Predicting the Winners for Every 2014 Major MLB Award
Looking Into the Future to Predict 2014 MLB Awards
After what felt like an eternity of an offseason, 2014 Spring Training is officially right around the corner. The 2014 MLB season is going to be upon us shortly which means seven months full of 100 mph heaters, no-hit bids, tight games and an enthralling race for the pennant will be occurring shortly, and I for one am excited.
Of course a lot has changed since the Boston Red Sox raised the Commissioner's Trophy as 2013 World Series Champions. Players such as Masahiro Tanaka came to the New York Yankees from Japan, Robinson Cano moved to the Seattle Mariners and Matt Garza moved to the Milwaukee Brewers. These are just a few of the moves that have ensured no team looks exactly the same as they did at the end of the 2013 season, and 2014 will be one of the most exciting years on record.
With the changes of many players and upcoming season in mind, I have taken a peek into the future and attempted to predict who will win the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year Award from each league. Predicting each of these awards required taking a look at a plethora of different factors with the main things that unite each award being past performance and the potential of each candidate for the upcoming season.
Enjoy, discuss and feel free to let me know why you agree or disagree with a certain award prediction I made.
AL Cy Young - Yu Darvish
While some people may think of Yu Darvish as a seasoned veteran, the 27-year-old is actually a third year player who will only get better in 2014. That is a very scary proposition as in 2013 he compiled a 13-9 record with 2.83 ERA, 277 strikeouts, a 5.8 WAR and finished in second in AL Cy Young voting. Expect the Texas Rangers pitcher to improve in 2014 with a 20 win, 300 strikeout season and 2014 AL Cy Young Award to ensue.
NL Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw
Picking Clayton Kershaw for the NL Cy Young Award may seem too dull of a selection, but he really is impossible to go against. Kershaw has won two of the last three Cy Young Awards, and his 16-9 record with 232 strikeouts,and 1.83 ERA in 2013 compiled arguably the best steroid free pitching season in the last 15 years. Expect Kershaw to continue to put up impeccable numbers in 2014 win the NL Cy Young Award in a rout.
AL MVP - Mike Trout
After being robbed each of the last two years, Mike Trout will finally win the AL MVP Award in 2014. Like Darvish, the 2014 season will only be Trout's third in the big leagues, and the scary thing is the 22-year-old can actually improve on the .323/.432/.557 statistical line with 27 home runs, 97 RBI and 33 stolen bases he compiled in 2013. Expect Trout to approach a 12 WAR and put up peripheral numbers that will make voters forget who Miguel Cabrera is.
NL MVP - Yasiel Puig
Many people despise the way that Yasiel Puig plays baseball, but I for one am a huge fan of the Cuban outfielder. In his rookie season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Puig posted a statistical line of .319/.391/.534 with 19 home runs, 42 RBI, eleven stolen bases and a 5.0 WAR in only 104 games played. Suffice to say, Puig is the all-around package, and he will avoid the dreaded sophomore slump to get better in 2014. He will prove to voters he is the best -- and most valuable -- position player in the National League.
AL Rookie of the Year - Masahiro Tanaka
In what will turn out to be the easiest choice ever or a dreaded mistake, I have chosen Masahiro Tanaka as the AL Rookie of the Year for 2014. During the 2013 season Tanaka compiled a 24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA in 212 innings pitched for the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League. Of course the Pacific League is not the major leagues, but his mixture of a low to mid 90s fastball, impeccable splitter, effective slider and great control will ensure he wins 15 games with a 3-3.50 ERA in 2014.
NL Rookie of the Year - Oscar Taveras
Oscar Taveras is unanimously voted as the best prospect on any National League team today, and 2014 will be his coming out party. The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder has an explosive bat with the ability to drive the ball to all different areas of the field. If healthy, expect Taveras to hit close to 20 home runs and steal 20 bases while posting an average close to .300.
AL Manager of the Year - Mike Scioscia
While some people may decry Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia as being out of touch with the stars on his team, he will prove these theories wrong in 2014. Guys such as Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols will have breakout years, and with the combined presence of Mike Trout the Angels will have a lineup that will out slug many opponents. Scioscia will ensure that the team can patch together enough arms to win north of 85 games, and people will again realize he is a great manager.
NL Manager of the Year - Bruce Bochy
The San Francisco Giants tend to win the World Series every other year, and 2014 would seem to fit into that trend. In order to do this Bruce Bochy will have to make sure that starting pitchers Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner perform up to their potential and the team's lineup can scrape together four to five runs a game. Expect Bochy to make this happen and for the Giants to challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West crown.