Following on from a run through the American League awards, here’s some sure to be wrong predictions for the senior league.
MVP – Justin Upton
When trade rumours began circling around Upton just over a year ago, there were some impressive packages of young talent being (theoretically) together as fans and analysis lined up to work out what it would take to acquire the Diamondbacks right fielder. Upton’s excellent 2011 stats offered a glimpse, and I believe it was just a glimpse, of what he’s capable of. Still just 24 and a couple of years away from his expected peak, Upton put up .289/.369/.529 line thanks to a career high in isolated power and a career low in strikeouts. Those are strong sides that Upton is maturing as a hitter and that there is more to come from an already outstanding player.
Also considered – Joey Votto, Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzski, Matt Kemp, Ryan Zimmerman
Cy Young – Zack Greinke
After the season, team’s will have a rare chance to bid on three different young, top of the rotation starters when Greinke, Matt Cain and Cole Hamels all hit the open market at the same time. There may have been years with an equally talented free agent pitching class but, in an era where teams are more determined than ever to lock up young players, I don’t remember a year with a year where the top free agent arms has so many high impact years left in the tank. Greinke’s FIP and xFIP where both below 3 last year, indicating that his ERA of 3.83 could and probably should have been around a run lower. Another Cy Young would make him only the sixth player ever to win the award in both leagues.
Also considered – Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels
Rookie of the Year – Trevor Bauer
He may be starting the year in the minors, but once the Diamondbacks have had a month or two to manipulate his service time, Josh Collmenter isn’t going to stop Bauer from claiming a spot in the team’s rotation. The owner of the one of the more interesting player YouTube channels you’ll see, Bauer’s unorthodox training regime has put him under the spotlight since before he was even drafted. The comparison to Tim Lincecum is entirely unfair but he could come up and pile up big strikeout numbers from day one. Despite picking the Diamondbacks to have the MVP and the Rookie of the Year, I actually think the Snakes are in for a season of regression from last year.
Also considered – Zack Cozart, Tyler Pastornicky, Devin Mesoraco, Robbie Erlin
Manger of the Year – Ozzie Guillen
Because why not?
Comeback Player of the Year – Carlos Zambrano
It sounds like the Marlins new park is going to be a good pitching park and working with Ozzie Guillen is either going to work out brilliantly or completely blow up in the face of every involved. Either way it’ll be fun to watch play out.