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Projected End-of-Year 2009 MLB Award Winners

Manny Ramirez, Brandon Webb and Cameron Maybin.

An eclectic group of current baseball personalities, but those three were my preseason National League picks to win the MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year. In March, all of those seemed very feasible.

Then Ramirez got caught, Webb got hurt — and stayed hurt — and Maybin found out that players with little power, bankrupt of the ability to take walks and striking out 37 percent of the time they step to the plate don’t stay in the majors.

But, sports writers are stubborn. Part of the job is knowing that you are going to be wrong sometimes and still having no fear in expressing your opinions.

Earlier today, I posted my picks for MLB’s midseason award winners. Now, here is who I think will claim the awards at the end of the year. Statistics are through July 8.

I can guarantee that you won’t see any of the three aforementioned players on these lists.

AL MVP:

1. Joe Mauer, C, MIN: The power is finally there for him and his ability at such a tough position helps his cause. Also, this pick should show who I think is going to win the AL Central.

2. Mark Teixeira, 1B, NYY: He is such a tremendous hitter after April, but especially after the All-Star break.

3. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: The average is way down, but otherwise, he is having a great year. He is the catalyst for the Rangers’ offense and will help bring them their first division crown since 1999.

4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET: I don’t think enough people realize how good he has been this year for far. And look at what he did after the break last season! I could definitely see that happening again.

5. Ben Zobrist, 2B, TB: Not Longoria or Upton or Crawford or Pena. Seriously, Zobrist looks to be for real and where

A legit MVP canidate. Who would have thought?

A legit MVP candidate. Who would have thought?

would this team be without him? He is truly invaluable to the Rays right now, and many are still finding out about him.

NL MVP:

1. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: He’s on pace to hit 59 homers and drive in 156 runs. And because it’s Albert Pujols, everyone should think that those numbers are well within his reach.

2. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: The NL East is completely up for grabs. If the Marlins win the division and he stays on his first-half pace, I don’t see him being any lower than third in this race at the end.

3. Prince Fielder, 1B, MIL: Like many other MVP candidates, this placement depends on the team’s standing at the end of the year, but if the Brewers stay in the race, Fielder will be one of the main reasons as to why. He’s having a career year.

4. Chase Utley, 2B, PHI: He was on his way to this award last year until his run production slipped after June. Let’s see if he can change that this year.

5. Ryan Braun, OF, MIL: Braun will put up five-category numbers to be worthy of consideration.

AL Cy Young:

1. Roy Halladay, TOR: He won’t get traded to the Phillies or any other team, and his numbers — 18 wins, sub-3.00 ERA, 200+ Ks, 220 IPs — will be too good to ignore.

2. Josh Beckett, BOS: No, not Tim Wakefield. There’s nothing about Wakefield’s numbers, other than wins, that say Cy Young. Beckett has rebounded after a tough start to the season and looks to be back to his dominant ways.

3. Zack Greinke, KC: The inevitable slide has started, but he’ll still post very good numbers and many voters will remember what he did early in the season.

4. Felix Hernandez, SEA: He has the stuff to keep his ratios near where they are right now, and if he does that with 15-17 wins, he can’t be ignored.

5. A.J. Burnett, NYY: Forget Sabathia. Burnett has been on his game since the start of June. He is a bit better of a pitcher in the second half and he’ll get more notice in New York than he ever did in Miami or Toronto.

NL Cy Young:

Some player has to get an award for what the Dodgers are doing.

Some player has to get an award for what the Dodgers are doing.

1. Tim Lincecum, SF: I want to go outside the box, but much like with Pujols, it’s hard to bet against him. He’s untouchable right now.

2. Chad Billingsley, LAD: You can just ride his arm to victories. On that team, he has an outside shot at 20 wins.

3. Josh Johnson, FLA: I think he has the highest probability of these five of fading in the final months, but he has great power stuff, and how could I not trust Peter Gammons’ preseason pick for this award?

4. Javier Vazquez, ATL: There isn’t much of a difference in his first and second-half splits. Click on his name and look at his stats. He would be getting more Cy Young talk if he could get some decent run support.

5. Matt Cain, SF: For how well this team is doing with that old, unimpressive lineup, it deserves two pitchers in this discussion.

AL Rookie of the Year:

1. Ricky Romero, SP, TOR: Maybe he’ll hit a wall, like Porcello has, but he looks mighty strong right now with little reason to doubt him.

2. Nolan Reimold, OF, BAL: I probably should have put him on my midseason list, but no matter. He is clearly outshining Matt Wieters, playing every day and hitting for power.

3. David Price, SP, TB: I have faith that he will turn it around in the second half. He had a good start today.

NL Rookie of the Year:

1. Tommy Hanson, SP, ATL: The call-up for Hanson started out a little rough, but now he has given up just one run in his past 24.1 innings pitched. He is going to be such a stud very soon.

2. Colby Rasmus, OF, STL: If he keeps on hitting in that No. 2 hole for the Cardinals, Rasmus will get great pitches to hit and stay in the running for this award.

3. Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT: I am a big fan of everything he can do. It would be great if the Pirates let him run a little more. He could steal as many as he wanted.

AL Manager of the Year:

1. Ron Washington, TEX: If the Rangers win the AL West, they have to give it to him!

2. Jim Leyland, DET: A close second, but I think he’s dealing with more talent, so that actually is one of the reasons why he’s second.

3. Don Wakamatsu, SEA: In that division, they can probably stick around all season. Not bad for the team that had MLB’ second-worst record in 2008.

NL Manager of the Year:

1. Joe Torre, LAD: The Dodgers aren’t going to fall and are the best team in the NL by leaps and bounds. Much like Joe Maddon last year with the Rays, this race is over now.

2. Fredi Gonzalez, FLA: The Marlins are two games out in the NL East and three games out of the wild card. If they make the playoffs, Gonzalez will get some votes. They have the talent and some maybe some fate — World Series wins in 1997 and 2003 — on their side to get there, too.

3. Bruce Bochy, SF: But the Giants have to win that wild card, which they lead by a game right now.

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  1. July 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

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