Next week Major League Baseball will hand out their awards for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and Most Valuable Player. Yesterday they announced the 3 top candidates in each category, alphabetically, so let the speculation begin.
AL Manager of the Year: Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, and Bob Melvin are the 3 finalists here. Each of them has done a fantastic job, with Cora winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox. As good of a job that he has done, my vote would go to Bob Melvin. The job he has done in Oakland has been, in my opinion, one of the best managerial performances I’ve seen in my life. No one even considered the A’s before the season. Melvin changed all of that by turning them into a contender.
AL ROY: Miguel Andujar, Shohei Ohtani, and Gleyber Torres all impressed in their debut season this year. I think each of them get some first place votes, as this looks to be a close one. I think Ohtani has a slight edge in this one, but I wouldn’t exactly be surprised if Torres or Andujar win it either. A bright future awaits all 3 of them though.
AL Cy Young: Good luck trying to predict this one. Corey Kluber, Blake Snell, and Justin Verlander all had great seasons in 2018. I have no idea how this will shake out. Part of me leans towards Verlander, the other part towards Snell. And then there’s Kluber who had an outstanding season. Gun to my head, I would give Snell my vote.
AL MVP: The MVP Award seems cut and dried to me in the American League. There were several players who had great seasons who aren’t even in the final 3. It’s down to Mookie Betts, Jose Ramirez, and Mike Trout. All 3 are deserving, 1 will win. Mookie Betts may very well be the unanimous winner here. I can’t see anyone justifying giving anyone else in the league a first place vote.
NL Manager of the Year: Bud Black, Craig Counsell, and Brian Snitker all led their clubs to the postseason this year. The job that Craig Counsell has done stands out to me. The Brewers came out of nowhere, took over the Central division, and even after a mid to late season slump, rebounded and won the division. He seemed to have control of the team and the locker room and never let up down the stretch.
NL ROY: Out of all the awards, this is one that will probably see the most parity. I honestly can’t tell you who I think wins this. Ronald Acuna, Walker Buehler, and Juan Soto took the baseball world by storm this summer. Soto, at 19 years of age, put on a power display. Buehler looked like a seasoned ace. Acuna was a spark plug at the top of the lineup for a first place team. When it’s all said and done, I think Acuna wins this award.
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola, and Max Scherzer are vying for the Cy Young Award. All 3 are worthy, but I think Scherzer wins another one. Aaron Nola was the ace on a very good Phillies team. Jacob deGrom was almost unhittable on a very bad Mets team. Although I don’t think a pitcher’s record should be taken into account, deGrom’s record may hurt him in some voter’s eyes.
NL MVP: Here’s another award that seems clear cut to me. The 3 finalists are Nolan Arenado, Javy Baez, and Christian Yelich. If you asked me in early September, I’d have told you Baez was the guy. Then Christian Yelich put in an epic month. I feel he easily moved ahead of everyone else and should be taking home the hardware. Arenado has been one of the most consistent players over the last few seasons. He has an MVP in his future. I just feel he barely misses out again this year.
We have a week to wait to see who actually wins. The future of Major League Baseball looks bright in the hands of all of these finalists. How many more days until pitchers and catchers report?