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Driscoll’s 2023 MLB Award Picks

MLB Awards
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With MLB’s Opening Day on Thursday, there is a lot of talk about who will win the league’s top awards.

Here are Chris Driscoll’s 2023 MLB Award Predictions.

AL Manager of the Year: Phil Nevin

This is a do-or-die year for the Angels. They have Mike Trout, who has been the best player in the league for nearly a decade. They also have Shohei Ohtani, who is the closest thing to Babe Ruth we have seen, perhaps ever. Even with these two, they have only made the playoffs once and did not advance beyond the first round. They are probably in their best position yet to win a division title, and it will take Nevin’s leadership to propel them to playoff glory.

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NL Manager of the Year: Rob Thomson

Thompson will win NL Manager of the Year for a couple of reasons. The first? He turned the Phillies’ season around last year and should parlay that into an 85-win campaign in 2023 even with Bryce Harper out for half the season. If the Phillies manage to pull this off, part of it will be because of Thomson’s leadership.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Anthony Rendon

After Rendon finished top three in MVP voting in 2019 and top 10 in 2020, he has been a disappointment for the past two years. This has been mainly because of his injuries; he has had surgery on both his hip and wrist over the past two years. Though you should take this with a grain of salt, the fact that he posted a 1.358 OPS in Spring Training suggests he still has some juice left in the tank.

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NL Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Conforto

After a disappointing 2021, Conforto had shoulder surgery in 2022, leaving him unsigned for the entire season. Conforto had an awesome end to 2019 and was also great in the shortened 2020 season. Though we do not know if he will be the same player he once was, the year off is something from which he might greatly benefit.

AL Rookie of The Year: Masataka Yoshida

Not many people have been talking about Yoshida yet, but they will be very soon. Over the last three seasons in Japan, he had .966, .983, and 1.007 OPS seasons, respectively. More recently, he slashed .409/.531/.727 in the World Baseball Classic. Even though he does not have any experience in the Major Leagues, he has all the other experience one would want and has proven he is ready for the pros.

NL Rookie of The Year: Kodai Senga

Another guy coming from Japan. Senga has been playing professional baseball since 2012 and looks super impressive. Over the last three seasons, he has had 2.20, 2.67, and 1.89 ERA seasons, respectively. Even though it is tough to tell if this product will translate to success in MLB, he still has a ton of talent and it will be very exciting to watch him pitch this year.

AL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom

No one doubts that deGrom has the talent to win the Cy Young award. What they doubt is whether he will pitch in the first place. Over the last two seasons, he has tossed his career lows in innings pitched, other than the shortened season in 2020. With this all being said, if he stays healthy, there are a lot of reasons to predict he will win some hardware. Not only is he the best pitcher in the league when healthy, but there is also less competition in the American League than National League. If deGrom stays healthy, the award will be his to lose.

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NL Cy Young: Corbin Burnes

As mentioned earlier, there is far more competition for the Cy Young Award in the National League than in the American League. With all the competition, Corbin Burnes is certainly one of the guys atop the list of competitors. Not only is he only 28 and has a lot of talent, but he will also be very hungry this year. After being debatably the best pitcher in the league from 2020 through 2021, he took a slight step back in 2022. He is ready to go this season, and it will be fun to watch him try to redeem himself this year.

AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani

Is anyone surprised? Ohtani can both hit and pitch at an elite level, and the only thing holding him back from winning MVP every year is Aaron Judge breaking the home run record again. This is also Ohtani’s last year on his contract and you know he is going to get the bag this offseason. If he continues to produce at an MVP level and the Angels make the playoffs, he will get paid big.

NL MVP: Mookie Betts

Betts is perhaps the best five-tool player in the game. He is also under a lot of pressure. His teammate, Trea Turner, walked in free agency, the pitching staff is weaker than in years past, and the Dodgers have more competition in the division this year. The team will be reliant on both Betts and Freddie Freeman to have MVP-like seasons, and I think Betts is up for the challenge because he has certainly delivered in high-pressure situations before.


Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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