I know what you’re thinking. It’s “Ryan, you’ve got a blog now, why don’t you tell us who’s going to win all of baseball’s annual awards at the end of the year?” Believe me, I’ve been hearing it a ton ever since I called Joey Butler breaking up Carlos Carrasco’s no-hitter with a single to right (check Twitter, I called it). So, for my first ever blog post, here are my 100 percent guaranteed-to-be-correct end of the year baseball award predictions (or at least three of them.)
Rookie of the Year
Joc Pederson, Dodgers
As Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine famously agreed upon in some commercial, “chicks dig the long ball.” Yung Joc put on a torrid display in the Home Run Derby (finishing second to Cincinnati’s own Todd Fraizer) to back his rookie-best 21 homers thus far in the season. His .825 OPS is marred a bit by his low average (.230), but his strong defense and unmatched power from the leadoff spot will land him ROY honors.
Other candidates: Duffy, Bryant, Grichuk, Franco
Carlos Correa, Astros
The first overall pick in 2012’s draft reached the majors quickly and didn’t hesitate to make an impact. With an average hovering around .300 and flashes of impressive power, Correa has energized an otherwise “meh” Astros
lineup and helped turn Houston into a playoff hopeful/cancel a Taylor Swift concert.
Other candidates: Burns, McCullers, Travis
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
For the better part of the season up until this point, this would have been Bryce Harper by a mile. A .346 average and a 20/20 season already a lock, Goldschmidt could wind up edging Harper in homers by the end of the season and winning a Triple Crown. Already leading the league in RBIs and average, if he does wind up passing Harper in homers, an MVP is easily within reach.
Other candidates: Harper, Arenado, Greinke, Stanton (if he keeps up the pace once his wrist heals)
Mike Trout, Angels
This one isn’t close. Like, not even remotely. Trout leads all of baseball in homers (31) to add to 64 RBIs, 10 steals, a .315 average and 1.038 OPS. His penchant for robbing opposing players of homers only adds to his league-best 6.74 WAR.
Though a 40-40 season isn’t in the books for Trout this year, he’s got a realistic shot of becoming the first to achieve the feat since Alfonso Soriano did it in 2006 at some point in his career.
Other candidates: Donaldson, Cain, Cabrera
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Greinke and his ol’ buddy Clayton Kershaw easily make the most dreaded 1-2 rotation punch in the bigs right now. Though Scherzer has Greinke edged in k/9 and logged a no-hitter eariler this season, you can’t deny the latter’s overall dominance this season. Thanks to outstanding command, he currently has a league-best 0.83 WHIP and 1.37 ERA to go along with a recently snapped 45 2/3 inning scoreless streak. It will ultimately come down to Greinke and Scherzer, more than likely, but it’s tough to argue against six straight scoreless outings.
Other candidates: Scherzer, DeGrom, Kershaw, Cole
Dallas Keuchel, Astros
Keuchel’s Cy Young will look nice next to his buddy Correa’s RoTY award (I assume the two share a trophy case, for whatever reason). After two really, genuinely terrible years to start his career (5.27 and 5.15 ERA in 2012 and 2013), Keuchel has seemed to have suddenly figured something out since, posting a 2.67 ERA in 351 innings since. His 4.96 WAR is tops among AL pitchers (second in baseball only to Greinke’s 6.16), giving him the edge over Gray and Price.
Other candidates: Gray, Price, Archer