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FOX Sports predicts Carlos Delgado will be NL MVP


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National League

Baseball's opening day is roughly a fortnight away; so the time to make predictions is nigh.

 

We've spent the last several days intermittently trotting out forecasts for each of the six divisions, and we've already made our individual predictions for the AL. Today, we'll turn our attention to the senior circuit and take a whack at naming the major award winners in the National League for 2006.

 

First, some reminders on the criteria. These are predictions for the actual award winners rather than claims on who's actually the best. Award voters often get hung up on casting ballots for players on winning teams, pitchers who get good run support and closers who rack up gaudy save totals. Most often, those indicators have very little to do with who's actually performing at a superior level. So the following predictions take into account historical voter biases.

 

NL MVP — Carlos Delgado, Mets

 

Delgado has the power and patience to once again put up monster numbers. He addresses a manifest weakness for the Mets (Met first basemen last season combined to hit a paltry .227 AVG/.303 OBP/.391 SLG), and his skills are still very much in tact. Also, while Shea on balance is a pitcher's environment, it's actually somewhat accommodating toward left-handed power bats. Expect 40 homers, 100 walks, lots of RBIs and MVP hardware for Delgado this year.

 

Runners-up: Albert Pujols, Cardinals; J.D. Drew, Dodgers

 

NL Cy Young — Jake Peavy, Padres

 

Check out Peavy's combined numbers over the last two seasons: 369.1 innings, 2.61 ERA, 389 strikeouts, 103 walks, .287 OBP against. He's now a year closer to his prime seasons and fully recovered from the rib injury he suffered in the NLDS. Peavy will also enjoy having Mike Cameron's glove behind him in center field.

 

If he stays off the DL (he went there once in 2004 with a strained tendon in his arm), Peavy will put up impressive numbers. It also helps that the NL West doesn't have much in the way of imposing offenses.

 

Runners-up: Chris Carpenter, Cardinals; Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks

 

NL Reliever of the Year — Eric Gagne, Dodgers

 

Tough call, but let's willfully fall prey to the better storyline. Gagne, of course, is coming off elbow surgery, and the uncertainty surrounding his comeback was such that the Dodgers traded for Danys Baez as a hedge. Still, the early returns on Gagne are promising.

 

He's in the mid-90s with his fastball, and he hasn't surrendered a run in six spring outings. Throw in the incentive of his being eligible for free agency after the 2006 season, and you can expect a big year.

 

Runners-up: Billy Wagner, Mets; Brad Lidge, Astros

 

NL Rookie of the Year — Prince Fielder, Brewers

 

Fielder has two things going for him — a serious power stroke and unfettered opportunity. The winter trade of Lyle Overbay means that Fielder will be the Brewers' every-day first baseman, and his light-tower stroke means he'll be good for 25-30 bombs as a rookie. He's a sub-optimal defender, but Fielder's work at the plate will get him the votes.

 

Runners-up: Josh Willingham, Marlins; Matt Cain, Giants

 

NL Manager of the Year — Grady Little, Dodgers

 

Little is anything but a wily tactician and great leader of men. However, in 2006, he's going to benefit from perceptions. The Dodgers were a profound disappointment last season, mostly because of injuries. They're bound to be healthier in 2006, and the addition of an All-Star shortstop (Rafael Furcal) will also help the cause. Throw in the fact that they toil in the weakest division in all of baseball, and the Dodgers are primed to take the flag. Some of that credit will fall Little's way, justifiably or not.

 

Runners-up: Bobby Cox, Braves; Willie Randolph, Mets

 

NL Executive of the Year — Omar Minaya, Mets

 

Minaya hasn't had a perfect winter; he's thinned out the rotation and frittered away Mike Cameron. However, he has been bold. Bringing in Delgado and closer Billy Wagner are conspicuous moves that will certainly help the team greatly in 2006.

 

The Mets still have flaws — the back of the rotation, second base and the middle-relief corps, but they are poised to win the wild card in the NL (sorry, the NL East flag goes to the Braves once again). For returning the Mets to the post-season for the first time since 2000, Minaya will earn much acclaim.

 

Runners-up: Ned Colletti, Dodgers; Doug Melvin, Brewers

 

American League

Baseball's opening day is roughly a fortnight away, so the time to make predictions is nigh.

 

We've spent the last several days intermittently trotting out forecasts for each of the six divisions, so now let's take things down to the individual level. Today, we'll predict the major award winners in the American League for 2006.

 

First, some notes on the criteria ... These are predictions for the actual award winners rather than claims on who's actually the best. Award voters often get hung up on casting ballots for players on winning teams, pitchers who get good run support and closers who rack up gaudy save totals. Most often, those indicators have very little to do with who's actually the best. So the following predictions take into account historical voter biases. Onward ...

 

AL MVP — David Ortiz, Red Sox

 

A few things in Ortiz's favor ... One, he's a genuinely excellent hitter who'll have plenty of homers and lots of RBI batting cleanup for the best offense in baseball. Two, there's a certain amount of "we owe him one" sentiment carrying over from the last two season. Three, the Red Sox figure to be the best team in the AL this season, and, four, his primary competition, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, already had his turn. All of that is enough to overcome any DH angst the voters may be dealing with.

 

Runners-up: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees; Eric Chavez, A's

 

AL Cy Young — Rich Harden, A's

 

This one all depends on health. There's no disputing Harden's abilities on the mound, and there's no disputing his excellence last season when healthy (2.53 ERA in 128 innings). On the other hand, Harden has endured a number of mid-grade injuries in his young career. If he's able to exceed 200 innings, he'll win the AL ERA title and get enough wins to attract the voters. Bet on that happening in 2006.

 

Runners-up: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays; Johan Santana, Twins

 

AL Reliever of the Year — Francisco Rodriguez, Angels

 

K-Rod's power slider is hell on hitters, and if he demonstrates a little better control, he'll find himself in Mariano Rivera's class. The Angels don't figure to win their division in 2006, but Rodriguez, since manager Mike Scioscia deploys him mostly in accordance with the save rule, will rack up plenty of saves and post a comfortably sub-3.00 ERA. Also, his wicked stuff and amped-up approach on the mound will earn him points with voters.

 

Runners-up: Huston Street, A's; Mariano Rivera, Yankees

 

AL Rookie of the Year — Kenji Johjima, C, Mariners

 

Sure, Johjima's 30 years old with years of experience in the Japanese Pacific League, but he's also a rookie. Johjima's right-handed bat may not play well in Safeco, but he'll put up solid gap-power numbers and provide exceptional defense behind the plate. He'll immediately join Jason Varitek, Joe Mauer and Ramon Hernandez as the top offensive catchers in the junior circuit. As for his competition, Twins lefty Francisco Liriano is a far more valuable commodity going forward, but he may not even open the season in the major league rotation, and the listless Minnesota offense won't provide him with much run support.

 

Runners-up: Francisco Liriano, Twins; Justin Verlander, Tigers

 

AL Manager of the Year — Jim Leyland, Tigers

 

The Tigers won't win the brutal AL Central, but they figure to make impressive strides. They'll have an imposing offense, and youngsters like Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Joel Zumaya will help the pitching staff. If things break Detroit's way, they could finish second. The voters will notice such an improvement, and Leyland's salt-cured, "baseball man" appeal will also play well.

 

Runners-up: Ken Macha, A's; Terry Francona, Red Sox

 

AL Executive of the Year — Billy Beane, A's

 

Beane's holdout detractors say his success was a byproduct of being graced with "The Big Three" — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. Well, this will be Oakland's second campaign without Hudson and Mulder in the fold, and this year's model is primed to take the AL West. An improved offense and a promising young rotation (plus an elite shutdown closer in Huston Street) will vanquish the remainder of Beane's critics.

 

Runners-up: Ken Williams, White Sox; Theo Epstein, et al, Red Sox

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I just can't believe mark Teixeira is getting no respectr from anyone in MVP predictions. The guy is well protected in that line up, plays in a great hitters park and is still improving. Yet noone mentions him.

 

 

Also, look for Ian Kinsler to make a run at ROTY.

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I just can't believe mark Teixeira is getting no respectr from anyone in MVP predictions. The guy is well protected in that line up, plays in a great hitters park and is still improving. Yet noone mentions him.

Also, look for Ian Kinsler to make a run at ROTY.

How did Teixeira do in the WBC? :lol: I am joking. He wont get any for another year or two. There are so many vets in the league. Give him some time. It is too early in his career.

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How did Teixeira do in the WBC? :lol: I am joking. He wont get any for another year or two. There are so many vets in the league. Give him some time. It is too early in his career.

That actually worries me (how he did in the WBC). I hope it was just different styles of pitchers and not somethign wrong with his swing. Unfortunately, I only got to see one USA game, so I didn't get a real chance to annalyze his swing.

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That actually worries me (how he did in the WBC). I hope it was just different styles of pitchers and not somethign wrong with his swing. Unfortunately, I only got to see one USA game, so I didn't get a real chance to annalyze his swing.

Honestly, it seemed no one had their true swing except maybe Beltre who was better in the WBC then last year and maybe Griffey too.

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beltre is gonna return to form this year i predict .305-35-117 in a lineup that will depend on that. delgado could make a run at mvp, but i am not too convinced. if the mets werent too stupid to realize 22 isnt too young to hit 3, wright would b top 5 candidates

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beltre is gonna return to form this year i predict .305-35-117 in a lineup that will depend on that. delgado could make a run at mvp, but i am not too convinced. if the mets werent too stupid to realize 22 isnt too young to hit 3, wright would b top 5 candidates

:clap:

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