Top 15 Candidates To Win The 2013 AL Cy Young Award

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AL Cy Young Top 15 Candidates

Cy Young
Kim Klement-US Presswire

During the long cold days of winter there obviously isn’t a lot of baseball news going on. I’m marking down the calendar days until pitchers and catchers report (90 days) but baseball is still always on my mind. It got me thinking that it’s never too early to wonder who the candidates for AL Cy Young are in 2013.

First, I think it’s fair to review the 2012 Cy Young award winner and the close competition. The vote came down to two players, David Price and Justin Verlander. This vote went down to the wire.

Price made his case for winning the award by winning 20 games. Price posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 205 batters. Batters had a .226 average against him which is unbelievable. Price also made a MLB high of 23 starts of seven innings or more. Leave it to Verlander to make the vote close.

Verlander won 17 games. He posted a 2.64 ERA and struck out 239 batters. Batters hit .217 against Verlander which is better than Price. Verlander also walked 60 batters compared to Price’s 59.

Because of the great numbers that Verlander put up the voting came down to the wire. In fact, it was one of the closest votes in MLB history for the AL Cy Young. Price won by four votes, 153 points to Verlanders 149. The margin of victory was the slimmest since 1969 when there was a tie.

However, that was 2012. Who are the candidates for 2013? Let’s take a look.

Let me know what you think, leave a comment and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319

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David Price

Kim Klement-US Presswire

Price is more than capable for defending his Cy Young. His numbers in 2012 were amazing. This also wasn’t just some one hit wonder. In Price’s career he has a 3.16 ERA. So yes, Price is a candidate for the 2013 Cy Young award. Oh and Price was also 12th in voting for the MVP.

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Justin Verlander

Andrew Weber-US Presswire

Verlander seems to be on the AL Cy Young award list every year. I think that if he wasn’t on it there would have to be something wrong. There isn’t much to say about Verlander that hasn’t been said. He is an amazing pitcher, a player that the Detroit Tigers love and a fan favorite. In 2012 he was in eighth place in MVP voting.

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Jered Weaver

Gary A. Vasquez-US Presswire

Weaver was a close third in the AL Cy Young award in 2012. He also was 22nd in MVP voting. Weaver finished 2012 with a 20-5 record. He posted a 2.81 ERA and struck out 142 batters. Oh, and Weaver also threw a no hitter against the Minnesota Twins on May 2nd. Weaver is a strong candidate for Cy Young in 2013.

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Chris Sale

Rick Scuteri-US Presswire

Sale put up amazing numbers in his first full year with the Chicago White Sox. He was 17-8 and posted a 3.05 ERA. He stuck out 192 batters and only walked 51. He also held opposing batters to a .235 batting average. Sale did seem to get tired near the end of the year and hit a rookie wall. In Cy Young voting he placed sixth.

I foresee great things in the future for this lefty. He is one of the untouchable players that the White Sox have on their staff. Is a Cy Young in the future for Sale? I think so and perhaps 2013 will be that year.

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Felix Hernandez

Joe Nicholson-US Presswire

Hernandez’s one problem has been that he plays for the Seattle Mariners. He doesn’t get the amount of media attention that other pitchers get because he plays out west. Just don’t tell batters that because Hernandez can be unhittable at times. Ask the Tampa Bay Rays. Hernandez threw the first perfect game in Mariners history and only the 23rd Perfect Game in MLB history.

Hernandez was 13-9 and posted a 3.06 ERA including 5 shutouts. Hernandez was a strikeout machine and struck out 223 batters in 2012. He placed fourth in Cy Young voting and was 22nd in MVP voting.

Hernandez won the Cy Young in 2010. Does he have the stuff to win it again in 2013?

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Fernando Rodney

Scott Rovak-US Presswire

Rodney’s numbers in 2012 were amazing. Throw in the fact that he was 35 and his numbers are even more impressive. Rodney’s ERA was 0.60 in 74.2 innings pitched, and no you didn’t misread that. That ERA is amazing. Most pitchers want anything in the mid three’s and Rodney was at 0.60. Rodney also struck out 76 batters.

Rodney placed fifth in Cy Young voting and was 13th in MVP voting. With an ERA that Rodney had the only reason he didn’t win was because he is a reliever. It is very hard for a reliever to win the Cy Young.

I don’t think Rodney will post a 0.60 ERA again in 2013. Time will tell to see if Rodney can repeat the amazing year he had in 2012. He still warrants being looked at for potential Cy Young n 2013.

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Jim Johnson

Joy R. Absalon-US Presswire

Johnson is another relief pitcher who got votes for the Cy Young in 2012. He was seventh in voting and 14th in MVP voting. Johnson recorded 51 saves for the Baltimore Orioles and was one of the reasons that the Orioles made the playoffs.

Again, it is very hard for a relief pitcher to win the Cy Young and that includes closers like Johnson. But if Johnson can record 51 saves again in 2013 he might break that glass ceiling and win the award.

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Matt Harrison

Jim Cowsert-US Presswire

Harrison was one of the unsung heroes on the Texas Rangers pitching staff in 2012. He placed eighth in Cy Young voting. In 2012 he was 18-11 and posted a 3.29 ERA. Harrison struck out 133 batters.

Like I said, Harrison doesn’t get a lot of mention in the media but he is a strong pitcher. In 2011 he was 14-9 and posted a 3.39 ERA so Harrison isn’t some flash in the pan pitcher either. Harrison warrants being on the 2013 watch list because of his repeat success.

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Yu Darvish

Kevin Jairaj-US Presswire

Darvish was the big catch when the Rangers signed him and he didn’t let them down. He was ninth in Cy Young voting and was third in Rookie of the Year voting. Darvish looked like he belonged in the MLB from the start.

He was 16-9 and while his ERA was 3.90 I believe he will get that lower in 2013. Darvish struck out 221 batters as well. I think that Darvish is still young and is still learning the league. Likewise batters are still learning about Darvish.

However, he has the skill, and he has the pitches to be a candidate again for Cy Young in 2013.

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Jake Peavy

Gary A. Vasquez-US Presswire

Peavy had a comeback year for himself and for the White Sox in 2012. He was 11-12, posted a 3.37 ERA, and struck out 194 batters. Peavy also won a Gold Glove in 2012 so not only is he a potential Cy Young winner but he can also field his position.

Peavy had a comeback year for himself and for the White Sox in 2012. He was 11-12, posted a 3.37 ERA, and struck out 194 batters. Peavy also won a Gold Glove in 2012 so not only is he a potential Cy Young winner but he can also field his position.

When Peavy is healthy he is one of the most dangerous pitchers in the MLB. Don’t be surprised if Peavy is a favorite to win the Cy Young in 2013.

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Hiroki Kuroda

Anthony Gruppuso-US Presswire

Kuroda may be near the end of his career but that doesn’t mean he can’t pitch. In 2012 he was 16-11, and posted a 3.32 ERA. Kuroda could have an unbelievable year in 2013 and steal the Cy Young from every pitcher. While he isn’t a favorite he is still a strong candidate.

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Jeremy Hellickson

Gary A. Vasquez-US Presswire

I remember seeing Hellickson pitch against the White Sox. I saw his face and thought he was 18 and then was shocked to find out he was my sister’s age at 25. Hellickson is one of my black horse candidates for Cy Young in 2013.

In 2012 he was 10-11 but posted a 3.10 ERA and struck out 124 hitters. He also shared the Gold Glove with Peavy. Like I said, Hellickson is young and will be 26 in 2013. However, he has a lot of potential and could sneak in as a Cy Young award winner.

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CC Sabathia

Debby Wong-US Presswire

Sabathia actually had a un-Sabathia like year in 2012. Still his numbers were numbers that most pitchers would love to have. He was 15-6, had a 3.38 ERA and struck out 197 batters.

Sabathia like Verlander is always on the short list for the award since he won it in 2007.

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Jason Vargas

Steven Bisig-US Presswire

Vargas is one of my other dark horse candidates for Cy Young. He isn’t well known since he plays for the Mariners and also plays in the shadow of Hernandez but he is a great pitcher.

In 2012 he was 14-11, had a 3.85 ERA and struck out 141 batters. The ERA is high but Vargas has a lot of potential. He posted a 3.78 ERA in 2010 with the Mariners so he has the potential to do it again.

Like I said, he is one of my black horse candidates for the Cy Young in 2013. Just remember if he is in the discussion you heard it from me first.

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Jarrod Parker

Kyle Terada-US Presswire

Parker may be last on this list but that doesn’t mean I don’t like him. He is my last dark horse candidate for Cy Young and for good reason. Most people don’t know his name since he is a rookie and plays out west for the Oakland Athletics. He placed 5th in Rookie of the Year voting.

In 2012 he went 13-8 and posted a 3.47 ERA. He struck out 140 batters. I really like Parker’s potential to be a Cy Young winner in 2013. I think that most batters in the AL West have started to notice him as well.

We shall see what happens; again remember that if he’s in the discussion you heard it from me first.