National League Awards Predictions
Below are my predictions for who will take home the National League hardware in 2014.
- Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)
- Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
- Joey Votto (CIN)
Goldschmidt made massive strides in 2013 and will continue to improve. He’s entering his age 26 season and has elite power, elite on base skills, plus speed, and plays in a favorable hitting environment. The sky is the limit for this guy. Andrew McCutchen is entering his magic unicorn age 27 season on the heels of running away with the 2013 NL MVP race. Another guy who for the near future, will only get better. Joey Votto got all kinds of shit last year for walking too much, being passive at the plate, etc. He still hit 24 home runs and got on base at a .435 clip. He’s an offense powerhouse and has plenty of thunder left in his stick.
- Jose Fernandez (MIA)
- Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
- Madison Bumgarner (SF)
Fernandez was the best pitcher on the planet (other than Clayton Kershaw) in 2013. I look for the young phenom to pick up where he left off in 2013, mowing down batters throughout the league. The aforementioned Kershaw is still dominant but some muscle tenderness will cause home to miss the season opener (in the US). Something to keep on eye on, but it may take away a couple starts. Rounding out the bunch is Giants big lefty, Madison Bumgarner. He’s the least flashy of the bunch but he’s been improving ever since he debuted in 2009.
Rookie of the Year
- Billy Hamilton (CIN)
- Javier Baez (CHC)
- Archie Bradley (ARI)
A long shot here but if Hamilton can hit enough, or at least get on base enough, he’s a real and a threat to lead the league in stolen bases. Another rookie with major league playing time issues. The Cubs have no real incentive to start Baez’s service time clock, but Baez’s hot spring will have the Cubbie faithful clamoring for something to cheer about sooner rather than later. With the rash of injuries to the Arizona starting rotation, Archie Bradley is on the cusp of the majors. I suspect we’ll see him pitch for Arizona by May 1.