MLB Awards Predictions
Last year’s MLB awards races were fantastic. Shoei Ohtani solidified himself as the game’s best player when he unanimously won the American League MVP. Robbie Ray catapulted himself from mediocrity, to elite status when he put together an excellent campaign to win the AL Cy Young. And Johnathon India’s monster second half of the season enabled him to steal the National League Rookie of The Year from Trevor Rogers. But a new year is upon us. And as the 2022 regular season gets going, let’s try to predict who will be taking home some hardware.
American League Rookie of The Year- Bobby Witt. Jr
Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals is going to blow the competition for AL Rookie of The Year out of the water. No disrespect intended to guys like Spencer Torkelson, Julio Rodriguez, or Adley Rutschman. Witt Jr. is simply amazing. In 163 minor league games last season, split evenly between AA and AAA, he had 33 home runs, 97 RBIs, and stole 29 bases. People were worried that the Royals might try to manipulate service time and keep the super prospect down at AAA to start the year. But Witt Jr. made the opening day roster, and should put together an elite campaign to start his career.
National League Rookie of The Year- Seiya Suzuki
It’s a bit of an unfair race in the NL this year for Rookie of The Year. Seiya Suzuki is beginning his MLB career having already accrued years of professional experience in Japan. He played from 2013-2021 in Nippon Professional Baseball. In those seasons, Suzuki batted .315, hit 182 home runs, and was a four-time NPB All-Star. In the offseason, he signed a 5-year, $85 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. His power, speed, and overall athleticism caused many teams to
pursue the Japanese star. And with an NL field of rookies that is already fairly lacking, this award should go to Suzuki easily.
American League Cy Young Award- Gerrit Cole
The AL Cy Young Award is going to New York this season. After a weird up-and-down year for Gerrit Cole, in which he was caught using Spider Tack while pitching, he will be on a revenge tour this year. Cole is going into his age 31 season, and it would be hard to argue that he is anything but one of the league’s best pitchers. He owns a 3.21 career ERA, and consistently is among the league leaders in strikeouts. Cole certainly does not have an easy path to the Cy Young. He pitches in the toughest division in MLB, and his home park is one of the least hitter friendly parks in the sport. But with a small list of potential rivals, Cole’s track record and overall nasty stuff makes him this year’s favorite to win the award.
National League Cy Young Award- Walker Buehler
This is the year that Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers wins his first Cy Young. After finishing third in NL Rookie of The Year voting in 2018, Buehler has solidified himself as one of the game’s best pitchers. He owns a 2.91 career ERA, and has a career K/9 rate of 9.91. Last season, Buehler posted a 2.47 ERA, pitched 207 and two thirds innings, and finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting. And while the field is absolutely stacked once again this season, Buehler should be able to separate himself from the pack. The Dodgers have one of the best defenses in the league to back him up, and the best offense to ensure that his record will be one of the best in the NL. He’ll be able to beat up on the Diamondbacks and Rockies throughout the season, and his stuff is among the best in the sport. 2022 is the season where Walker Buehler will finally get his first piece of hardware.
American League MVP Award- Shoei Ohtani
Shoei Ohtani is the league’s best overall player. Not only is he one of the best hitters in the sport, but he also is able to absolutely deal on the mound. He won the AL MVP unanimously last year, and he is more than capable of defending his crown in the 2022 season. Last year, Ohtani mashed at the plate. He hit 46 home runs, drove in 100 runs, and also stole 26 bases just for kicks. On the mound, he made great strides and posted career best statistics in every category. He threw 132 innings, posted a 3.18 ERA, and struck out 10.77 batters per nine innings. Put simply, Ohtani is must-watch television. There are a lot of great players who would normally be front-runners for this award. Names like Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Mike Trout, and Rafael Devers come to mind. But even if Ohtani doesn’t perform as exceptionally at the plate as he did last year, his performance on the mound ensures that the MVP Award will be his once again.
National League MVP Award- Juan Soto
Juan Soto is the best overall hitter in MLB. And even though his team will not be competing for a playoff spot this year, he will win the NL MVP Award. Soto posted elite numbers last season, and that was with a slow start in the first half of the year. He hit 29 home runs, tallied a .313 batting average, and put together a .999 OPS. He has been an elite hitter since he entered the league. His career .431 OBP is absolutely ridiculous, and his patience at the plate is unreal considering he is only 23 years old, and started his MLB career when he was 19. He consistently is among the league leaders in chase rate, and is a constant threat when he enters the batter's box. Combine the elite offense, with his improving defense in right field, and Soto is primed to win his first MVP.