|2009 AL Award Picks||| Print ||
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on March 21, 2009
Eight At Home Plate Writers and one computer game got together to predict this year's American League award winners. Beside the regular Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player award, we also forecast who will be least valuable player and worst pitcher. Come and join the discussion in our comments sections.
American League MVP
ROB SWIFT: Mark Teixeira NY – Regardless of the fact that Posada, Damon, Matsui, and, dare I say it, Jeter are all getting a little older and less productive, Teixeira should have plenty of “ducks on the pond” to bring home. I believe this will change things around for NY; “Tex” will have himself a monster year and christen the new Yankee Stadium in loudly.
MATT SOUDERS: Matt Holliday – The As were dreadful offensively last year. If they do in fact contend as I believe they will, Holliday is going to get a lot of the credit for that.
ZACH GREENBERG: Josh Hamilton- This guy is a flat-out beast. I say 40 homeruns and 120 RBI.
JUSTIN ZETH: Mark Teixeira. Well, if the Yankees are going to win 100, and I doubt Jeter's got another MVP year in him, and Rodriguez will be out until May and anyway he's Alex Rodriguez…
ROBERT DEMOCH: Mark Teixeira. Even with A-Rod out to start the season, Tex should have plenty of runners to drive home after overcoming his Big Apple jitters.
DANIEL PAULLING: Kevin Youkilis is developing into one of the better hitters in the major leagues, trading strikeouts for power. He’s an excellent defender at first base and should be the best hitter in the Red Sox lineup this season.
BJOERN HARTIG: Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera was red-hot in the second half of 2008 after it took him some time to get used to AL pitching. He can hit 40+ home runs and 120+ RBI and if the Tigers content in the Central, the voters will love him.
MLB2K9: David Ortiz, .984 OPS
American League Cy Young
MATT SOUDERS: Felix Hernandez – yes…really. He made great strides in his maturity last year, but his performance was masked by a TERRIBLE team defense…the Mariners improved the outfield defense considerably this year so the “King” should have a better looking superficial pitching line to make his case this year.
ZACH GREENBERG: Francisco Liriano- Risky is my middle name. Besides which, this pick isn’t that risky, is it? Liriano, when healthy, has proven to be among the best.
JUSTIN ZETH: Chien-Ming Wang. 23-5.
ROBERT DEMOCH: James Shields. The stars will align for the Tampa Bay star.
DANIEL PAULLING: Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in the American League, but it’ll be close between him and King Felix.
BJOERN HARTIG: Ervin Santana – The Angels right-hander will lead the league in strike-outs and win 20 games. I can dream, can’t I?
MLB 2K9: Scott Baker, 2.69 ERA
American League Rookie of the Year
ROB SWIFT: David Price – He will dominate. I truly believe that he is a year or two away from being Ace-Status; while he learns from the 4 or 5th spot in the rotation, he will face lesser talented SPs and his record should benefit from this.
MATT SOUDERS: I decline to speculate on ROYs…it’s a fruitless endeavor as it’s usually someone who comes out of nowhere, not the top prospect.
ZACH GREENBERG: David Price - Kid got some mad stuff. He was pretty sick in the World Series too. Not like he was enough, but I give the kid props. He is a stud and will contend for this award.
JUSTIN ZETH: David Price. 17-6.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Matt Wieters. He’s been drowning in positive ink all winter. He’ll either be an absolute stud or dud. I’ll go with the studly version.
DANIEL PAULLING: Matt Wieters – he’s already better than most American League catchers.
BJOERN HARTIG: There are really only two candidates in the AL: Wieters and Price. I put my money on Price. No, Wieters. No, Price, No, …
MLB2K9: Travis Snider, .793 OPS
American League Comeback Player of the Year
ROB SWIFT: Nomar Garciaparra – I just know that Billy Beane is not going to sign a player if he doesn’t think they can contribute. Nomar will not have any expectations, especially now that Holliday is in Oakland so he will be able to just show up and play. Beane knows when a player still has a little left in the tank, (see Frank Thomas) and when they don’t, (apparently, see Barry Zito).
MATT SOUDERS: This is pretty fruitless too…so I’ll be a homer. Ken Griffey Jr.
ZACH GREENBERG: Victor Martinez - Injuries haunted him last year. I imagine he will return to form.
JUSTIN ZETH: Jeremy Bonderman. Hey, I could see him going out and going 14-8 or something, and the writers have always liked him.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Vlad Guererro. He wasn’t bad last season, just not one of the greatest hitters on earth. Expect a return to 30-100-.300.
DANIEL PAULLING: Justin Verlander – his stuff is too good for him to one of the worst pitchers in the AL again.
BJOERN HARTIG: Justin Verlander – I have to agree with Daniel here. Verlander is poised to bounce back big. And if the Tigers stay in the Central race, he will get the attention.
American League Least Valuable Player
MATT SOUDERS: Alex Rodriguez – (30 million a year and in this particular season, I’m willing to bet he spends half of it on the DL)
ZACH GREENBERG: A.J. Burnett - For all that money he is getting paid? Please.
JUSTIN ZETH: Mike Aviles. Just a hunch. Last year looks fluky to me, and he IS a Royal, after all.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Carl Pavano. Cleveland’s desperation to fill out their rotation knows no bounds.
DANIEL PAULLING: Andruw Jones was paid huge money to leave the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s looked horrible this spring despite playing in great conditions for a home run hitter. What more do you want?
BJOERN HARTIG: Eric Chavez. If he’s healthy, the A’s could really make some noise. Only that he never is. His OPS last season: .688. The A’s pay him $11 million in 2009. And $12 million next year.
Worst American League Pitcher
ROB SWIFT: Who is Mike Hampton playing for these days? Too Easy? I think that this is going to be a "Disappointment by committee" award. And I will give it to the NY Yankees. A lot of people believe that Phillip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and other Yankee youngsters will benefit from not having so much pressure on their backs now that the team signed Burnett and Sabathia. I think they will struggle mightily and be relegated to the bullpen or even sent down. I think Chamberlain is ML Quality but for right now, they should put him right back in the set-up role and quit trying to prove he is ready. Same thing with Hughes and others, they just are not ready for NY or the majors for that matter. Let them get really good in Triple A.
MATT SOUDERS: Carlos Silva – there may be others who post higher ERAs, but most of them won’t get to pitch the entire season and make 12 million for their efforts.
ZACH GREENBERG: Carlos Silva - 6.46 era? Once considered a decent prospect for my Phils, what happened?
JUSTIN ZETH: Carlos Silva. There's an absolute floor of how many guys you can get away with not striking out and not get lit up like a Christmas tree. Carlos Silva is approaching it.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Jarrod Washburn. Although any Mariners starter this side of Feliz Hernandez deserves consideration, I selected Washburn’s pitiful 5-14 mark with a 4.69 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. It’s hard to believe he once won 18 games (2002).
DANIEL PAULLING: Carlos Silva and his huge paycheck.
BJOERN HARTIG: Carlos Silva – This is such a tough pick, because the worst pitchers usually get cut before they do too much damage. So he needs to have a long-term contract. What is worse, a good pitcher who is injured and can’t play or a bad pitcher who continues to take the ball? I’d say it’s the latter, so Carlos Silva over A.J. Burnett.