Sunday, March 24, 2013

American League Award Predictions

Predictions are fun.  In March and April, anyone worth their weight in stubby pencils and blog ink will make preseason predictions.  The beauty is that no one really remembers predictions by the time awards and championships are won.  Therefore, anybody with a forum to "predict" is able to say whatever they want, without any accountability.  I like that.  Here are my predictions.

Breakout Player - Matt Moore

B-B-B-B-Bonus-s-s-s-s-s prediction!  I think Matt Moore joins former uber-prospects Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in the ranks of superstar players and I think he does it this season.  The Rays traded James Shields away and I don't think they will miss him at all.  Moore has crazy good stuff and a really smart defense behind him.  I also predict that you will read a lot about the Rays in the next few minutes.

Rookie of the Year - Wil Myers

Myers was sent to the minors, but I don't think he'll be there for long.  The Rays will probably call him up in late April, sign him to a 7-year-team-friendly-deal and then watch as he helps lead their offense to an AL East title.  Myers can hit, throw, field and slug.  He's pretty close to a sure thing and will show the world what he can do in 2013.

My apologies to Jurickson Profar, Trevor Bauer, Nick Franklin and Aaron Hicks.

Cy Young Award - Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball right now.  He throws a ton of innings, strikes out a ton of batters and wins a ton of games.  He has name appeal and he is going to pitch for a very good team.  He has basically had 4 straight Cy Young worthy seasons in a row, and I don't see that streak ending in 2013.  He's too good to pick against.

My apologies to Felix Hernandez, David Price and Yu Darvish.

This is the year.  I feel it.  Longoria is going to stay healthy, play over 150 games and win the MVP.  Longoria is the best position player on what I feel will be the best team in the American League.  He plays excellent defense and provides excellent offense.  It seems that an MVP season has been brewing for years, but injuries have hampered him the past two seasons.  The "Law of Not Needlessly Punishing Everyone By Keeping an Excellent Player Injured For Three Straight Seasons" would indicate that 2013 will be a healthy season.  When healthy, Longoria is one of the best.

Special Note regarding Mike Trout:  Get ready to see a lot of people writing about how Trout isn't living up to expectations in 2013.  His expectations are sky-high and he will be hard-pressed to match his 2012.  He will still be an elite player, but I am betting there will be a lot fewer people writing about that.  It will make me very sad.  :( 

AL Champion - Tampa Bay Rays

Experts seem to be worried about their offense, but hasn't that been the worry in the past few seasons?  I think Myers spends less than a month in AAA.  I think the Yunel Escobar trade was brilliant and I think he bounces back to 2011 Yunel Escobar.  I already proclaimed my love for Matt Moore and Evan Longoria.  Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce are nice players.  David Price and Jeremy Hellickson are great, and Chris Archer should be helping the rotation by mid-season.  They have holes, but I'd like them in a series against every other team in the AL.  That seems to be the goal in the playoffs. 

My apologies to the Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Anaheim Angels and Texas Rangers.

If you want to read my National League predictions, please click here.  You might notice that I didn't predict a World Series Champion.  If you use context clues, you might be able to figure out why.  Or you can just click that link.  That should clear it all up.  

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