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Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on March 22, 2009
After getting together for the AL award predictions yesterday, the At Home Plate writers now give you their take on this year's National 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.
National League MVP
MATT SOUDERS: David Wright – If the Mets get past the Phillies this year, the voters will look to Wright as the quiet leader who does everything well for explanations.
ZACH GREENBERG: Chase Utley- The omnipotent Chase is ready to make his debut soon. What a rehab. If he can rehab this quickly, he can do anything.
JUSTIN ZETH: David Wright. Same thing; it's hard to envision the Mets winning 95 without Wright or Reyes having an MVP year, and as always the voters will be looking for an excuse to shaft Albert Pujols.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Manny Ramirez. With the luxury of a two-year deal, Manny will be intent on solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest hitters ever.
DANIEL PAULLING: Albert Pujols is the greatest hitter in the majors, bar none.
BJOERN HARTIG: Albert Pujols. How can you not pick him? Unless the Cardinals fall apart or someone else has a once in a lifetime season, it’s Albert each year until 2012.
MLB2K9: David Wright, .999 OPS
National League Cy Young
MATT SOUDERS: Tim Lincecum – no one dominates the game the way Lincecum does right now. I don’t see that changing, at least in the NL.
ZACH GREENBERG: Cole Hamels- No surprise here, right? The World Series MVP is ready. It’s his time. He can do it. Best Lefty in the game. Take that, Cliff Lee and Johan.
JUSTIN ZETH: Brandon Webb. 21-6.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Cole Hamels. He showed flashes of brilliance last year which should give him added confidence in 2009.
DANIEL PAULLING: In what promises to be a great race, Jake Peavy wins with an otherworldly season (i.e. he somehow manages to win 18 games for the Padres).
BJOERN HARTIG: Johan Santana. The Mets bullpen will finally bring home his games and Johan will win 20 games with an ERA and strikeout totals that are right up there. And if the Mets win the East, we can win the MVP, too.
MLB2K9: Jake Peavy, 2.99 ERA
National League Rookie of the Year
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: Cameron Maybin - Very nice talent and has outstanding tools. Strikes out a tad to much, but he’ll work on it.
JUSTIN ZETH: Colby Rasmus. I really don't know; that's just a shot in the dark.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Colby Rasmus. The Cards will need him to step up if they want to compete for the Wild Card.
DANIEL PAULLING: I’ve loved Cameron Maybin for a long time.
BJOERN HARTIG: Like in the AL, it’s a two man race. Maybin? Rasmus? Whose team stays in contention the longest, wins the award.
MLB2K9: Gaby Sanchez, .751 OPS
National League Comeback Player of the Year
ROB SWIFT: Barry Zito – (Despite the comment in the previous posting) He cannot be this bad after moving across the Bay. Even if he wins 10 – 12 games and keeps his ERA below 4.50 he should get it.
MATT SOUDERS: No idea.
ZACH GREENBERG: Jeff Francoeur - What a disaster. Sophomore slump, I guess. For you Braves fans, I would hope it was just a slump.
JUSTIN ZETH: ???
ROBERT DEMOCH: Alfonso Soriano. He’s just two years removed from smacking 33 homers and should regain the 30 homer plateau in 2009.
DANIEL PAULLING: Todd Helton
BJOERN HARTIG: Khalil Greene – His OPS dropped under .600 last season, but now that he is (hopefully) healthy again and has left behind the hitter’s nightmare that is Petco Park, which should do wonders to his confidence.
MLB2K9: Steven Pearce, 868 OPS
Least Valuable National League Player
MATT SOUDERS: Raul Ibanez – Not in terms of pure win value…but in terms of the contract he got compared to all of the other old, one-dimensional left fielders who weren’t Manny Ramirez. Giving him 3 years and 11 million per year while Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Garret Anderson, Ken Griffey Jr. etc. all took 1-2 year deals for significantly less looks like an embarrassing market misread by Ruben Amaro Jr.
ZACH GREENBERG: Adam Dunn - he is getting paid….but he is on the Nationals? What a waste of a free agent signing. What do the Nationals think, Dunn’s strikeouts will bring the crowd?
JUSTIN ZETH: Blake DeWitt. Seriously, the Dodgers are about to find out the hard way this guy ain't no major league player.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Jason Schmidt. His elbow is in ruins but the Dodgers are determined to recoup their investment.
DANIEL PAULLING: Jason Schmidt enters the final season of a three-year contract worth a ton of money. No, nothing changes from the first two years.
BJOERN HARTIG: Juan Pierre – The slaptastic outfielder with no power and no patience is without a position to play now, too. He has officially become the most expensive pinch runner in the baseball history.
Worst National League Pitcher
MATT SOUDERS: Barry Zito – do I need two or three sentences to explain this one?
ZACH GREENBERG: Aaron Heilman - I’m going to be honest; I enjoyed his implosions last year for the Mets. But that made me think: GOD, this guy is awful!
JUSTIN ZETH: Zach Duke. See above, and he doesn't get ground balls, and the Pirates have the worst defense in the universe.
ROBERT DEMOCH: Tom Gorzelanny. How bad? A 6.66 ERA in 105 innings. Admittedly battling injuries last season, Gorzelanny has gone from sleeper (14 victories in 2007) to sound asleep.
DANIEL PAULLING: Barry Zito is easy to pick here.
BJOERN HARTIG: Livan Hernandez – Zito definitely has the worst contract, but Hernandez has given up 257 hits in 180 innings last season. He had a .892 OPS against. That’s more than Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera or Ryan Howard hit last season. Think about that for a minute.