Posted By Jeff Fletcher on March 30, 2011 9:00 am
This is even more fun than picking the division winners. Here you get to really go a little crazy.
NL: Troy Tulowitzki. Since I picked the Rockies to edge out the Giants, I’m going to be consistent. I think Tulo is a major stud, all the good of A-Rod and Derek Jeter, combined. He’s gotta win an MVP some time. Why not now?
AL: Carl Crawford. Again, it’s usually best to stick to the best teams and pick the best player on the best team. Crawford has been under-the-radar in Tampa. Put him in this lineup, in this ballpark, and watch him go.
NL: Matt Cain. There’s a little homer pick for ya. Cain is, in some ways, better than Tim Lincecum. He’s certainly more consistent. If this is the year that he lucks into some run-support, he might open some eyes. (I know, I know, run-support shouldn’t matter, and it matters less than it used to, but it’s still an uphill climb for pitchers who don’t get Ws.)
AL: Jon Lester. His past three years have been very consistent. If he takes one more half-step forward now — and he’s 27, which is around age guys really hit their peak — look out.
Rookie of the Year
NL: Freddie Freeman. I don’t have a great reason for picking him. Just seemed like a good choice. See, this is very scientific.
AL: Chris Sale. He got a head start by coming up in 2010, and he’s got a chance to have a prominent role on a good team in 2011. That’s a recipe for some hardware (see Posey, Buster). Also, we’ve had three closers win this award in the past six years (Street, Bailey, Feliz).
Manager of the Year
NL: Ron Roenicke. This award really has less to do with who is a good manager and more to do with which teams show a lot of improvement from the previous year, which may or may not be related to the manager. In this case, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are going to make Roenicke seem a lot smarter than Ken Macha.
AL: Buck Showalter. Again, gotta stick with my crazy pick from here. If the Orioles are even remotely good, this award ought to be his.