One of the entertaining aspects of springtime within the baseball world is predicting not only what MLB teams are going to do well in the upcoming season, but also what individuals will win different year-end awards.
Let’s dive into the four main categories of MLB awards: Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year.
Bold predictions for year-end MLB awards 2023
American League Most Valuable Player: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Just a few short years ago, selecting Mike Trout to win the American League MVP award would have been considered an ultra-safe pick and nowhere close to a bold prediction. Fast forward to 2023 and many people don’t even consider him the MVP of his own team much less the entire league. Dual threat Shohei Ohtani won the award in 2021 and then he was only beaten out in 2022 because of Aaron Judge’s record-breaking season.
Ohtani and Judge are the odds-on favorites to take the title this year, but Trout is poised to return to his dominate form. Injuries, not opponents’ pitchers, have been the only thing that has been able to slow down Trout. He is healthy and the way he is swinging it in the World Baseball Classic, he looks ready to flourish yet again this season.
Trout is a 10-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger, was Rookie of the Year in 2012, has been named AL MVP three times, and has finished second in the MVP race four other times and in the top 5 an additional two times. In fact, the only two times that Trout has finished outside the top 5 in the MVP race in his career was the past two seasons. In 2021, injuries reduced his season to only 36 games. Then last season, time on the injured list with a back issue limited him to 119 games, but he still managed to hit 40 home runs, slash .283/.369/.630, with a wRC+ of 176. This effort was strong enough to place him eighth in the MVP voting.
Mike Trout won’t be 32 years old until August 7. He may be past his prime as a player, but with his efficient, compact swing, Trout has the ability to continue to rack up historic numbers. This season will be another one of those fun to watch seasons for one of the greatest to ever play the game.