Baseball is back in full swing (pun intended), and there are many interesting storylines that will be followed throughout the Spring. How will the Kansas City Royals cope with the loss of Yordano Ventura? Will the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians have the same success this season as they did in 2016? Will the New York Yankees make the playoffs with their young core or will they trade from it? These will all be answered this season.
I know it’s early, but I’m no stranger to making early predictions. With that said, here are my predictions for the National League Yearly Awards.
National League MVP: Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
Freddie Freeman was the Braves’ best player last season and he will be responsible for their revival in 2017. The Braves haven’t made the postseason since 2013 and haven’t won a playoff round since 2001. Freeman will continue a dominant second half last year, make the All Star Game, and win the Home Run Crown in the Senior Circuit. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Freeman hit 40 bombs and drive in 110. This will be the year Freeman takes his place among the game’s elite.
National League Rookie of the Year: Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta BravesFreeman will dominate, but Dansby Swanson will also get his fair share of the spotlight by winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year award. Swanson doesn’t have much pop in his bat, and I don’t expect him to get more than 12 homers in the season, but he’ll be good for 65-70 RBI and will hit somewhere between .300-.355. He will prove why the Arizona Diamondbacks made a grave mistake trading him away and will lead the Braves, along with Freeman, (bold prediction alert) to the postseason.
National League Cy Young: Jake Arrieta, RHP, Chicago CubsArrieta won it in 2015, dipped a small bit in 2016, and will rebound in 2017 to claim a second Cy Young in three seasons. He is a free agent after the 2017 season and will be looking to pitch his way to a big payday. He’ll be 31 next year and teams are favoring the younger players. Despite his inconsistencies, Arrieta will straighten himself out to win 20 games, strikeout 200, and have an ERA of 2.30 or lower. He’ll be a driving force behind another Cubs postseason birth.
National League Manager of the Year: Dave Roberts, Los Angeles DodgersDave Roberts will repeat as Manager of the Year in the National League. He will lead this team to the best record in the National League. They will have to contend with injuries, everyone does, but hopefully it won’t be as bad as last year. Roberts will prove last year wasn’t a case of beginners luck and prove to the Dodgers front off that they made the right call hiring him over the other candidates. His utilization of Chase Utley and Franklin Gutierrez will be crucial as well as the bullpen with the loss of J.P Howell and the addition of Sergio Romo.
These are my Spring Training award predictions. Do you agree with my picks? Do you disagree? Let me know!
Featured Photo Credit: CURTIS COMPTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS/ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION