Photo courtesy of CBS Sports
Now that I’ve laid out my predictions for every team in the MLB, let’s dive into my predictions for the end of season awards. For each player award, I put a brief description of their projected 2021 season with a comparison of 2020 stats vs. my 2021 prediction.
American League Awards
MVP – Mike Trout
We all know Mike Trout is the best all-around player in the game right now, and arguably the best of our generation. Even though he has Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher supplementing him in the lineup, it’s his team to carry. He improves on a “down” year, by Mike Trout standards, and captures his 4th AL MVP.
2020: .281/.390/.603, 17 HR, 46 RBI, 1 SB, 1.9 WAR
2021: .290/.395/.620, 42 HR, 92 RBI, 4 SB, 9.5 WAR
Cy Young – Gerrit Cole
The bona fide ace of the Yankees’ pitching staff. With an unclear rotation beneath Cole, he will once again put the staff on his back and lead them to a World Series Championship. He’ll capture the Cy Young award that he was snubbed from picking up in 2018 by his own teammate in Justin Verlander.
2020: 73.0 IP, 7-3, 2.84 ERA, 94 K, 0.959 WHIP, 2.2 WAR
2021: 210.0 IP, 19-4, 2.76 ERA, 285 K, 0.912 WHIP, 6.2 WAR
Rookie of the Year – Randy Arozarena
He rakes all day, night, year, and he will continue to do so on his way to being bestowed the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year Award. My man was unreal in 23 regular season games played last year, and I can’t even think of a word to describe his Postseason excellence. The Rays got a good one in Randy, and I expect 2021 to be his coming out party for a successful career.
2020: .281/.382/.641, 7 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB, 0.9 WAR
2021: .297/.385/.650, 27 HR, 81 RBI, 25 SB, 5.3 WAR
Comeback Player of the Year – Trey Mancini
As I mentioned in my AL East Outlook, I’m pulling for Trey Mancini with everything I have. His career was trending sharply upward before a colon cancer diagnosis robbed him of his 2020 season. With Trey back at full health, the Orioles have that solid power bat in the middle of the lineup every team needs. In his triumphant return, he will come close to his 2019 production and earn the AL Comeback Player of the Year award.
2019: .291/.364/.535, 35 HR, 97 RBI, 1 SB, 3.5 WAR
2021: .275/.346/.521, 31 HR, 86 RBI, 1 SB, 3.1 WAR
Manager of the Year – Aaron Boone
After leading the Yanks to a 101-win regular season, Aaron Boone will be awarded his first AL Manager of the Year honor. Given he has one of the most talented and deep rosters in the game to work with, I’ve been very impressed with his managerial skills and ability to form strong relationships with his players. After his “savages in the box” rant, he earned his place in my heart, and I hope he sticks around for awhile.
National League Awards
MVP – Juan Soto
In his age-22 season, Juan Soto will earn his first of many, in my eyes, NL MVP award. After leading the NL in batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage as well as OPS and OPS+ in 2020, he will translate that into similar dominance in a 162- game season. He’s the best pure hitter in baseball right now and I can’t wait to see how the next 15+ years pan out for the kid. Hall of famer in the making.
2020: .351/.490/.695, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 6 SB, 2.3 WAR
2021: .343/.470/.680, 43 HR, 120 RBI, 10 SB, 7.2 WAR
Cy Young – Jacob DeGrom
A year after being snubbed from his third consecutive NL Cy Young Award win, DeGrom will continue his dominance of the NL and right the voters’ wrong. Although I believe Bauer deserved to win the award, I think DeGrom would’ve outplayed him in a full season. DeGrom will lead the NL in strikeouts for the third year in a row and win this award fairly easily. Aside from Walker Buehler, DeGrom is my favorite pitcher to watch. The way he methodically embarrasses professional hitters with a 100+ mph fastball, 93 mph slider and 92 mph change up is mesmerizing to watch. I don’t expect this to deviate from the norm in 2021.
2020: 68.0 IP, 2.38 ERA, 104 K’s, 0.956 WHIP, 2.6 WAR
2021: 208.0 IP, 2.13 ERA, 278 K’s, 0.943 WHIP, 7.9 WAR
Rookie of the Year – Ian Anderson
After bursting onto the scene in 2020 with a dominant 1.95 ERA in 32.1 IP, Ian Anderson will win the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year Award. This will be a close race between him and the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes, but Anderson will come out with the win in the end. With a strong repertoire starring a filthy changeup, he will be a headache for NL teams to face alongside Max Fried and Mike Soroka for years to come. While I don’t see a way he comes near his 2020 production, he will play a key role in leading Atlanta to a 2021 World Series berth.
2020: 32.1 IP, 1.95 ERA, 41 K’s, 1.082 WHIP, 1.3 WAR
2021: 161 IP, 3.23 ERA, 180 K’s, 1.115 WHIP, 4.2 WAR
Comeback Player of the Year – Bryan Reynolds
After a very solid rookie year in 2019 that saw him coming in 4th place in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, he had heavy regression in the shortened 2020 season. He was a very good player in his years at Vanderbilt that culminated with him being a 2nd round selection by the Giants in the 2016 draft, and I expect him to return to that level of play. While he is on a bad baseball team in Pittsburgh, he is a valuable player that I can see being an integral part of their rebuild.
2020: .189/.275/.357, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 1 SB, 0.6 WAR
2021: .305/.361/.500, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 4 SB, 3.9 WAR
Manager of the Year – Jayce Tingler
After leading the Pads to a 2nd place finish in the NL West and Wild Card berth in 2020, Jayce Tingler enters 2021 with a beefed-up roster and increased experience. After managing them to 97 wins in the regular season and then advancing to the NLCS, he will be another manager to have his job solidified for years to come. He’s got an interesting name, but he’ll be even more interesting of a manager for a good while.