Driscoll’s Picks for the 2023 MLB Awards

Mookie Betts, Ronald Acuna Jr., MLB Awards, NL MVP

With the Texas Rangers winning the World Series on Wednesday, the 2023 MLB season is officially over.

Within the next few weeks, the annual MLB awards will be announced. This is the time of year when everyone on social media argues with each other about who should win each award.

There are numerous players who deserve to secure hardware in every category, but there can only be one winner for each.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the 2023 MLB Awards.

Reminder: In MLB, awards are based on the regular season and do not factor in the postseason.


AL Manager of the Year: Brandon Hyde

This one is a no-brainer. Did anyone think the Orioles would make the playoffs outside of their fans? I’m sure there were a few, but it certainly was not the consensus opinion. Then, Baltimore broke out for 101 games. Their two young stars, Adley Rutchsman and Gunnar Henderson, deserve a ton of credit, but the Orioles would not be as great as they were if they did not have Hyde at the helm.


NL Manager of the Year: Craig Counsell

Again, no surprise here. The Brewers have been solid for a long time now. Their roster is filled with middle-tier players, and their best position player this year was probably William Contreras, who was acquired during the offseason. He turned out to be one of the best additions in all of baseball. Furthermore, Christian Yelich had a massive bounce-back season. The Brewers’ roster had talent, but they owe a lot of credit to Counsell’s leadership.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Tyler Glasnow

Glasnow has dealt with injuries his entire career and only started two games in 2022 due to an elbow issue. He came back in 2023 and was quite impressive. Tampa Bay’s ace went 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA, 118 ERA+, and 12.2 K/9 rate. The Rays are known for making the most of their “non-flashy players,” and Glasnow is certainly a product of this.

NL Comeback Player of the Year: Cody Bellinger

After Bellinger won MVP in 2019, it seemed as if everything fell apart. From 2020 through 2022, Bellinger had a WRC+ of 81, which was 19 ticks below the league average. At points, it seemed like his career was almost over, but the Cubs decided to take a gamble on him. Spoiler alert: it paid off. Bellinger hit 26 homers, drove in 97 runs, slashed .307/.356/.525, and added a 134 WRC+. There could be an argument made for Yelich, but Bellinger probably climbed a steeper hill.


AL Rookie of the Year: Gunnar Henderson

Henderson was one of the main reasons the Orioles were so great this year. He hit 28 homers, drove in 82 runs, slashed .255/.325/.489, and finished with a 123 WRC+. He also excelled defensively with 13 DRS at third base and shortstop combined. The Orioles should have a bright future, and Henderson will be one of the driving forces.

NL Rookie of the Year: Corbin Carroll

You could make a case for Kodai Senga, but Carroll was just too good this year. He hit 25 homers, drove in 76 runs, stole 54 bases (second in NL), and had a slash line of .255/.325/.489. He also finished the year with a 133 WRC+. Even though these awards are strictly made for the regular season, it should be mentioned that he was a key contributor in the playoffs and one of the main reasons why they reached the World Series.

AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole

After a lot of baseball fans started to doubt Cole, not only did he become underrated, but he shut everyone up with one of the best seasons of his career. Even though the Yankees disappointed this year, Cole carried the rotation. He led the AL in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, H/9, and innings. The Yankees did not make the playoffs, but their poor finish certainly wasn’t Cole’s fault.

NL Cy Young: Blake Snell

At the beginning of the season, I did not see Snell as one of the better pitchers in the league, but he proved me wrong in a major way. The former Rays ace led the majors in ERA, ERA+, and H/9. The advanced analytic stats suggest that his “stuff” was not as great as some of the other elite pitchers in the game and he is lucky that he has a solid defense behind him. With this being said, when a player leads the league with a 2.25 ERA (0.38 better than the next-closest pitcher), you simply can’t attribute that to luck.

AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani pitched his last game on Aug. 23 and played his last game at designated hitter on Sept. 3. The fact that he is the favorite to win MVP shows how insane he was both at the plate and on the mound all season long. In 135 games played, Ohtani hit 44 home runs, drove in 95 runs, stole 20 bases, slashed .304/.412/.654, and notched a 180 WRC+. Without pitching, he might have won MVP anyway. But let’s talk about his pitching. He had a 3.14 ERA, 144 ERA+, and 11.4 K/9. It would be insane if a player was elite at one thing and average at the other. The fact he is a top-five hitter and top-10 pitcher is simply out of this world. Unfortunately for Ohtani, his next team, and baseball as a whole, the two-way star will miss some time on the mound due to Tommy John surgery. Yet, he could still receive the most expensive deal ever in free agency, and there’s no doubt that he earned it.

NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr.

Betts tempted me here, but I just couldn’t make that call after Acuna played so much better in September. For the season, he hit 41 home runs, drove in 106 runs, slashed .337/.416/.596, and had a 170 WRC+. He was pretty poor defensively, but I think his gap at the plate over someone like Betts was too significant to ignore. Both players excelled in 2023 and should be proud of their respective campaigns.

Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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