Note: for the first time, the candidates were actually listed before the awards were announced, so these are official candidates. I just tiered them into top and lesser.

AL Manager of the year:
Preseason pick: None posted
Top Candidates:
Buck Showalter, Orioles- Showalter is the favorite to win this award, and rightfully so. The Orioles hadn’t had a winning season since 1997, and Showalter turned them around and helped them to a surprise playoff performance that included beating the Rangers in the playoff game, followed by pushing the Yankees to the brink, even though they had much less talent than both.
Doug Melvin, Athletics- Melvin is still unknown by most fans. The job he did was arguably even more impressive than the one Showalter did. The A’s were supposed to be one of the worst teams in the AL. By the end of the year, their rotation was fully comprised of rookies. They ended up sweeping the talented Texas Rangers in the last series of the regular season to win the AL West, and took the eventual World Series loser Detroit Tigers to 5 games in the ALDS.
Robin Ventura, White Sox- The White Sox weren’t supposed to be as bad as the A’s or the O’s, but they weren’t supposed to be good. Ventura was a rookie manager, which makes the season he had even more impressive. However, the White Sox faded down the stretch and missed out on the playoffs, which give the other two managers on this list a big advantage.

Lesser Candidate:
Joe Madden, Rays- Madden is one of the best managers in the MLB, but the Rays missed the playoffs this season so he won’t win or come close.

My prediction: Showalter wins

NL Manager of the year:
Preseason pick: None
Top Candidates:
Dusty Baker, Reds- I don’t think Baker is a great tactical manager, but he seems to be getting the job done somehow. He fought through illness to lead the Reds to a division championship, and they took the World Series champ Giants to 5 games.

Bruce Bochy, Giants: He’ll get some votes because he is a terrific manager, but mostly because he led the Giants to their second World Series title in the last three years.

Davey Johnson, Nationals: Johnson is a veteran coach, but this has been his best coaching job to this point. He took a young, inexperienced team to the playoffs, and they led the MLB with 100 wins.

Lesser Candidates:
Mike Matheny, Cardinals: Matheny is another rookie manager who did a great job in leading the Cardinals to the NLCS.

Clint Hurdle, Pirates: The Pirates didn’t quite make it to .500, but Hurdle did well on a not so talented team.

Fredi Gonzalez, Braves: Another manager who took his team to the playoffs.

My prediction: Johnson wins in a toss up.

AL Rookie of the year:
Preseason pick: Jesus Montero
Top Candidates:
Mike Trout, Angels: Trout is a shoe in to win this award. He might have had the best rookie season ever.

My prediction: Trout Trout Trout Trout

NL Rookie of the year:
Preseason pick: Zack Cozart
Candidates:

Todd Frazier, Reds: Frazier had a great season, but he cooled off in September.

Wade Miley, D-Backs: Miley came out of nowhere to be the best rookie pitcher in the MLB.

Bryce Harper, Nationals: Harper proved to be just as good as everyone thought he would be as a 19 year old.

My prediction: Harper takes the prize

AL Cy Young:
Preseason pick: Jered Weaver
Top Candidates:

Justin Verlander, Tigers: Verlander had another great year, although not as good as his MVP and CY Young award winning season last year. Overall, Verlander went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA (second behind David Price in the league) in 33 starts, while racking up a league-leading 238 1/3 innings. Baseball-reference.com has Verlander at 6.8 Wins Above Replacement, tops among all Major League pitchers.

Jered Weaver, Angels: Weaver finished second last year, and this year he ended up with a 2.81 ERA (third in AL), and 20 wins (tied for first in AL). Weaver continues to have an incredible career winning percentage, as he is a career 102-52 for a .662 winning percentage.

David Price, Rays: Price had a great year, and led the league in ERA with 2.56, while also tying with Weaver in wins with 20. However, his 211 innings pitched were 27 less than Verlander’s total.

Lesser candidates:
Fernando Rodney, Rays: Rodney had an incredible season as a closer, with an un-worldly .60 ERA.

Chris Sale, White Sox: Sale had a tremendous season, but finished with an ERA above 3.

Felix Hernandez, Mariners: Hernandez looked to have the award locked up after his perfect game in August, but had an ERA at 5.70 in September

Matt Harrison, Rangers: A step below the other candidate, he will likely finish in 7th or 6th if he’s lucky.

Note: On my preseason top 7 list, I predicted 4 (Hernandez and the top 3) candidates.

My prediction: In a very tight race, Verlander holds off Price to win his second straight.

NL Cy Young:
Preseason pick: Roy Halladay
Top Candidates:
R.A. Dickey, Mets: Dickey wasn’t just a feel good story. He was the best pitcher in the NL (spoiler alert)

Gio Gonzalez, Nationals: If it isn’t Dickey, it should be Gonzalez, who won 20 games and aced the Nationals staff without Stephen Strasburg

Craig Kimbrel, Braves: Kimbrel was arguably the best reliever in baseball, striking out 116 batters in 62 innings with a 1 ERA and 42 saves to only 3 blown saves.

Lesser candidates:

Aroldis Chapman, Reds: Chapman struck out 122 in 72 innings, but his ERA was above 1.50. He plays second fiddle to Kimbrel among relievers.

Matt Cain, Giants: Aced the World Series Champ’s staff, but was inconsistent after his perfect game.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: Arguably with the best stuff among starters on this list, Kershaw had a great year, but missed some time.

Kyle Lohse, Cardinals: If we were playing the game “Which name doesn’t belong?” Lohse would be the obvious answer, but he still had a great year

Note: I only correctly picked Kershaw among the 7.

My prediction: Dickey wins

AL MVP:
Preseason pick: None

Top candidates:
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: The triple crown winner (led the league in average, HR and RBI), he would be the traditional pick.

Mike Trout, Angels: He will be the pick of more people who truly look at all the stats, including the SABR Metric stats. Therefore, he would get my vote, but I don’t think he’ll win the award.

Lesser candidates:
Josh Hamilton, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Jones, Derek Jeter: All had good seasons. None has a chance.

My prediction: Cabrera wins.

NL MVP:
Preseason pick: None posted
Top candidates:

Buster Posey, Giants: Posey is the frontrunner. He is a catcher who put up great stats in his first season back from a horrifying injury.

Ryan Braun, Brewers: Put up arguably the best stats in the NL, but he’ll get left off some ballots because of the steroid saga last offseason, but I don’t agree with it. He is clean now- and might have always been clean-, and is still putting up monster stats.

Lesser candidates:

Andrew McCutchen, Adam LaRoche, Yadier Molina, Chase Headley, Jay Bruce- All had good years but won’t win, other than maybe Molina. I might give Headley a third place vote if I were voting, though, because of the season he had in the worst hitters park in the league (Petco).

My prediction: Posey holds off Braun, who is left off some ballots.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. philabundant says:

    If the Rays went deep into the playoffs, I think Rodney’s case would have been pretty powerful, although I guess you could make the same argument about David Price.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s