A new year is a new opportunity to make mistakes.
Many mistakes are made in the baseball prediction game. A year ago, Justin Verlander went from pitching his 0 innings in 2021 to winning his 3rd sai His Young Award in 2022, or Aaron Judge on his way to the MVP Award. If you knew he would hit 62 home runs, congratulations. to your divination skill set.
The rest of us are mostly just speculating here.
The 2023 individual winners are: If he wins even one of these awards, he deserves it.
Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout…these are the safer choices in the AL.
But I have an affinity for little guys who do big things. That’s Ramirez. He’s been in the top six in AL MVP voting in his five of the last six years. It’s just a matter of having one truly transcendent season where his case is revealed.
No one could beat Judge in 2022. But earlier in the year, Ramirez recorded his 28 extra base hits and his 51 RBIs in his April, and only he had 15 strikeouts (read again… impressive). and May. Then, in June, he suffered a right thumb injury that required offseason surgery.
With a full recovery in time for Opening Day and on a trajectory with stronger lineup protection after the acquisition of Josh Bell, we don’t think Ramirez will return to MVP level in his 30-year-old season and Guardians. No reason not. A talented team to stay at the top of AL Central.
In 2023 we will see a real Acuña.
We didn’t get it in 2022 as he returned from major knee surgery and struggled to get into the groove. 266/.351/.413 slashes and his 24 doubles were solid by most standards, but not for Acuña. He was thrown out on base as well as his 11th in the NL high.
But even in that disappointment, Acuna was in the 92nd percentile in hard-hitting percentage and expected slugging percentage. Coming out is a good bet as the Braves team could be the best division in baseball if the team is ready to defend his crown.
Until I do, I’ll pick either Acuña or Juan Soto to win NL MVP every year (can you really blame me?). Soto has a very strong supporting cast in that Padres lineup, which may help his numbers but likely hinder his MVP case.
With Verlander bolted to the senior circuit (that’s a reference to the NL, not Verlander’s age), the AL doesn’t have a clear Cy favorite (I’m sure Jacob deGrom will stay healthy. Unless, unfortunately I am not) ). Players who placed him second only to Verlander in the 2022 poll (Dylan Cease, Alek Manoah, Ohtani, Framber Valdez, etc.) could rise to the occasion. Instead, I’ll go with the guy who didn’t take that vote into consideration at all, but who will play a more prominent role in Houston after Verlander leaves.
Javier pitched six innings for the first total no-hitter in World Series history. However, he was above the 82nd percentile in his hit percentage, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, strikeout and whiff percentage in his 2022 hard. Good at moving secondary pitches well from that weapon.
Javier turns 26 and will be entering his fourth season in 2023. Or, at least, he seemed ready for the series.
Garen? On Verlander, Max Scherzer, Corbyn Barnes, NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara and more?
yeah this is baseball Expect the unexpected.
Finishing fifth in the NL Cy Young voting without even being named to the second team on the All-MLB Team, Gallen was the All-Awardless Team’s ace. I’m taking it one step further and drawing him in pencil for this award.
This guy had the best 2022 season that few people talked about. Right-handed Galen had a 2.54 ERA, a 158-plus ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP that put him 12-4. In his last 15 starts, he has a 1.58 ERA and a .466 OPS against opponents. He posted an above-average strikeout and walk rate, and his curveball held opponents to .174 and .271 SLG averages. It was rated the best curve in MLB with a run value of minus 13, according to Statcast. Oh, and he also had his seventh-longest scoreless streak (44 1/3) in the live-ball era.
Coming into the 27-year-old season, Galen should be ready for the close-ups.
American League Managers of the Year: Alex Cora, Red Sox
My confidence in this pick is near zero percent. But the Coach of the Year voting is based entirely on pre-season assumptions by the public. If you don’t live up to expectations, you have no chance of winning this award. Beyond them you have a shot.
Unless something extraordinary happens between now and the season opener, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where much is expected of Cora’s Red Sox. They finished bottom of the AL East last year, losing Xander Bogaerts and instead investing in his 35-year-old Kenley Jansen and his 38-year-old Justin Turner, and Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida. Place calculated bets on and may have to. If you’re struggling for a contract extension, consider moving Rafael Devers (free agency next winter).
The atmosphere in Boston is, well, not overwhelmingly positive.
But let the trend be your ally. The Red Sox stinked in 2022, which means he won’t stink next year, if recent history is correct. Cora is one of the greatest minds in baseball, and most people got out of the sign-stealing scandal he was involved in as his coach on the Astros’ bench. If the Sox somehow get him out of the basement in the East in October, Cora will obviously be the AL’s Manager of the Year contender. At this point, it’s hard to say how they do it, but again, they’ve been known to fluctuate between extremes, and this award rewards extreme achievement.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Torey Lovullo, D-backs
The NL is even trickier as having all of the 2022 playoff teams (Dodgers, Braves, Cardinals, Mets, Padres, Phillies) come back in 2023 looks like a really decent bet. Voters are attracted.
But it can’t be a perfect repeating field, can it? So… who can surprise us?
Well, we’ve already named Galen as a Cy Young pick, so why not go further with Lovro’s D-back? They played over .500 late last season. They have a lot of good young arms with potential.Top prospect Corbyn Carroll (who debuted in 2022) looks like a keeper.They have a better lineup balance.Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and After the Gabriel Moreno trade, their biggest Achilles heel, the bullpen, is an area that can change dramatically from year to year with just a few tweaks.
This is a team that benefits from a balanced schedule, reducing exposure to the Dodgers, Padres, and what would be an improved Giants team. It’s another big change, but the Manager of the Year prediction is nowhere to be chalked up.
That’s not to say there aren’t other strong contenders in what should be another exciting rookie class, but here’s the layup.
Henderson debuted in 2022 and showed plenty of promise with four homers, seven doubles and one triple in 34 games. He is athletic with above average power and plate discipline. He’s a big reason why the Orioles team that shocked us in ’22 by maintaining a deep relationship could be poised to become a clear contender in ’23.
Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (#1 prospect in MLB, according to MLB Pipeline) and the aforementioned Carroll (#3) are among the standout young players who will debut in 2022 and retain rookie eligibility. Being a person is the safer choice. And it remains to be seen if the card’s number one prospect, Walker, will make his debut on opening day (although new collective bargaining agreement rules add an incentive for St. Louis to take him out of camp).
Either way, Walker could be the 2023 version of Julio Rodriguez. He played in Big His league at 21, has (probably) zero Triple-A experience, and thrives because of his raw skill set and quick adaptability. Walker’s transition to professional baseball over the past two years couldn’t have been more seamless. He hit .306/.388/.510 in Double-A Springfield in his 22nd year with 19 home runs and 31 doubles before Arizona. I was. He could force himself into the radar, the lineup and the spotlight.