2009 Award Predictions

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Continuing
with my craze of 2009 picks, I’ll brake down my predictions for the winners
(and two runner-ups) of all the major awards for the upcoming season.  Some awards are flawed like MVP, where some
voters pick the player who had the best overall season and some voters vote
literally for the player most valuable to a (usually successful) team.  I usually sway toward the player with the
best overall season so here it goes:

 

AL MVP

1) Mark Teixeira

            — It almost seems too easy to pick Teixeira as MVP, when
he is the bright new star on the team everyone is picking to go the
distance.  The New Yankee Stadium’s
short porch, identical to its predecessor, will make Teixeira an even more
dangerous power hitter.  If can have a
.632 SLG in the cavern of Turner Field, I can only guess that next season will
be one his greatest.

teixeira.jpg

2) B.J. Upton

            — No one knows for sure how much Upton’s shoulder
affected his power in 2008, but judging from his past slugging numbers, it did
a woozy.  I expect B.J. Upton to bounce
back and have his power explode onto the scene.  I’m guessing a 30/40 season in the works.  If only he was as good of a autograph signer
as he was a baseball player…

3) Grady Sizemore

            — As you may have already known, I’ve tabbed the Indians
as next year’s World Champions, and I fully believe Sizemore will be one of the
main reasons they are going to be so successful.  He could wind up having an identical line as B.J. Upton, but I
think Upton could rack more stolen bases and a better OBP.  But if the Indians go all the way, Sizemore
will without a doubt by vying for MVP.


NL MVP

1) Albert Pujols


Anyone want to argue with me?

pujols.jpg

2) David Wright

            — As of
now, with all of their players healthy, the Mets are better than Philly.  Wright probably will be challenged by Carlos
Beltran and Jose Reyes for votes, but most likely will overcome.  The only question is whether Citi Field will
be better suited for right-handed or left-handed hitters.  Given some smaller, lefty-friendly confines,
Beltran could reach 40 home runs and Reyes could reach 20.

3) Hanley Ramirez

            — I had the
first pick in my fantasy draft this year and I chose Hanley.  Going from leading off to hitting third can
only help his numbers as long as Cameron Maybin can do a good job of getting on
base in the leadoff spot.  The Marlins
are poised to make a run for the NL Wild Card, but even if they falter this
year, Ramirez is almost a lock to have another great season.


AL Cy Young

1) Roy Halladay

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— Besides run support, Halladay has everything in
place to repeat his dominant 2008 performance. 
It really is impressive how effective he’s has been considering he
pitches in the best offensive division in baseball for the for the worst
hitting team in that division.

halladay.jpg

2) Cliff Lee

            — Has
anyone figured yet why Cliff Lee had such a great year?  I don’t think so.  Well, then I have no reason to think Lee can’t repeat his pure
brilliance of 2008.  But of course, the
chances that he actually does recapture his sudden outstanding brilliance of
last season are not that great.  If I
were a betting man, I’d still go with Halladay.

3) John Danks

            — There are
a slew of young pitchers who I predict will take it to the next level in 2009
like Ervin Santana, Zack Greinke, and Jon Lester.  But I think Danks will be the one who really pitches himself into
the elite class of American League pitchers. 
He was rushed into the majors in his rookie season but I have a gut
feeling 2008 is only a little of what Danks can accomplish.

           

NL Cy Young

1) Tim Lincecum


I
didn’t think
Lincecum should have won the Cy Young last year, but I do
think he’ll deserve it this season. 
With Santana having health issues, Webb moving slightly back to normal,
and Sabathia moving to the AL, Lincecum is by far the top favorite for the 09
NL Cy, and I don’t see a reason why he can’t get even better in his second full
season.

lincecum.jpg

2) Cole Hamels

— Everybody knows how good Hamels already is
already but he’s still getting better each season.  I predict 238 innings and a 2.85 ERA for Hamels with a WHIP below
1 (he was only .08 above last year).

3) Chad Billingsley

— You saw what I predicted for Hamels and
Billingsley won’t be far behind if at all. 
Like Hamels, the 24-year old has been getting more effective every
season.  The big difference between
Billingsley and Hamels is that Hamels is entering his fourth season of starting
full-time in the bigs.  Billingsley is
just entering just his second.


AL Rookie of the Year

1) Matt Wieters

— I’m well aware of the possibility that Wieters
has only played half a season in Double A and might spend the first month or so
in Norfolk.  However it’s a sure thing
that Wieters will be in Baltimore by June if he stays healthy.  And if he stays healthy…[whistle]

My
Prediction: .377 OBP, 26 HR, 78 RBI,

wieters.jpg

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2)
Travis Snider

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snider.jpg

— Unlike Matt Wieters and
David Price, Snider has the pleasure of knowing he has a spot in the lineup
come Opening Day.  I’m slightly worried
about how fast the Jays moved Snider through the minors in 2008, but his
numbers held up so I’m excited to see how well Snider can hit.  And needless to say, he needs to swing the
bat well to stay with Toronto since he really can’t do anything else.

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Prediction: .347 OBP,
19 HR, 71 RBI, 1 SB

3) David Price

price.jpg

— It would seem David Price winning the 2009 AL
Rookie of the Year would be oh so fitting after he burst onto the scene down
the stretch and dominated in the playoffs last season.  But then reality sets in and a reasonable
fan realizes Price might spend a good chunk of time in Durham next year due to
the presence of Jeff Niemann.  Plus,
Price was having all of that playoff success as a reliever not a starter, where
he would have to spread all of his strength and energy into six or seven
innings, not one or two.  However, I’ve
obviously seen the first overall pick’s filthy stuff, so a full effective year
in the bigs definitely isn’t out of the question; just not very probable unless
someone in the Rays rotation gets injured.

My
Prediction: 21 GS, 3.60 ERA, 9 W, 4 L


NL Rookie of the Year

1) David Freese

freese.jpg

— Other than Freese, I would like to know the last
time a player completely skipped Double-A and still had an amazing year at the
next level.  Oh wait, I know: Albert Pujols!  Anyway, the 25-year-old Freese had a great
year in Class A Advanced Lakeland before being traded over to St. Louis for Jim
Edmonds (nice going Kevin Towers) and had an even better offensive season in
the PCL.  Troy Glaus will be recovered
from his injury by June at the latest, so Freese may end up either making the
Cards trade away Glaus or get traded away himself.  No matter what happens with Glaus though, I doubt Freese will be
forced back to AAA again.

My
Prediction: .356 OBP 26 HR, 89 RBI, 4 SB

2) Chris Dickerson

— Unless the horrific Reds front office for some
reason doesn’t let Dickerson play everyday, he’ll become the next young Reds
position player to break out.  Imagine a
prototypical athletic outfielder…that can actually hit.

            My Prediction: .362 OBP 15 HR, 69 RBI, 34 SB

mlb_g_dickerson_412.jpg

3) Gaby Sanchez

Gobg3CPb.jpg

— Sanchez is a risky pick here because unlike
other ROY candidates like Travis Ishikawa, Colby Rasmus, or Elvis Andrus, he
really needs to have a great spring to secure a major league roster spot.  However, I predict he will not only win the
Marlins first-base job but have a very good rookie year.  The only problem with Gaby Sanchez winning a
spot is that Dallas McPherson or Jorge Cantu will unfairly be sent down or put
on the bench.

                                                    Prediction: .343 OBP, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 5 SB

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28 comments

  1. districtboy

    Come on Red Sox fans! After all, I did think Kevin Youkilis should have won the AL MVP last season. Albeit, Pedroia won it but still give me a little credit.
    Julia – Well, like I said, Lester will be one of those young pitchers along with Ervin Santana and Zack Grienke, who will take to the next level.
    Bob – Big Papi? Nooo. Josh Hamilton would probably have been my fourth pick for AL MVP (or possibly Youk).

  2. xcicix

    MLB had something on the front page about Dickerson and Felipe Lopez and a couple other players (Alexei Ramirez, Shin-Soo Choo) but now I know why I haven’t heard of Dickerson…he’s a rookie. That makes me feel better. I didn’t think Lincecum deserved it last year either…but I wasn’t pushing for Santana or Webb, both of whom deserved it more than Lincecum…Brad Lidge!! Closers are very underrated, but if you think about the 2001 world series…
    http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

  3. kingofcali

    I do think Lincecum does have the best chance to win the Cy Young Award again this year. Who did you think should have won it last year since you don’t think Lincecum should have won it?

  4. districtboy

    xcicix – Yep, Dickerson is flying really below the radar this year. I actually think closers are overrated. Think about, starters divide all their energy into six or seven innings while relievers put everything they have into one or two. In thirty years there will be no such thing a reliever or starter, and every pitcher will just pitch 2-4 innings a game. But that’s a discussion for another time.
    King of Cali – I thought Santana should have won it, with Sabathia coming in second, and Timmy at third. Some voters (stupidly) only counted Sabathia’s time with the Brewers which is probably the reason he didn’t win the Cy.

  5. districtboy

    Erik,
    –Judging from his AAA stats, it looks like the Pirates are smart letting Andrew McCutchen get more time there.
    Jeff,
    –Life is such when you’re stuck with Barry in your league.

  6. districtboy

    ESMLB – Well for starters, LaRussa just announced Joe Mather will play 3B until Glaus is healthy so there goes the chances Freese breaking out. Maybin is definitely in the running for ROY and if I had known about the Freese thing, Maybin maybe would have been my second runner-up. I just don’t think Maybin’s power will develop in his first full year.

  7. welikeroywelikeroy

    Halladay should have won it last year! Low whip, most innings, terrible run support, most complete games. He pitched and lost a number of complete games. You have to give the guy a break! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! I disrgress.

    I like those picks! Especially Snider and Halladay!
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  8. taleoftwoleagues

    Agree on some, not on most.

    1) Youk is a FAR better 1b than Tex.. His batting average far exceeds his, especially now. Tex’s average is flat as a pancake while Youk is smashing everyone.

    2) Bay might surprise people this year. Counting him out is not smart considering he’s hit a jack off of both Mariano and Kerry Wood

    3)There should be a cub somewhere in that NL section. SOMEWHERE

    4) Lee doesn’t seem to be in line for another Cy, I doubt it.

    Hit me up on my blog. I’d like to hear your thoughts. (I sense you might have a slight anti-sox mindset =P)
    -Mike
    http://taleoftwoleagues.mlblogs.com

  9. gregb123

    Hey Arron! How ya been?

    I have a question about Nats Park. I heard that the Red Porch is no longer accessible during BP unless you have a ticket there. Is that true?

  10. districtboy

    Yes, it’s unfortunately true. Words can not describe the feeling I had when the usher told me that I wasn’t allowed in. That alone may cause my season ball total to dip. The right field seats are now an hour earlier than last season, but it hardly makes up for the loss of the RP. The rest of the stadium still doesn’t open until an hour and a half before game time. The good news is that ushers are way less strict this year (not to say they were that strict to begin with). I actually was invited to come down and sit in the lower level when I was watching the game from the concourse. Anyway, when do you plan to come down?

  11. gregb123

    So LF and RF are open 2.5 hours early, and the rest of the stadium opens 1.5 early? Got it. Thanks.

    I’m planning to be there on the 18th vs. the Pirates. Any chance you’ll be there?

  12. districtboy

    I sort of knew you were coming to that series (too good to pass up right?) So yes, I’ll probably be there.

  13. gregb123

    Hey Aaron, are you going to the double-header today? I’m curoius about how the Nats will orchestrate it. I wonder if the gates will still open 2.5 hours before the first game, and if there will even be BP, weather permitting. If you go, let me know how these things worked out.

  14. districtboy

    Well, I did go and gates opened 2 1/2 hours before game time. But since it was a friggin school day, I couldn’t come early. Therefore I don’t if there was BP or not (my guess is no).
    You probably have seen many pictures, but there were hardly any people there due to the miserable weather. It WAS foul ball heaven and I got close a couple times but came up empty. I just feel bad for the Big Unit. Can you think of a worst way to win No. 300? Yeesh.

  15. gregb123

    I actually watched most of the game (on MLB Network — gotta love bonus coverage) and I was simultaneously pissed that I didn’t go and relieved that I didn’t have to deal with that mess. If ever there was a day like that with BP somehow, that’s gotta be the ultimate dream.

    See you sometime.

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