Ok so I'm bored and my girlfriend's studying so I figured I might as well give out some pre-season predicted hardware for the upcoming 2011 MLB Season. Why? Why not. So there. I have a blog and I'm gonna use it. If Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman can do it and they don't know anything, then I'm pretty sure I can too.
AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS. I figured since the Red Sox are supposed to win in every projection according to Rob Neyer, who's much smarter than me, I might as well go with who I assume will be their best player. Youkilis's lack of defense will show at 3B and Crawford won't put up the numbers everyone expects. I am a Yankees fan so think of this as a reverse jinx. The Yankees have too many guys who are too hard to predict and among the other teams, I can't decide which will make the playoffs. Though the AL's best player in my opinion is Josh Hamilton. Last? Miguel Cabrera with the playoffs on the line.
NL MVP: Albert Pujols, STL. Really going off the board here aren't I? With Wainwright done and the Cardinals expected to take a step back, Pujols will power them right back to the top of the division. The Reds may have a sophomore slump while the Brewers and Cubs aren't there yet. Watch out for Tulo as the dark horse.
AL Cy Young: David Price, TB. Just coming into his own. Not much logic here besides that. Hell of a pitcher.
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, PHI. Showed what he could do in the NL (AAAA) last year. Could be Lee too. Just pick someone from the Phillies and you'll be fine.
AL Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, TB. Best pitching prospect in baseball, wil finally get a chance to show it. Sub-4 ERA last year and looked dominant at points.
NL Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman, ATL. Less publicized of the Braves cornerstones though he did make the cover of SI with Jason Heyward. Big time hitting prospect. People may go with still rookie eligible Chapman just because they fall in love with relievers like Feliz last year who didn't top 100 meaningful innings. By the way, the Rangers, with their lack of good pitchers starting, are crazy to keep him back there just like the Yankees were with Joba before he hurt his shoulder and hasn't been the same.
AL Surprise: A.J. Burnett, NYY: He will bounce back. Dave "Long" Eiland, the man who tried to change Hughes and Joba and almost ruined them is gone and Larry Rothschild, a competent coach, has taken over and judging by the spring output, seems to be doing a good job. Georgia Roddy said he's the number 2 and I hope he pitches like one. This may just be blind faith.
NL Surprise: The Phillies don't win the division. They may have the best top 4 in baseball, but their bullpen led by Brad Lidge isn't that great and their lineup consists of a shot Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and an injured Chase Utley. There's not much hitting in their outfield with Werth gone unless Ibanez can turn back the clock or Dominic Brown picks it up. The Braves are rising with Freeman, Heyward, Hanson and co. and seem to be ready to put it together.
AL Breakout Player: Brett Anderson, OAK. Best pitcher you don't know about. If he stays healthy could easily pitch to sub-3 ERA and become their next lefty star following Mulder and Zito.
NL Breakout: Jason Heyward, ATL. In case you couldn't tell I'm high on the Braves and think he's the key. He'll go for 30 and 100 this year easy.
AL East winner: Boston
AL Central Winner: Minnesota
AL West Winner: Oakland
AL Wild Card Winnter: New York
NL East: Atlanta
NL Central: St. Louis
NL West: Colorado
NL Wild Card: Philadelphia
Div rd- Bos over Oakland, NYY over Minnesota (again).
ALCS- NYY over BOS 4-3
Div rd- Atl over STL, PHI over Col
NLCS- PHI over ATL
World Series-Yankees over Phillies 4-3