Awards Week It’s long gone, and to celebrate, we’re looking forward to 2023, with one potential award candidate on each team in 2023.
Don’t worry, we’re not counting free agents: Aaron Judge won’t appear as a Yankee, Giant or Dodger or anywhere on this list. You will only find signed players. Who has the best chance of winning a prize on each team? Let’s try to guess.
Tiles: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.1B (MVP)
Sure, this season was a step backwards for the Dominican, but 2021 had an incredible season on offense, one that would have won MVP were it not for Shohei Ohtani. Guerrero is still only 23 years old. The best is yet to come. And it could come soon.
Orioles: Gunnar HendersonSS (Rookie of the Year)
We’re tempted to play Adley Rutschman as MVP here, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, we go with Henderson, who seemed ready after debuting on Aug. 31. Don’t they already see him as a veteran?
Rays: Tyler GlasnowRHP (Cy Young)
Just two games into the regular season in 2022, but he looked the same as ever. If he’s healthy, he’s got plenty of Cy Young material.
Red Sox: Raphael Devers3B (MVP)
The club has yet to agree to an extension with the Dominican. It would be great to see him imitate Judge and have a supersonic season together before he becomes a free agent.
Yankees: Anthony VolpeSS (Rookie of the Year)
If Judge stays, he’s probably the favorite to take MVP again. But if not, MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 prospect could be the Opening Day shortstop and an instant sensation. Gerrit Cole for Cy Young is also a good answer. Can you believe he has never won one?
Guardians: Jose Ramirez3B (MVP)
The Dominican has yet to win one, although this year it was the fifth of the last six in which he has finished among the six most voted. One of these years is going to thunder from start to finish.
Real: Bobby Witt Jr.SS (MVP)
Saying this is a bit of an exaggeration, sure, but we know the talent is there. It was almost “fantastic” in 2022 and to some it seemed below expectations. The sky is the limit and maybe immediately.
tigers: Riley GreeneCF (MVP)
Well, this is really exaggerated. But the Tigers need Greene to make a big leap — and Spencer Torkelson, too — to put 2022 behind them as soon as possible.
Twins: Byron BuxtonCF (MVP)
If he can stay healthy the full season, he’s absolutely capable of winning one of these. But he’ll be 29 on Opening Day. Each time it seems that this is less and less likely.
White socks: Dylan CeaseRHP (Cy Young)
He finished second this year, and he seemed to get better and better as the months went by. One more push could take him to the top in 2023.
Angels: Mike TroutOF (MVP)
We’re going to go with Trout here instead of Ohtani because Trout looks like he’s more likely to finish 2023 with the Angels.
Stars: Yordan AlvarezBD (MVP)
The AL is full of MVP candidates, and Alvarez’s timing in the postseason will only make him a more familiar figure in voters’ minds. Oh, and he also might be the best hitter in all of baseball. That also helps.
Athletics: ken waldichukLHP (Rookie of the Year)
Waldichuk came from the Yankees in the trade for Francelis Montas last year and pitched minor after coming to Oakland. He’s already a fixture in the A’s rotation and is still eligible for Rookie of the Year.
Sailors: Julio Rodriguez CF (MVP)
The Dominican, reigning AL Rookie of the Year, will eventually win MVP. Why are we going to wait any longer?
Rangers: Josh Jung3B (Rookie of the Year)
Even though he’ll be 25 on Opening Day, he’s still eligible for Rookie of the Year, and an argument can be made right away that he could be one of the favorites.
Braves: Spencer StriderRHP (Cy Young)
We also would have gone with Ronald Acuna Jr. for MVP, but Strider was probably the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball in the final two months of last season. If that happens for an entire campaign, the right-hander would be among the frontrunners.
Marlins: Sandy AlcantaraRHP (Cy Young)
Jacob deGrom was the last to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards, in 2018 and 2019. The Dominican Alcántara has the great talent to be next.
mets: Francisco AlvarezC (Rookie of the Year)
We have seen the thunder in his bat. The Venezuelan, rated the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline this year, would have every opportunity to dominate in the Big Top.
Nationals: Robert Hassel IIIOF (ROY)
The other guy the capitalists got for Juan Jose Soto is a better hitter than CJ Abrams and could patrol the Washington prairies for a long time.
Phillies: Bryce HarperRF (MVP)
This could depend on whether he can play the outfield, but if he can and is fully healthy, there’s already evidence of what he can do when he’s a little hurt.
Brewers: Brandon WoodruffRHP (Cy Young)
Rumors have swirled that Milwaukee could trade Corbin Burnes in the offseason, which would be the only reason we’re targeting the equally excellent Woodruff here. But either would be a good choice. Even why not both?
Cardinals: Nolan Arenado3B (MVP)
He finished third in voting this year, and while teammate Paul Goldschmidt took the award, a case could be made that Arenado is the heart and soul of this team.
Puppies: Brennen DavisOF (Rookie of the Year)
It might be aggressive to have him in the Opening Day lineup, but his inevitable arrival will be one of the great moments of the North Chicago club’s season opener.
pirates: Roansy ContrerasRHP (Rookie of the Year)
The Dominican still qualifies as a rookie and could even be the Buccaneers’ Opening Day starter.
Reds: elly de la cruzSS (Rookie of the Year)
This selection could be very aggressive, there is no doubt: The Dominican will barely turn 21 in January. But Cincinnati is very excited about the No. 14 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s list, and the rest of the baseball world probably will be too soon. Some didn’t realize it, but he hit 28 home runs and 47 stolen bases in the minor leagues this year.
D-backs: Corbin BurnesOF (Rookie of the Year)
He’s probably the favorite among everyone in his clubhouse, and for good reason. This speedy ranger will hit plenty of 3s at Chase Field over the next few years, and who doesn’t love 3s?
Dodgers: mookie bettsRF (MVP)
He was quietly at a great level in 2022, something that is already becoming a habit. He definitely looks like a guy who is shaping up to be an MVP Award winner in both leagues.
Giants: Logan WebbRHP (Cy Young)
Lots of changes are coming to the Giants in 2023, and they could be the most intriguing team this offseason. But Webb is quietly his ace.
Fathers: Juan Jose SotoRF (MVP)
Of the three candidates, the Dominican seems the most likely to produce the best numbers…and of course it will be fun to watch — plus, for a whole year alongside Manny Machado and fellow Dominican Fernando Tatis Jr.
Rockies: zac veeenOF (Rookie of the Year)
When all is in doubt…it’s always good to take a rookie hitter from Colorado.
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Here are the possible candidates of each team for awards in 2023