Now that the individual awards are out, we can put a wrap on my preseason MLB predictions. I’ve already recapped the team-standing predictions and results here, and what follows is a look at how well I predicted the individual player awards announced this week:
MVP: Mike Trout
Correct. Trout’s win was not the result of a unanimous vote, but it was a clear win. He was the favorite for the award at the beginning of the season, and, despite playing on a bad team (a factor that seems to matter to some), Trout is a generational player, and maybe more, who a not-small group of people believe should have won this award every year of his career. By the leading WAR metrics, this wasn’t even Trout’s best season (although it’s a close call by rWAR), but he was better than everybody else. Good call, BBWAA.
Cy Young: Chris Sale
Rookie of the Year: A.J. Reed
Incorrect. This one was my biggest gamble of the entire predicting process. While the NL ROY choice was obvious even before the season started, the AL seemed to me to be wide open, so I chose a little-discussed player who seemed to be in a position to make a big impact for a good team that seemed ready to explode. Even last year, the Astros had a lineup stocked with young talent, and it appeared that they might be a bit ahead of schedule on their massive rebuilding plan. Preseason, their only real gap in the lineup looked like it was at first base, and Reed was a power-hitting first baseman waiting in the wings. Unfortunately for my prediction, which obviously is what matters most here, the Astros weren’t ahead of schedule, and Reed did not propel them to the postseason in a blaze of hitting glory. Instead, Houston’s pitching regressed, and Reed played just forty-five games of sub-replacement-level baseball. Next year could be a very different story, though, as Houston– which added Brian McCann and Josh Reddick yesterday– looks to be making a very strong push for 2017. Right on schedule.
The actual winner, Michael Fulmer, was a great choice. I wrote more about his win here.
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Incorrect. My logic here was somewhat similar to that applied to the AL Rookie of the Year prediction. Goldschmidt was coming off a huge year with Arizona, and I felt that the extremely underappreciated first baseman was due for some increased attention with another successful campaign on a team that caught everyone’s eye with aggressive, apparent win-now moves last offseason. As with Houston and Reed, both team and player underperformed expectations and, in the Diamondbacks’ case, spectacularly so. Goldschmidt took a step back as well, but the decision to hand the award to Kris Bryant was much more about the powerful emergence of Bryant– who won the award running away— than it was about any regression by Goldschmidt, who finished a distant eleventh.
Cy Young: Max Scherzer
Correct. Another great year for Max, and he won his second Cy Young (previously won in ’13 with Detroit) amidst a competitive field. Here he is the moment he found out he won:
Nice to see two former Tigers sweep this award, even though a current Tiger should’ve been in the mix. Moving on.
Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager
Three out of six correct? I’ll take it. I gave myself 5.5 out of ten on the team final standings predictions, all of which confirms that this is an above-average website. Thanks for reading it.