The BBWAA is back at it again and the award finalists were released. Here are my choices and my predictions for each award.
Rookie of the Year
Predictions: In the National League the race was pretty close until the final month of the season. Jacob deGrom finished the year strong while Billy Hamilton faded off and that is why I believe deGrom comes away with the award.
From July 8 through the end of the season deGrom was 8-1 with a 1.90 ERA. He held batters to a .204 average and struck out 91 to just 17 walks. While on the other hand, Billy Hamilton struggled. In the same time span Hamilton hit just .217 and struck out 54 times. His speed was the name of his game but he only stole 19 bases and was caught 11, a very poor percentage.
As for the American League, I hate to say it but Jose Abreu is the winner of this award. He dominated every pitcher he faced, hitting 35 doubles and 36 home runs, driving in over 100. Matt Shoemaker will probably end up finishing second like he did in the Sporting News awards, which is still a good showing for the Angels right-handed hurler.
Manager of the Year
Prediction: Before I predict anything I want to point this out. I am predicting this award based on how they managed the game, not just how many games they won. That being said, my NL MOY is going to Bruce Bochy. No matter how you cut it he was the best. Matt Williams may have won the most games but his managerial decisions were something to be desired and I don’t think Hurdle was as good as Bochy. So Bruce Bochy is my pick for the award.
For the American League I love that Scioscia won a lot of games but Buck Showalter was the best game manager in the American League and probably all of baseball. Showalter led the Orioles back to the postseason and his bullpen management is what gives him the award for me. It is hard to manage a bullpen and he seemed to be the master of it in 2014.
Prediction: For the American League it is a pretty close race, but Felix Hernandez is my pick to win the award. He was great all season long and continually went out and threw seven innings and allowed two runs or less. Corey Kluber and Chris Sale had great seasons but it just wasn’t enough for me, King Felix was just better.
Do I even have to predict the National League? Two words Clayton Kershaw, that is all.
Prediction: In the American League my choice is obviously Mike Trout. A surprise finalist is Michael Brantley who had a great season collecting over 200 hits. Trout had a great season, even if it was a down season but he was still the best player in the AL. He led the league in runs once again and hit for more power this season than the last two.
It may not seem as simple as it looks in the National League, but my choice is Clayton Kershaw. I will go ahead and say, he was the best player in all of baseball in 2014. It was amazing watching him pitch every five days and he seemed to do everything great in the regular season. Good thing the postseason doesn’t count though.
Those are my predictions. Feel free to disagree and name your winner in the comments below, I would love to hear who you believe deserves an award!