MLB: End of season honors
Before doing an overview of the various end-of-season honours, I want to take the time to salute the victory of the Astros and especially Dusty Baker during the World Series. While this win will never erase the Astros’ 2017 affront when they illegally stole the signals, they still proved the organization has done a tremendous job despite the departures of Carlos Correa, Gerrit Cole, Georges Springer and many others in recent years. And whether we like the Astros or not, they might be good for many more years.
And even if the season has just ended, the teams will be able to discuss with the free agents available from November 10, that is to say Friday. There are a ton of interesting candidates this year including Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Jacob deGrom, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and many others, so you will understand that the portrait of some teams could change drastically in the coming weeks.
To end this 2022 season, here are my predictions for the various major league honors.
Most Valuable Player
My pick: Aaron Judge, Yankees, .311 62 home runs and 133 RBIs
With a 62-home run season that has helped the Yankees make the playoffs a lot, he should be the logical choice. But the fight could be tighter than expected, because many voters don’t know the difference between MVP and MVP and will vote for Shohei Ohtani. And let’s be clear, Ohtani is a fabulous player, but it wouldn’t make any sense for him to win this year, due to the poor performance of his team, but also that Judge hit the most home runs. in the history of the American League.
My pick: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals, .317 35 home runs and 115 RBIs
Unlike the American League, there are many possible candidates in the National League, but none stand out. Paul Goldschmidt experienced a
fabulous season, but the last month of the season was much more difficult, as if it had run out of gas. Like a boxer who wins the first 10 rounds of a fight, but gets roughed up in the last two, without falling to the floor. The judges will have seen enough to give the win to whoever wins the first 10 rounds and that’s why I think Goldschmidt is going to win MVP this year.
My pick: Justin Verlander, Astros 18-4, 1.76
If the season had lasted another month, I think Dylan Cease of the White Sox could have passed Verlander at the finish line. Framber Valdez, also of the Astros, should have his share of the vote after breaking a record with 25 quality starts in a row, that is to say 6 innings pitched and 3 earned runs or less. But the fact that Verlander is 39, has had a fabulous season and is coming back from a Tommy John-type operation makes him well deserved to win.
My pick: Sandy Alcantara, Marlins, 14-9, 2.38
It’s not a sexy choice, but I think it’s the best choice. In anonymity in Miami, Alcantara was dominant and earned 6 complete games in addition to pitching 228 innings during the season, two highs in 2022 in major league baseball. The Marlins’ anemic offense made his win-loss record more or less impressive, but for me there’s no doubt he was the best.
Rookie of the Year
My pick: Julio Rodriguez, Mariners, .284 28 homers and 75 RBIs plus 25 stolen bases
With a season of over 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases, Rodriguez seems the unanimous choice. If Adley Rutschman had started the season in Baltimore, he might have had a chance to edge out the Mariners outfielder. Bobby Witt and Steven Kwan will also earn their share of votes and we can say that the American League is in good hands for the future, with so many young talents.
My pick: Michael Harris, Braves, .297 with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs on top of 20 stolen bases.
I had a hard time choosing between Harris and teammate Spencer Strider. And it’s sometimes difficult to compare a position player and a pitcher. Both players seemed on par to me, but I chose Harris adding his defense to his extraordinary season on offense. But one thing is certain, the Braves are building something very solid, which could look like the Braves of the 90s.
Manager of the year
My pick: Brandon Hyde, Orioles (83-79)
At the start of the season, I wondered if the Orioles were going to win 50 games in 2022, because of the quality of the American League East Division. In the end, Hyde helped his young squad to 83 victories, an unexpected total since they had only 52 last year. Even though they didn’t make the playoffs, I give my vote to the Orioles manager, just ahead of Terry Francona, who did a terrific job in Cleveland.
My pick: Buck Showalter, Mets (101-61)
He was certainly given ammunition for his first season with the Mets, but the veteran Showalter handled it well. And we must not forget that the Mets did not play for .500 last year, during Luis Rojas’ last season as manager in the Big Apple. Canadian Rob Thomson of the Phillies could also deserve a good share of the vote, having managed to bring his team to the series. But as the vote takes place at the end of the regular season, the great adventure of the Phillies in the series will not have
impact on the vote and that’s why I think Showalter is going to win by a pretty slim margin. Brian Snitker of the Braves and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers, could also muddy the waters