Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010 Predictions Part 4: AL Awards and Breakout Players

1. Alex Rodriguez - Now playing with less pressure than he has ever felt in his career and is healthy.
2. Joe Mauer - I would be a bit surprised if his power numbers repeated but he remains a superstar.
3. Mark Teixeira - A great all-around player in a very potent lineup, expect a repeat of last year.
4. Evan Longoria - He will take the next steps toward being the best hitter in the AL this year.
5. Victor Martinez - He will fall behind Mauer in the rate stats, but should beat him counting stats.
6. Kevin Youkilis - He missed a little time with injuries last year and still had a monster season.
7. Kendry Morales - Will most likely be the best hitter in the second best lineup in baseball.
8. Miguel Cabrera - A monotonous career of great years.
9. Grady Sizemore - The Indians will score a lot of runs this year and he will be the catalyst.
10. Ben Zobrist - Rated by some statistical measures as the best player in baseball last year.

Cy Young
1. Felix Hernandez - Amazing pitcher, amazing defense and voters finally starting to look at more than wins.
2. Jon Lester - Third in the AL in K's last year and has a vastly upgraded defense behind him.
3. C. C. Sabathia - Won't win the ERA title but will be among league leaders in K's and wins.
4. Zack Greinke - Will be great again but the Royals are even worse this year.
5. Justin Verlander - The king of K's will be right there again.
6. Cliff Lee - Worried about his health a bit but he should be fine in the long run.
7. Matt Garza - Should emerge as the leader of a talented, young, Rays staff.

Rookie of the Year
1. Brian Matusz - Best combination of talent and opportunity by far.
2. Desmond Jennings - Should hit the ground running once Tampa Bay gives him the job.
3. Neftali Feliz - Has potential to be this year's Andrew Bailey.
4. Wade Davis - Struggling this spring but should be able to match Jeff Niemann's 2009.
5. Austin Jackson - Should rack up plenty of AB's and play reasonably well.

Manager of the Year
Ron Gardenhire - Twins should win the division this year even without Nathan, and Gardenhire will get plenty of credit.

Top 5 Breakout Hitters
1. Matt Wieters - Too easy.
2. Travis Snider - Struggled in the first half last year but rebounded in a big way and is just 22.
3. Matt LaPorta - Rare combination of power and bat control should lead to a big season.
4. Howie Kendrick - Only injuries have prevented him from being a right-handed Robinson Cano.
5. Gordon Beckham - A quietly efficient rookie year was a prelude of things to come.

Top 5 Breakout Pitchers
1. Brett Anderson - Was rushed to the majors last year but kept getting better, expect more of the same.
2. Matt Garza - Upped his K-rate significantly last year, and ERA drop should swiftly follow.
3. Derek Holland - A bit of a long shot but the stuff is there and the breakout will come later if not this year.
4. Brian Matusz - One of the most complete rookie pitchers in recent memory should be effective immediately.
5. Clay Buchholz - Will never deliver on the hype he once generated but should be an above average starter this year.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Got to meet Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and Carlos Pena the last few days. They all seemed like really nice guy who went out of their way to sign autographs for the fans. BJ Upton and Pat Burrell were not quite so accommodating. But all in all I am impressed with how some of these solid young players have been so approachable and down to earth and seem to realize how the fans are an important part of the success Major League Baseball.

In other news: "Burrell has a fatty!"