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MLB

2013 MLB Award Winners Predictions for All 4 Major Categories

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2013 MLB Award Winners Predictions for All 4 Major Categories

mlb
Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

The 2012 MLB award week has come and gone and it is now time to look ahead at next year’s possible winners. Even though every player says it is all about championships, they understand if they play well enough to win an award then there is a good chance their team will be successful.

The league’s biggest names are currently working hard in the offseason to be baseball ready by April so they can help their team get off to a strong start in their organization’s pursuit of a pennant. It is certainly no coincidence that six of the eight players and managers that won their respected awards in 2012 were a member of a playoff team. It is also no surprise that the Most Valuable Player from both the American League and National League played in the World Series.

Reigning MVPs Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey both had incredible numbers this season that helped propel their team through the ranks onto the game’s biggest stage. Cabrera and Posey have what it takes to repeat their success and remain at the top, but there are certainly several players that will challenge them next year. Some of those players may have been in the race this past season while others will come out of the woodwork to make a name for themselves.

The Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year should be interesting races in their own right. Rookie of the Year is typically the most exciting to predict this time of year because there is really no way to know who will be at the top at the end of next season. In fact, this last year was particularly bizarre as many people’s predictions for the award came true.

The following slides are the predictions for the 2013 MLB award winners.

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NL MVP: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Ryan Braun had an amazing 2012 season in which he led the NL in most statistical categories on offense. Braun won the MVP Award in 2011 and was the runner-up to Posey this past season. Some say that if he did not undergo an offseason filled with scrutiny he would currently be the reigning MVP. His numbers were certainly good enough to win the award back-to-back seasons but Posey’s San Francisco Giants performed at a higher level than the Milwaukee Brewers.

Braun’s .319 batting average, 36 doubles, 41 home runs, 112 RBIs, 30 stolen bases, .391 on-base percentage and .595 slugging percentage are almost identical to his 2011 numbers. Expect Braun to put up similar performance in 2013 without a hectic offseason, as he will be crowned the NL MVP for the second time in three years.

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NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Clayton Kershaw won the NL Cy Young Award in 2011 and finished second in the voting in 2012. Kershaw’s numbers have been consistent the last four seasons as his earned run average has remained under 3.00 and his strikeouts have jumped off the page. In fact, since starting at least 30 games from 2009-2012, he has averaged 218 strikeouts and a 2.60 ERA per season. In the last two seasons combined he has 35 wins, 477 strikeouts and a 2.40 ERA in 461 innings. Kershaw will be 25 years old at the start of next season and shows no sign of slowing down. There is no question he is the best pitcher in the NL and will be the heavy favorite of the Cy Young Award.

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NL Rookie of the Year: Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

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Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Milwaukee’s young starter Wily Peralta has a legitimate shot at becoming a full-time member of the starting rotation next season as the Brewers are still trying to find at least one more pitcher. Peralta is Milwaukee’s No. 1 prospect and showed why in his limited time in the Major Leagues this past year. In six games, five starts, the 23-year-old went 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA, 23 strikeouts, 11 walks and did not surrender a home run in 29 innings.

Peralta has plenty of stuff to be a star for the Brewers as his mid-90s fastballs and an above-average slider give him the capability to be a strikeout machine. He will fit nicely in the rotation and will not feel the pressure to carry the team as Milwaukee has several talented starters to do that for him.

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NL Manager of the Year: Don Mattingly, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Dodgers should be favorites to challenge the Giants for the NL West division, especially if they land starter Zack Greinke. However, with an 86-76 record this past season, the Dodgers have plenty to improve on. If Los Angeles is able to overthrow San Francisco in the NL West, expect manager Don Mattingly to win Manager of the Year, even with all of the fire power he will have at his disposal.

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AL MVP: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

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Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

Cabrera deserved the AL MVP Award in 2012, but that does not mean the talented Mike Trout will not reach the top in 2013. Trout had an extraordinary rookie season in which many argued that he should have been the league’s MVP. The 21-year-old batted .326 with 27 doubles, eight triples, 30 home runs, 83 RBIs and 49 stolen bases in 139 games. Next season he will get to play in April and definitely has the potential to hit 40 home runs as well as steal at least 40 bases once again.

There is a good chance Trout will slow down and not be as effective next year as he was this past season. However, Trout is also in a league of his own as baseball rarely sees someone with so much talent start off a career with a bang like he did in 2012.

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AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

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H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY

Justin Verlander won the Cy Young Award in 2011 and pitched well enough to win it again in 2012. He has been sensational most of his career but has really picked it up the last few years. Verlander went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 238 1/3 innings in 2012. He will turn 30 in February and does not appear to be slowing down. It would be a shock if Verlander were not among the top three pitchers next November, as I fully expect him to be No. 1 once again.

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AL Rookie of the Year: Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

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Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

The 19-year-old Dylan Bundy was not supposed to be a September call-up this past season but the Baltimore Orioles had no choice after their starting rotation began to falter. An 18-inning game against the Seattle Mariners towards the end of the season forced Baltimore’s hand to place Bundy in the bullpen. In two appearances, he allowed only one hit and one walk in 1 2/3 innings. The recently turned 20-year-old will probably start the 2013 season in Triple-A, but the Orioles will most likely have to call-up Bundy early in the season if they want to keep their rotation in line.

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AL Manager of the Year: Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels

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Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Angels finished third in the AL West despite a roster loaded with talent. Manager Mike Scioscia needs to get his team to win once again, especially with Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Jared Weaver, Trout and the possibility of Greinke on the roster next season. The Angles will definitely improve on their 89-73 record in 2013 and should be a legitimate contender to win the AL West. If Los Angeles is able to accomplish this feat then there is no reason why Scioscia will not be a finalist for Manger of the Year.