2020 MLB Season Award Predictions
With the shortened 60 game MLB season coming to a fitting end the playoffs are set. In a 60 game season we saw a lot happen, the marlins made the playoffs, pitchers setting records with ERA and strikeouts, and batters putting together unbelievably talented stretches. Down below I have picked the winners for each prestigious mlb award.
AL MVP: José Abreu
In a shortened season, many baseball fans were speculating if any player could bat over 400 for the first time since Ted Williams did in 1941 or shatter records for a 60 game stretch. While none of the players were able to do that José Abreu came out of nowhere this year to make a statement to win AL MVP. He finished 3rd in American League batting average at .317, second in home runs with 19, led all of majors with 60 runs batted in, finished first in the American league with a total of 76 hits, finished eighth in the league with a 2.8 WAR(Wins above Replacement) showing how valuable he is to his team. He also became very reliable on defense this season and improved his fielding dramatically. His performance this season helped the White Sox return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Abreu solidified himself as the AL MVP with his bat and in this shortened season putting up tremendous numbers.
AL ROTY: Kyle Lewis
With the White Sox onslaught of rookies this year and projected favorite Luis Robert hitting a major slump in September, this opened the door for Seattle Mariners rookie Kyle Lewis to win rookie of the year. Kyle Lewis hit .262 for the season and led all AL rookies in batting average, racked up 54 hits, stole 5 bases, led all rookies with 11 home runs, a total of 90 bases, and had a nice season in the outfield making a couple highlight reel plays. He had a WAR of 1.4 this season which was one of the highest among all qualified rookies. If Luis Robert didn’t hit a major slump, and Randy Arrozerena started the season earlier they would have most likely had the best chance for rookie of the year, but Kyle Lewis was worthy of it considering he led the rookies in a lot of categories.
AL CY YOUNG: Shane Bieber
In a shortened season, there was an opportunity for pitching to shine and put up numbers never seen before. With the Yankees addition of Gerrit Cole in the offseason and how he pitched the year before, many expected him to win the AL CY young, but right from the start to the finish, Shane Bieber proved it was him. Shane Bieber won the pitching triple crown this year as he led the league in ERA, strikeouts, and wins. In 60 games Bieber pitched to a 1.63 ERA, struck out a league high 122 batters, racked up 8 wins, and had a WHIP of .67. In his first 8 starts this season, he gave up a total of 7 runs and in five of his first 7 starts he struck out double digit batters. He set a Cleveland franchise record by striking out 14 batters in his first start and a total of 27 batters in his first two starts this season. While Bieber had a horrific postseason start against the Yankees, the numbers he put up this season were unheard of making him the clear favorite for AL CY Young.
NL MVP: Freddie Freeman
With Mookie Betts being traded to LA this offseason and Juan Soto on the rise in Washington many expected those two to win NL MVP, but out of the shadows came 2 legitimate MVP candidates from the Braves in Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna. However while both had fantastic seasons Freddie was nominated for the award and Ozuna was not. Freddie finished 3rd in Batting average in all of the MLB and 2nd in the NL with an average of 341 which were substantially higher than Mookie Betts and Manny Machado who were both nominated for MVP. Freddie finished ahead of both Mookie and Machado in RBI’s as Freddie drove in 53 runs in this shortened campaign while Machado finished with 47 and Mookie way behind them. Freeman finished 4th in baseball with a total of 73 hits this season as Machado and Mookie once again were nowhere near him. He hit 13 home runs, which were 3 less than Machado and Mookie who hit 16 but the MVP award is not based on home runs. Freddie overall had a way better season than the two of them in OBP and slugging as well. He out performed Mookie and Machado for the MVP this year and this is why I picked him to win it.
NL ROTY: Alec Bohm
Alec Bohm put up tremendous numbers this season. He led all qualified rookies with a .338 batting average and finished top 5 in slugging (.481), on base percentage (.400), OPS(.881), extra base hits (14), and total bases(77). His 338 batting average was also sixth in all of baseball this season. He was one of the bright spots for a Phillies team that struggled all year and was one of the best rookies, if not, the best rookie in all of baseball this season.
NL CY YOUNG: Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer has brought life to baseball. The energy he brings to the field every start is great for the game and his cocky attitude is backed up by a terrific pitching game. In the NL Bauer finished first with a 1.74 ERA and second in the majors. He finished second in strikeouts with 100 and third in the majors in strikeouts. He had a total of 9 quality starts in his 11 games started this regular season which was 4th in the majors. He pitched a gem in the wild card round against the Braves going 7.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and 0 runs allowed against one of the best lineups in baseball. He led the NL in WHIP with 0.79 and WAR at 2.7 showing he was the best pitcher in the NL. He gave up the second fewest hits in his 11 starts with 41. Overall Bauer had a fantastic year and was the best pitcher in the NL which should help propel him to his first ever CY young award.
AL Manager of the year: Kevin Cash
The Tampa Bay Rays are a team built around pitching and analytics. Manager Kevin Cash has led this team to the World series with the lowest payroll in the majors. While he made a mistake that potentially cost his team the World Series will be remembered for history he had a terrific season from the manager standpoint. His squad beat the Yankees, eight out of ten times in the regular season and then beat them again in the ALDS three games to two. The rays boasted the best record in the AL this year at 40-20 and second best record in the majors behind the Dodgers(43-17), even with the onslaught of injuries they faced in their bullpen and team this season. Cash broke their 6 year playoff drought last season, and guided them to a world series appearance this year.
NL Manager of the year: Jace Tingler
In the NL, there were a lot of candidates for manager of the year and I went back and forth between Tingler and Mattingly before deciding to go with Tingler. Tingler led the Padres to their first playoff appearance since 2006 and has built a team that can be an issue for the league for years to come. Not only did the Padres make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, they also finished with the third best record in majors at 37-23 behind their division rival the LA Dodgers(43-17) and AL East champions Tampa Bay Rays (40-20). While they made an early exit in the NLDS to the Dodgers, Tingler brought the Padres to the playoffs a year ahead of schedule considering how young the team is and their success this season should be able to last for years to come. Hence, this is why Tingler deserves NL manager of the year.
AL Comeback Player of the year: Salvador Perez
Perez missed all of 2019 with Tommy John surgery and the Royals could have really used him. He was one of the few bright spots on an overall, poor Royals team. He came back this year to bat .333 with 11 home runs and 32 runs batted in while remaining top 10 at the catcher position in defensive runs saved and WAR.
NL Comeback Player of the year: Fernando Tatis Jr
All baseball fans know Tatis is the future of the MLB with the energy he brings and how valuable he is to the Padres roster. Last season he missed 78 games and his presence was felt as the Padres spiraled out of control without him. He returned this year putting up MVP numbers before he cooled off a little bit but finished the year batting .277 with 17 home runs and 45 runs batted in and played a significant role in guiding the Padres back to their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Executive of the Year: Rick Hahn
White Sox executive Rick Hahn has built a team full of superstars in Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Jose Abreu, and more. The White Sox were way ahead of schedule in their rebuilding efforts and were able to make it back to the playoffs this season for the first time since 2008. He also made excellent free agent signings this past offseason by adding power threat Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Dallas Keuchel to this roster. The White Sox are a team filled with a lot of talent and potential and can do some serious damage in the future if they play the way they did this offseason. This all started with Rick Hahn and his efforts to reshape this team and this is why he should win executive of the year.