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Bleacher Report's Fully Updated MLB Award Predictions

Doug MeadCorrespondent IJune 22, 2016

Bleacher Report's Fully Updated MLB Award Predictions

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    MLB awards mean a lot to players, and it doesn't hurt that they often pad the players' wallets as well.

    While each award is based on individual performance, it can also indicate a player's worth for his particular team.

    Each league's MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Manager of the Year awards are voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, making the selection subjective in nature.

    We here at Bleacher Report realize that we are subjective as well, but like to think we don't have agendas.

    Here then is our prediction for each major MLB award.


AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

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    Can there be any doubt about the winner of this award?

    Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout has already rewritten the record books. Since bursting onto the scene on April 28, Trout has been a one-man wrecking crew.

    Trout leads the majors in runs scored and stolen bases and is already the first rookie to hit at least 25 home runs with at least 40 stolen bases.

    He has a shot to become only the third player in MLB history to record 30 home runs and 50 stolen bases. Eric Davis and Barry Bonds are the other two.

    Trout's rookie year will be remembered for years to come, and while his batting average has taken a dip of late, he's still considered a strong contender for the AL MVP as well.

NL Rookie of the Year: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds have already clinched the NL Central Division title. They can thank rookie Todd Frazier for helping them get there.

    Frazier has been invaluable, filling in for third baseman Scott Rolen earlier in the season and first baseman Joey Votto in the second half.

    Frazier may not have a regular spot in the Reds lineup, but without his contributions, the Reds would likely still be fighting for a playoff berth.

    Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley (16-10, 3.25 ERA) merits consideration as well, as does Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

    For me, however, Frazier's contributions put him on top.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

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    Earlier last week, I wasn't sure who deserved the American League Cy Young Award.

    However, after watching Justin Verlander's latest performance on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics, I am now convinced.

    Verlander labored through six innings, walking three and throwing 122 pitches. He watched as Oakland hitters fouled off more than 30 pitches, making his pitch count jump.

    Yet Verlander still kept the A's scoreless, registering his 15th win. His gritty performance came against one of the hottest-hitting teams in the league.

    Verlander likely has just two starts left unless he's needed for the final day of the regular season, so the race for the AL Cy Young likely isn't decided yet.

    But for my money, Verlander gets the slight nod over David Price, with Hernandez in third.

NL Cy Young: R.A. Dickey, New York Mets

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    Is there a more compelling story in baseball than New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey?

    Dickey, who won his 19th game on Saturday in a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins, has an excellent opportunity to reach the 20-win mark.

    Dickey leads the National League in complete games, innings pitched, shutouts and ERA. Other pitchers may be ahead of Dickey in WAR, but Dickey has kept his team in games that otherwise would have been lost due to poor offensive support.

    Dickey's closest competitor, Clayton Kershaw, is injured and may not pitch again this season depending on how cautiously the Dodgers proceed.

    Kershaw was cleared to pitch by a hip specialist on Tuesday, but the Dodgers have said Kershaw won't pitch again if the pain in his right hip persists.

    Still, unless Dickey completely implodes in his final two starts, the award is his to lose.

AL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles

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    At the beginning of the season, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone who believed that the Baltimore Orioles would have a winning record, much less a chance to win the AL East.

    Yet the Orioles have not only posted their first winning record since 1997, they have a golden opportunity to earn a postseason berth as well.

    Manager Buck Showalter has been able to lead his team to an 87-64 record (as of Sept. 23) despite a run differential of minus-five.

    Despite having only one starting pitcher (Wei-Yin Chen) with more than 10 wins, a .248 team batting average and the worst team in the AL in stolen bases, the team keeps winning.

    Bob Melvin has done a phenomenal job with his Oakland A's and certainly deserves strong consideration, but for me, Showalter is the clear winner.

NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds

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    The Cincinnati Reds were the first team to clinch a playoff berth and could well have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. And they did it without the services of their star slugger for almost two months.

    Manager Dusty Baker has done a masterful job in leading his Reds back to the postseason after a disappointing finish in 2011.

    Nationals manager Davey Johnson certainly deserves credit for guiding his team to their first postseason berth since moving to Washington from Montreal.

    For me, however, Baker deserves tremendous credit for his guidance of his pitching staff, especially the bullpen. Baker has largely pushed all the right buttons, keeping his bullpen arms fresh and not falling into a pattern of using certain relievers in certain situations.

    The Reds are well-positioned for a postseason run, and they have Baker to thank for that.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

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    Last year, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn was the worst hitter in the majors, bar none.

    A .159 average would have been the worst in Major League Baseball history had he not been kept out of the lineup in the final days of the regular season. Still, the putridity of Dunn's season was not lost on anyone.

    Dunn currently (Sept. 23) has 205 strikeouts, and he will likely only hit somewhere in the neighborhood of .205. However, he should surpass the 40-home run mark for the sixth time and could surpass the 100-RBI mark for the seventh time.

    It's a remarkable turnaround from last season.

    Teammate Alex Rios merits consideration as well, but having Dunn's power back in the middle of the lineup is a major key for the White Sox as they look ahead to the postseason.

NL Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

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    On May 25, 2011, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey's season ended, courtesy of a nasty home-plate collision with Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins.

    Posey broke a bone in his lower left leg and required surgery to repair three torn ligaments and needed two screws to hold it all together.

    The injury was termed as ''devastating'' at the time, and it was thought that Posey could require additional operations to clean up scar tissue.

    However, Posey hasn't only come back from that injury without any lasting effects, he has absolutely thrived.

    Posey is hitting .333 with 23 home runs and 97 RBI. His remarkable second half enabled the Giants to already clinch the NL West.

    The NL Comeback Player of the Year Award may not be the only piece of hardware that Posey takes home, either.

AL Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

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    There has been considerable talk about the season that Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout as put together. Indeed, his numbers are truly remarkable and are deserving of MVP consideration.

    However, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is on the verge of doing something not achieved in baseball since 1967—winning a Triple Crown.

    Cabrera is leading the American League in batting average and RBI, and he is tied with Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton in home runs (42).

    Cabrera seems determined to carry the Tigers as they look to climb above the Chicago White Sox in the final days of the AL Central race.

    Trout's season has indeed been special, but it would be hard to deny Cabrera if he wins the elusive Triple Crown.

NL Most Valuable Player: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

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    The Comeback Player of the Year Award isn't the only piece of hardware that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey will come home with this year.

    He will likely collect a Silver Slugger Award, and he'll be able to use the National League Most Valuable Player Award as his centerpiece.

    Posey's second half has been absolutely remarkable. Despite the loss of Melky Cabrera to a 50-game suspension, the Giants have kept winning, and Posey has led the way.

    Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen merit consideration, but Posey's remarkable season after a devastating injury has his Giants in a great position.

    Without Posey's efforts and leadership in the second half, the Giants simply wouldn't be in the position they're in right now. For that reason alone, Posey is a deserving MVP.

     

    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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