With the start of baseball around the corner, here is my way-too early MLB projections for the 2017 season.
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi
Girardi is preparing for his 10th season with the New York Yankees. Unlike the typical Yankees roster filled with over-payed veterans (still does but not to extent in recent years) this roster is filled with an overflow of young prospects and great young talent. Expect Girardi to take full advantage of this young roster with at least one big impacting deadline deal, and bring the Yankees back to the playoffs led by Gary Sanchez.
NL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon, the manager of the Chicago Cubs looks to repeat as manager of the year in 2017 with the Cubs once again being undoubtably the best team in baseball once again. Joe Maddon will look to utilize his young and powerful roster to its full potential once again. Although taking heat with the usage of Aroldis Chapman in the World-Series Maddon will but that behind him again and look for another great season of Cubs baseball.
AL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Benintendi, former 7th overall pick from the University of Arkansas, also top prospect in baseball looks to carry over the hype from his quick stint he had with the Red Sox in 2016. Benintendi hit .295/.359/.476 with 2 home runs in 105 at-bats in 2016. You should expect to see a break out year from the 22 year old alongside Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley in the outfield.
NL Rookie of the Year: Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson, former first overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last off-season Swanson was shipped to Atlanta for Shelby Miller, and oh boy should Arizona be regretting that by now. Shelby Miller completely fell apart in 2016 while Swanson only grew. Swanson who like Benintendi was a late call-up in 2016, hit .302/.361/.442 in 129 at bats. While his biggest competitor in Alex Reyes of the Cardinals has just informed the baseball world that he will miss the entire 2017 season, picking Swanson was an easy choice here.
Al Cy Young: Corey Kluber
Corey Kluber, a 30 year old RHP for the Cleveland Indians. Nicknamed “Klubot” for his robotic and emotionless persona on the mound. In 2016 Kluber led the Indians to the World Series and started game 7 (only to lose in extra innings). Kluber finished 2016 with a 3.14 ERA in 32 games started. He struck out 227 batters with a WHIP of 1.06. Kluber finished third place in the Cy Young voting in 2016 but should expect a little more out of his 2017 campaign.
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw has dominated on the mound ever since making his debut in the league. It seems every year he is an easy pick for Cy Young with his mind blowing performances on the mound. Kershaw is entering his age 28 season. In 2016 he finished with a 1.69 ERA, although yes, he had only pitched 149 innings that is still an incredible feat. He also struck out 172 batters while only walking 11. Kershaw has finished in the top 5 for Cy Young voting every year since 2011 which is incredible. Kershaw for 2017 NL Cy Young seems to easy to pick…
AL MVP: Mike Trout
Like Kershaw, Trout completely dominates baseball every single year. What Mike Trout has already done in his career is spectacular. So much to say that at the age of 25 his combined WAR is already ahead of 12 hall of famers! Thats right, he is only 25 years old too. Trout has finished in the top 2 for MVP voting ever since his rookie year in 2012. In 2016 Trout hit .315/.441./.550 with a 10.6 WAR. Mike Trout currently sits on a whole different level as his competitors and easily deserves this recognition.
NL MVP: Nolan Arenado
Like Mike Trout, Arenado will be entering his age 25 season, but this year he will get the recognition he deserves. Arenado has slugged his entire career and has played arguably the best defense for a third basemen in the league. Nolan Arenado has led the league in Home Runs and RBIs two years in a row and has yet to crack the top 4 in MVP voting. Arenado does play in Colorado, which does help, but you cannot take away from his mind blowing stats. In 2016 Arenado hit .294/.362./.570 with 41 Home Runs and 133 RBIs. Arenado will look to 2017 to bring him the MVP recognition he deserves.