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MLB Award Predictions

The MLB regular season is less than a week from its conclusion and the races for the various awards are even closer than than that of the final playoff spots. With such a close competition between these top players, a strong last few games from any of them could put them ahead in the final stretch. Here’s a look at how the awards might pan out.

Nice shirt Miguel. Sadly, you’d probably be the best player on the Pistons. But Mike Trout is still better than you.

AL MVP: Mike Trout

The decision between Trout and Miguel Cabrera is the toughest one on this list. Cabrera is a currently a home run away from the Triple Crown and has bigger numbers in the power categories. Yet Trout’s all-around impact on the game, from his hitting to his base stealing to his incredible robbed home runs give him the edge here. And for a leadoff hitter, 29 homers and 78 RBI are pretty darn impressive power numbers.

NL MVP: Buster Posey

This race was close for a while, with Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen in the mix, but Posey has pulled away over the last month. Braun still has had an impressive season, leading the NL in home runs and RBI, yet the Brewers are unlikely to make the playoffs, which hurts Braun’s chances. Posey, meanwhile, is leading the majors in batting average (excluding Melky Cabrera of course) and on base percentage, and is also in the top three in slugging percentage and on base percentage. And he’s done all this while playing the most grueling position in the game.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander

As boring as it is to have a repeat winner, there’s no way around the fact that Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball right now. He had another great season, leading the league in strikeouts and being among the leaders in WHIP and ERA while also pitching the most innings.

NL Cy Young: R.A. Dickey

At age 37, Dickey’s success this season is fairly amazing. He’s pitched the best year of his career, mastering the art of the knuckleball while leading the league in strikeouts (as of now) and amongst the leaders in ERA, WHIP, and wins. Clayton Kershaw, Gio Gonzalez and Matt Cain could all give Dickey some competition in this award.

Trout’s rookie campaign has been nothing short of spectacular.

AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout

This is far and away the easiest decision of the bunch. Mike Trout’s rookie season has been one of the best in history. His arrival in the league was overshadowed by that of Bryce Harper, but all that attention has shifted to him since then. Yoenis Cespedes also had a nice year, but for a player touted for his power, Trout out-homered him.

NL Rookie of the Year: Todd Frazier

Frazier played in 41 games last year, but in his first full season this year he was a major reason for Cincinnati’s success. While Harper had more hype and attention throughout the season, Frazier simply did more, putting up bigger numbers than Harper and doing so in less at bats.

AL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter

Looking at Baltimore’s lineup, it comes as a bit of a shock how successful they have been. After finishing with the fourth worst record in the MLB a year ago, the Orioles now hold the seventh best. Despite their shortcomings as a team, Showalter has shown them how to win and they’ve learned well.

NL Manager of the Year: Ozzie Guillen

Just kidding. Dusty Baker gets the nod here. Baker did another great job with the Reds this year. Cincinnati clinched an NL Central division with two worthy competitors in the Brewers and Cardinals and currently have a 10 game lead in the division. And to do this while missing key players Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick missing significant time with injuries.

Buster Posey has shown that if you strike him down, he will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn

Dunn was arguably the worst player in the league last year, hitting an abysmal .159 and just 11 home runs. He’s marginally better in batting average this year (up to .207), but his power numbers are back. He’s blasted 41 home runs, driven in 94 runs and his ability to take walks (he leads the AL with 104) has given him a respectable OBP which is pretty impressive given how terrible his batting average is.

NL Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey

Another obvious choice. Posey’s injury last season looked like it could be career threatening, or at the very least put his ability to play catcher in jeopardy. Instead, Posey returned better than ever, catching one of the league’s best pitching staffs while also handling the brunt of the offensive workload for the Giants. An incredible season for Posey.

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Angels Make Season-Saving Catch In Mike Trout

He looked. He leaped. He caught. It was that simple because Mike Trout made it look that way. The 20-year-old Angels’ center fielder robbed Baltimore’s shortstop J.J. Hardy of a home run in the first inning of today’s game against the Orioles. It was the top play on SportsCenter tonight, but the rookie Trout is no newcomer to being at the top.

Albert Pujols who?

Coming into Wednesday he led the American league in batting average at .344. That’s ahead of Joe Mauer, Josh Hamilton, Derek Jeter, and so many other stars. Though that’s not the only thing Trout’s ahead of; he’s ahead of the past, the expectations, and somehow reality.

Last summer the kid was a nobody. At age 19, Trout was called up from the minor leagues to play for the Angels last July. In 40 games, he hit .220. He was drafted only two years earlier as the Angels’ 25th pick in the first round so his struggles were no surprise.

Trout went into spring training this season determined to make the team. But he caught a virus and not only lost 10 pounds but also his dreams of making the opening day roster.

Trout though would make his return sooner rather than later. On April 28th the Angels were reeling at 6-14 and in last place in the division, nine games behind the Texas Rangers. The team made the decision, possibly a season-saving decision, to release the veteran Bobby Abreu and call up Trout again, who was batting .403 in Class AAA Salt Lake.

Since he joined the team, the Angels are 35-19 and only 4.5 games behind the major-league-best Texas Rangers.

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The Halo has been lit up much more frequently since Trout entered the Angels’ starting lineup.

He’s been the catalyst behind the Angels resurrection. As the teams’ leadoff hitter, he has 21 walks, 14 doubles, and 21 steals in 52 games. Move aside Kobe Bryant, the LA M-V-P chants belong to Mike Trout now.

Only the Boston Red Sox’s Fred Lynn in 1975 and the Seattle Mariners’ Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 won Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season. Trout has the chance to join them in this elite category.

Still Lynn was 23 at the time and Ichiro was 28. Trout is 20; heck he’s not even legally old enough to drink. (So don’t ask him to celebrate his accomplishments with a beer because that’s a clown question bro)

His speed is startling and he’s football-player-like-build adds to his durability. Baseball analysts marvel at his swing, his mechanics, and his character. They can’t find any holes in his game. (In other breaking news, twenty-nine major league general managers were put on suicide watch as of Wednesday.)

Trout, from Millville, New Jersey, is known as the ‘Mickey Mantle of Millville’, but quietly baseball analysts have murmured his ceiling may be Mickey Mantle. Most baseball general managers agree they wouldn’t trade Trout one-for-one for any player in the league.

It’s going to be Mike Trout’s league for the next decade or so. If you can believe it, it’s his league now.

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