The 2013 MLB season has finally come to a close. Like always, this season had great moments and fun throughout the season from teams and individual players. Now that the season is over, MLB voters from across the nation will send in their ballots to vote on the multitude of awards given each season. Everyone has their opinions on who should win what, but these are my predictions on who will win each award.
AL Manager of the Year- Terry Francona
There isn't much competition here, in my opinion. After the messy divorce with Boston a couple years ago, Francona's future was unclear. He spent some time as an analyst on sports shows, but it didnt seem to fit his niche. So he decides to come back into managing and the Indians give him a shot. He turned this Indians team from a consistent loser who went 68-94 last year into a playoff team.
AL Rookie of the Year- Wil Myers
I don't want to take anything away from Myers but there weren't a ton of good American League rookies this year. The decision was pretty simple. He was by far the best rookie with a .293/.354/.478/ line, 13 HR's, and 53 RBI's in 88 games. He was a major contributor to a team who went to the playoffs. Despite having a less than stellar AL rookie class, it would have been tough for anyone to have a better rookie season than Myers did.
AL Comeback Player of the Year- Mariano Rivera
This shouldn't even be up for debate. After tearing his ACL in a freak accident shagging balls in center field during batting practice, Mo came back to have one of his better years ever at age 43. He racked up 44 saves and a 2.11 ERA. The best closer in the history of baseball came back for one more year in his last hurrah and defied all odds.
AL Cy Young- Max Scherzer
It's often said that Cy Young's and MVP's are won for performances to close out the season. That may be true often, but not here. This award came down to Scherzer and Bartolo Colon. Everyone I have listened to all believe that there is no chance anyone but Scherzer will win the Cy Young. He had the only 20 win season and went on the phenomenal win streak for much of the season. His ERA ranked 5th at 2.90 and a WHIP under 1.00. His W/L record is the reason he will the Cy Young. Colon on the other hand beats in in ERA with a 2.65 that ranks 2nd only behind Anibal Sanchez, and he is right behind Scherzer in wins at 18. I think the race should be closer, but im apart of that crowd who does not see anyone else winning but Scherzer
AL MVP- Miguel Cabrera
This was a 2 man race throughout the entire season between Cabrera and Chris Davis. Each would go back and forth between RBI's and HR's and each had arguments that they were the most valuable player in the AL. For a while, it seemed like Cabrera had a legit chance to achieve back to back triple crown seasons but Davis had none of that. Davis in the end edged out Cabrera with 9 more home runs and 1 more RBI. Cabrera was 2nd in the AL in both those categories but destroyed everyone else in the AL in batting average, having 24 points more than 2nd place Joe Mauer. The nagging injuries to Cabrera at the end of the season would have made this award race closer if the Orioles would have made the playoffs, but alas, Davis is at home and Cabrera is playing for a World Series. Mike Trout also had a crazy good year and even might have a better chance at winning than Davis, but I feel like Trout's stats have been overshadowed by the poor season from the Angels and the breakout season of Davis.
NL Manager of the Year- Clint Hurdle
20 years. That is all anyone would talk about during the Pirates season. 20 years of losing and 20 years with no playoffs. The past two years looked like it would finally be the year, but both times ended in 2nd half season collapses. The third times the charm, and in 2013, the Pirates broke their losing streak and made the playoffs. I don't think Clint Hurdle is the best manager in the National League. I actually don't think he's even in the top 5, but the success the Pirates have had this season has pushed him over the edge of anyone else in contention.
NL Rookie of the Year- Jose Fernandez
Out of all of these awards, this was the toughest one to predict. Unlike the American League, the National League had a handful of really great rookies this year. Puig was the spotlight of the MLB for almost a month after being called up from AAA and being unstoppable. Shelby Miller and Hyun-jin Ryu were both ace-quality pitchers for playoff teams, but they don't stack up to the Marlin's Jose Fernandez. It's unfair to compare wins and losses when Fernandez plays for the Marlins, but even then, he was able to have a 12-6 record. His 2.19 ERA is 2nd only to Clayton Kershaw and his WHIP was among a select few that was under 1.00. This 21 year old has a bright future ahead of him, and assuming the Marlins don't let him go, he will be the cornerstone to a long rebuilding project.
NL Comeback Player of the Year- Francisco Liriano
The battle between two Pirates. Francisco Liriano and Marlon Byrd both had one of the best seasons at their positions. Liriano came back from shoulder surgery and 3 seasons with ERA's over 5. The ex-Twins ace mustered a 3.02 ERA and a 16-8 record. It took a while to get on the mound, but once he got there, he was money. The was one of the main reasons the Pirates are where they are today. Byrd had a career year but I feel like what Liriano did was more spectacular and I think the voters will agree. I also feel like the PED cloud is still hovering Byrd a bit.
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw
Just like the American League, I don't think anyone but Kershaw wins it here. The former Cy Young has lead the lead the past two years in ERA and did it again this year but even more so. He lowered his ERA by .8 and was the only qualified pitcher in all of baseball with an ERA under 2.00 at 1.83. Along with ERA, he also lead the league in strikeouts and shutouts. He is on his way to a HOF caliber career if he isnt there yet.
NL MVP- Andrew McCutchen
The Pirates center fielder lead his team offensively all season. His consistent production really helped keep the lineup in order when various other batters were inconsistent throughout the seasons. He doesn't lead the MLB in any major stats, but he ranks in the top 10 in BA, R's, BB's, SB's, SLG, and OPS. This is probably the most well rounded player in all of baseball. His .317 BA with 21 HR's, and 84 RBI's are well enough for MVP honors this year. If the Pirates would have missed the playoffs this year or were under .500 again, I believe McCutchen would have had no shot at this award. Players like Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman come to mind as other candidates. Like most awards however, team success plays a role in deciding the winners and Andrew McCutchen is the clear choice
AL Gold Glove
C- Salvador Perez
1B- Mike Napoli
2B- Dustin Pedroia
3B -Manny Machado
SS- Alcides Escobar
LF- David Murphy
CF- Lorenzo Cain
RF- Shane Victorino
P- R.A Dickey
NL Gold Glove
C- Yadier Molina
1B- Anthony Rizzo
2B- Darwin Barney
3B- Nolan Arenado
SS- Andrelton Simmons
LF- Carlos Gonzalez
CF- Carlos Gomez
RF- Gerardo Parra
P- Zack Greinke