There are a few other players who will receive votes that I didn't mention, including Carlos Gomez, Chris Johnson, and Adrian Gonzalez.

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