Predictions versus Results review. Did we go 8-for-8 in the BBWAA awards? How about 12-for-12 including the Sporting News awards? A tough task (the Sporting News awards are notoriously squirrely).
Here was my 2013 Prediction post from Early October. For some past history, here’s the 2012 version of this post, and here’s 2010 and 2011 prediction pieces as well in case you forgot who won the 2010 AL MVP (Josh Hamilton in a landslide; oh how far he has fallen).
Lets review my predictions versus the results.
- AL MVP: Predicted Miguel Cabrera. Actual: Cabrera.
- AL Cy Young: Predicted Matt Scherzer. Actual: Scherzer.
- AL Rookie of the Year: Predicted Wil Myers. Actual: Myers.
- AL Mgr: Predicted Terry Francona. Actual: Francona.
- AL GM: Predicted Billy Beane. Actual: Ben Cherington.
- AL Comeback Player of the Year: Predicted Scott Kazmir. Actual: Mariano Rivera.
- NL MVP: Predicted: Andrew McCutchen. Actual: McCutchen.
- NL Cy Young: Predicted Clayton Kershaw. Actual: Kershaw.
- NL Rookie of the Year: Predicted Jose Fernandez. Actual: Fernandez.
- NL Mgr: Predicted Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh. Actual: Hurdle.
- NL GM: Predicted Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh. Actual: Huntington (2nd overall; best NL executive)
- NL Comeback Player of the Year: Predicted Francisco Liriano. Actual: Liriano.
- AL MVP: Predicted Miguel Cabrera. Actual: Cabrera. Another year, another set of whiny posts from the ever-obstinate stat crowd about the AL MVP. Cabrera gets first place on 23/30 ballots and cruises to victory. I’ll say this: if you want a “best player” award that’s just driven by the WAR standings, then convince the BBWAA to create one. A batting version of the Cy Young Award. Oh but first you have to explain why the three WARs (Fangraphs, baseball-reference and Baseball Prospectus) don’t actually agree with each other, or why they vary so much, use different input parameters, change over time, and depend on defensive statistics that basically depend on estimates and admit they cannot measure every aspect of the game. Until then, you have to deal with the vague definition of “valuable” and explain how someone can be the “most valuable player” on a team that finished last in its division. In the mean-time, check out the voting; someone voted Trout SEVENTH in this race; i’m sure there’s going to be plenty of whiny posts in the baseball blogosphere about this reporter (yup, there were).
- AL Cy Young: Predicted Matt Scherzer. Actual: Scherzer. Scherzer won overwhelmingly, getting 28 of 30 first place votes. What’s more amazing is seeing who else got first place votes. Anibal Sanchez? Wow. Who looked at the Detroit rotation and made the determination that Sanchez was the guy who led the line and not one of his teammates?
- AL Rookie of the Year: Predicted Wil Myers. Actual: Myers. Tampa’s Wil Myers won in more or less a landslide, getting 23 of 30 first place votes. It was a down year in the AL for rookies but Myers continues to show why the Tampa-Kansas City trade will haunt Royals fans for years to come.
- AL Mgr: Predicted Terry Francona. Actual: Francona. I think the right guy won here; if you look at what Cleveland did this year with the squad they had, the accomplishment of Francona becomes even more distinct. The vote was closer than I thought it would be (he took 16 of 30 1st place votes) over John Ferrell of Boston. Bob Melvin gets some very deserved votes as well. I was worried that this award would go to the Red Sox guy after their worst to first season (much like I believe the GM award was seemingly selected).
- AL GM: Predicted Billy Beane. Actual: Ben Cherington. I completely disagree with this selection, but am somewhat irked with myself for being “talked out” of selecting Cherington by a column I read earlier this year about Beane. Yes Cherington did an amazing job moving his malcontents and signing the players that enabled the Red Sox to win another World Series. But honestly; how can you be the executive of the year with the 2nd or 3rd highest payroll in the game?? If Boston makes a $15M/year mistake in free agency … they just get another guy. If a team like Tampa or Pittsburgh or Oakland makes a $15M/year mistake, it cripples them for years to come. That’s why I feel a GM from a small market team that makes the playoffs is absolutely more deserving of this award over a major market GM, every time.
- AL Comeback Player of the Year: Predicted Scott Kazmir. Actual: Mariano Rivera. I have no problems with this award; in fact i’m kind of mad at myself for not thinking about Rivera. Everything about his career is amazing, and the last year, where he pitched at all-star levels after missing an entire season and being at such an advanced age just cements his legacy even more.
- NL MVP: Predicted: Andrew McCutchen. Actual: McCutchen. This one ended up being pretty easy to predict, an entirely narrative driven vote. See my post on Carlos Gomez for why I say that. McCutchen got 28 of 30 first place votes, only missing out on the two St. Louis voters supporting Yadier Molina.
- NL Cy Young: Predicted Clayton Kershaw. Actual: Kershaw. First place on 29 of 30 ballots, which i’m sure will touch off faux-anger articles the next day about why he wasn’t unanimous. Our own Jordan Zimmermann got a slew of 3rd and 4th place votes (but ironically none from the local Washington writers who voted) and finished 7th overall.
- NL Rookie of the Year: Predicted Jose Fernandez. Actual: Fernandez. In a race that looked like it would be too difficult to call earlier in the season, Fernandez ended up dominating (taking 26 of 30 first place votes). He wins over Yasiel Puig and a slew of excellent candidates. Ironic how Shelby Miller finishes third but his fellow rookie teammate Michael Wacha was the post-season hero (and may be the more coveted player, since Miller’s name is already in trade rumors).
- NL Mgr: Predicted Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh. Actual: Hurdle. This was perhaps the easiest award to predict after the NL Cy Young; Hurdle took first place on 25 of 30 ballots.
- NL GM: Predicted Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh. Actual: Huntington (2nd overall; best NL executive). Huntington’s slew of moves on the trade and free agency markets over the last couple of years, combined with the team (finally?) showing some dividends from its drafting and farm system had them in the playoffs despite one of the lowest payrolls in the league. Huntington is an easy choice for best NL executive.
- NL Comeback Player of the Year: Predicted Francisco Liriano. Actual: Liriano. No surprise here: Liriano went from being fantasy waiver wire chaff to one of the best pitchers in the league this year. How much longer can he keep this level of performance going from here?
I took out my two predicted “Firemen” of the year because, well, I have no idea if or when they’ll be announced. The Rolaids relief man of the year award may be kaput; the website is down, they apparently havn’t announced it for 2013 despite every other post-season award having already been given out, and I wanted to post this sucker.
So in the end, I went 8/8 in major awards, 10/12 in all awards. Not bad. Of course, as one prominent writer pointed out, predicting the 8 main BBWAA awards this year wasn’t the hardest task in the world. So I won’t crow too much at my own predictive capabilities this year