September 22, 2012

Projected Award Winners: American League

By - Jaquan Murphy

With September coming to a close and the postseason quickly approaching, the hottest topic of conversation in the world of baseball besides who will make the playoffs is who will win what award?

The American League sparks several interesting debates, because there are no real clear cut front-runners for any of the awards this year.

Here is who should win each one, and why they deserve it over the competition. Keep in mind these projections are assuming that the players keep on their current paces, and do not suffer any injuries or major meltdowns to significantly alter their stats or hurt their teams in any way.

Most Valuable Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Photo by: Gregory Shamus
The age old debate. What defines an MVP? The player who has the best statistical season? The best player on the best team? The player who has the most value on their team? Miguel Cabrera certainly falls under the first and third categories. Barring he doesn't go on a bizarre cold streak, has a season-ending injury, or someone else goes on some sort of unreal tear to power their team into the playoffs -- Cabrera should cruise to the Most Valuable Player Award. Flirting with winning the Triple Crown, Cabrera has proven to be the most important player to his team's success while putting up the best statistical season of anyone in the American League. Without him, there would be no Detroit Tigers in the AL playoff picture.

Runner-Up: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

The race for the American League Cy Young Award is a "clash of the titans." It is not just a battle of the top arms in the AL, but a battle of the top arms in all of baseball. The last man that will be left standing in this battle should be "The King," Felix Hernandez. He currently sits in the top 5 in ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, and innings pitched, showing that he not only dominates, but that he dominates over the duration of the game. Hernandez suffers from playing on a bad team in a small market, but the separation of his numbers from the team's record should propel him to another Cy Young Award for his trophy case.

Runner-Up: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

League leader in stolen bases. Top 5 in batting average. Top 5 in on base percentage. With stats like that, you can take your pick of titles to call Mike Trout. Phenom. Future All-Star. Potential Hall-of-Famer. For now, let's just call him the American League Rookie of the Year.

Runner-Up: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Comeback Player of the Year: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

Many will question this pick. After all, how can someone who is barely hitting over .200 be considered for this award? The answer is -- his power stroke has returned. Always known as an all-or-nothing type of hitter, Dunn came up with nothing more often than not in 2011, hitting only 11 homers. This season, his stroke is back, as he ranks among the league leaders in home runs. Although his average is low, the fact that he is consistently hitting majestic bombs is justifying his at-bats, job security, and the title of Comeback Player of the Year.

Runner-Up: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Delivery Man of the Year: Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays

One would think that the Delivery Man of the Year Award would simply go to the player with the most saves in each league. However, Fernando Rodney is the exception. Although he does not lead the league in saves, he has been the best closer in the American League. He leads all closers in innings pitched, strikeouts, WHIP, ERA, and he's only blown 2 saves all year. He has provided top-notch stability at the back end of Tampa Bay's bullpen. In fact, without Rodney, the Rays would probably be out of the race for a playoff spot.

Runner-Up: Rafael Soriano, New York Yankees

American League Silver Slugger Team:

C: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
2B: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
3B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
SS: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
LF: David Murphy, Texas Rangers
CF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
RF: Alex Rios, Chicago White Sox
DH: Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

So there you have it. The projected award winners for the American League. Check back here next Saturday for the projected winners in the NL.


  1. Great projections but no way Trout isn't top 2 in MVP voting. Hamilton is even ahead of Jeter!

  2. I can by Trout being ahead of Jeter, but I wouldn't necessarily say Hamilton is. He's missed some time with injuries, and Jeter has helped carry a Yankee team that has lost multiple players to injury for long periods of time this season.