2019 MLB Awards?
MLB just put out what they considered the player from each that was most likely to win a 2019 Award. You know, the Cy Young Award, the MVP, and the Rookie of the Year.
I’m sure for the last eight years they have picked a pitcher off of the Dodgers to win the Cy Young Award, but 2019 broke a trend. It was a pitcher but it wasn’t Clayton Kershaw.
Dodgers: Walker Buehler, NL Cy Young Award
Remember when I said Bryant was projected by Steamer to be one of the two most valuable players in the NL? Corey Seager was the other guy (both of them were projected at 5.6 WAR). But because Seager missed virtually the entirety of 2018 with Tommy John and left hip surgery, and because of Clayton Kershaw’s struggles to stay healthy the last few seasons, I’m going off the grid with Buehler, who was so good in the regular season (finishing third in the Rookie of the Year Award vote) and tough as nails in the World Series.
Hard to argue with this choice. Even though Walker is making the minimum and Kershaw is pulling down $31 Million, I don’t think too many fans still think of Clayton as the ace of the roster. Not after what we saw in Sept/Oct from both pitchers. I’m not sure Walker can hold off the likes of Scherzer or DeGrom but if I was in Vegas I’d put some money on it.
How about the other awards. Alex Verdugo seems like a very solid ROY choice but his competition is the multi-talented Victor Robles who could replace Byrce Harper without the team missing a beat. Down south the Padres have three players who could win the ROY award in Francisco Mejia, Luis Urias, and Fernando Tatis Junior. Tatis being a factor will probably depend on how much soon he crashes the majors and joins Manny Machado on the left side of the infield. Other than Verdugo I don’t see any Dodger rookies making a case unless Barnes/Martin crash N burn and Will Smith or Keibert Ruiz have to take the reigns. Caleb Ferguson and Dennis Santana are still rookies but it is unlikely they would have roles to make a ROY type of impact.
The Dodgers have several players who have the talent to win the NL MVP Award. You have to start off with Corey Seager and all the projection systems point to him having an MVP type season but that seems very optimistic considering that he’s coming off multiple surgeries and at this point, we have no idea if Seager is a full-season player. Justin Turner always flirts with an MVP type season but is usually a degree below what is needed for that award. I think if I had to bet on a Dodger I’d bet on Cody Bellinger. The rookie season was more than anyone expected, the sophomore season was only a disappointment because of the huge expectations he created coming off his historic Rookie season. Year three could be the year he puts it all together. A dark horse might be A.J. Pollock. He did, after all, have that one MVP type month last April before getting hurt and missing May/June and hitting like a lightweight Puig the rest of the year. Hey, I didn’t mention Max Muncy the guy who had the second highest wOBA (162) in the NL last year, trailing only the 2018 MVP Yelich. Yeah, I didn’t mention him.