With Pitchers and Catchers finally reporting to Spring Training, I thought it’d be fun to break down who I believe will take home the awards this season.
Now, i could be lame and just go based off of last year’s winners but that’s boring. I’ve got some ideas that I think everyone may find intriguing.
Blake Meyer (@buhhlockaye): Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle
With the off-season moves the Mariners have made to shore up the offense, this could be more of a no brainer than you think. Last season, Cano batted .298, hit 39 Home Runs and had 103 RBI.
That was with guys like Ketel Marte, Steve Clevenger, Seth Smith and Dae-Ho Lee in the lineup.
The new additions of Segura & Dyson batting ahead of him in the order should help boost those numbers tremendously.
Prediction: .305 / 43 HR / 128 RBI
Nate Emerson (@ndemerson): Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles
It’s Trout’s throne to lose. The reigning MVP will bring home the hardware once again this season. Trout started off last season like a mere mortal posting a .291/.386/.523 line in the month of April but got hot as the season went on, posting a .349/.486/.651 line in the month of August.
The momentum that Trout carried to the end of the season will carry over into 2017.
Prediction: .319 / 31 HR / 105 RBI
Blake Meyer: Chris Sale, LHP, Boston
With a change of scenery, the dominant pitcher brings a whole new dimension to the Red Sox. Not only that, the Red Sox have the offensive fire power to easily add 5-6 wind to Sale’s record year in and year out.
Look for him to want to thrive in his new surroundings. If you play fantasy baseball, don’t pass on this guy.
Prediction: 21-4 / 2.67 ERA/ 289 Ks
Nate Emerson: José Quintana, LHP, Chicago
It’s entirely likely that Quintana doesn’t finish the season in the AL but I’m willing to go out on a limb for this one. Quintana’s stats are too good to ignore any longer now that the Chi Sox have dealt their ace Chris Sale. The new ace of the staff, Quintana will finally have the spotlight on him and for good reason. Often a tough luck loser in terms of decisions, Quintana has all the makings to win the Cy Young without needing wins.
Let’s avoid in-depth stats and call this one a “gut decision”
Prediction: 13-10 / 2.94 ERA / 213 Ks
Blake Meyer: Aaron Judge, RF, New York
At 6’7″ 275 LBS, Judge looks like a guy you create on MLB: The Show. Not like a legitimate major leaguer. He burst on the scene last season homering in his first at bat but soon cooled off. He ended the his limited time in the majors with 4 home runs and 10 RBI.
With a full season ahead of him in right field and the short porches in Yankee Stadium watch for this kid to go from under the radar to household name very quickly.
Prediction: .254 / 31 HR/ 101 RBI
Nate Emerson: Andrew Benintendi, LF, Boston
Like Aaron Judge, Benintendi has had a taste of the big leagues already in his short career. The 7th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft put up a .295/.359/.476 line in 34 games with Boston last season. Those by themselves are great numbers for a 22 year old seeing big league pitching for the first time, but those are below his career numbers which leaves room for improvement. Benintendi won’t blow the league away with power or blazing speed but he has enough of both combined with a great approach at the plate to be a player to be feared for years to come.
Prediction: .309 / 18 HR / 79 RBI
Manager Of The Year:
Blake Meyer: Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners
With all the off-season moves GM Jerry Dipoto once again pulled off, the Mariners roster looks the deadliest it has since the mid 90s.
With a lineup expected to be a great mix of power and speed, a starting 5 that’s legitimate from top to bottom and a bullpen full of young fireballers I fully expect the Mariners to win the division.
Nate Emerson: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox
This is not as much Farrell’s managerial skill as it is the team put before him. By no means am I saying Farrell is not a good manager, but it would be quite hard to not win with the team who has performed so well in recent years plus new additions and rookies like the two mentioned above by the names Chris Sale and Andrew Benintendi (perhaps you’ve heard of them).
Blake Meyer: Bryce Harper, RF, Washington
Hate him or love him, I don’t really care. The kid is a baseball machine. Being able to put up the numbers he does is incredible at any age. He went through a bit of a slump last year, but with him looking to get a contract in the $400 million range I fully expect him to do everything in his power to prove he’s worth it.
He won it two years ago and could honestly be in the discussion every year. Look for him to make it two in three years.
Prediction: .315 / 45 HR / 110 RBI
Nate Emerson: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado
Back to back years of leading the league in HR, RBI and total bases have somehow landed Arenado no higher than 5th in MVP voting but that changes this year. Yes, some of Arenado’s power numbers are aided by some home cooking at Coors Field but Arenado puts up fantastic complimentary numbers to remind us that he is more than a power hitter. Back to back silver slugger and gold glove awards show us the depth of talent that Arenado has to offer.
Prediction: .292 / 46 HR / 128 RBI
Blake Meyer: Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York
One thing that “Thor” has proven since entering the league: The man throws heat.
Touching 100 MPH is something usually reserved for relievers. Thor does it inning after inning. Last season it made him almost unhittable for most of the year before suffering a bone spur in his throwing arm.
This season the 6’6″ righty has added an extra 16 lbs of muscle and is looking to throw even harder.
Prediction: 16-7 / 2.43 ERA / 290 Ks
Nate Emerson: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles
He’s still here. Sidelined by a bad back for parts of last year, Kershaw still put up insane numbers. The LA southpaw put up a 12-4 record to accompany a 1.69 ERA and 172 Ks in 149 IP in 2016 proving that the only reason he wasn’t in the Cy Young argument was because of a lack of games played. Kershaw is still the best in the league, game, and universe.
Prediction: 19-8 / 2.03 ERA / 317 Ks
Blake Meyer: Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta
The 2015 1st round pick got called up last year and didn’t disappoint. Through 38 games he batted .302 in 129 ANd.
Swanson brings a a top of the order combination of on base percentage and plate vision hat has the Braves excited for the upcoming season.
I actually see him as an all-star contender this season.
Prediction: .265 / 11 HR / 70 RBI
Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta
Well, since my first pick’s elbow blew out I’m going to go with the homer choice of Mr. Swanson. Swanson’s small sample size of major league playing time offered a glimpse of what is hopefully a bright future for the Atlanta Braves’ top prospect.
Prediction: .302 / 10 HR / 68 RBI
Manager Of The Year:
Blake Meyer: Dave Roberts, Los Angeles
A healthy Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, a dominant bullpen and a loaded lineup that includes guys like Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner have the Dodgers in line for a huge season.
Although the Giants will give them a run for their money in the division, look for the Dodgers to take it and finish top 5 in baseball in wins.
Nate Emerson: Mike Matheny, St. Louis
As with John Farrell above, Matheny is a good manager who just so happens to be in an organization who refuses to lose. The Cardinals routinely set up their team so they are able to plug just about any piece into their lineup and still compete.