The 2012 IIATMS Rountable: Part I

American League MVP:

Jason: Miguel Cabrera-If Prince’s protection helped Braun, he won’t exactly hurt Cabrera. Even if there’s no such thing as lineup protection.

Brien: Albert Pujols Going out on a limb, I know. I don’t expect Albert to be anything but Albert as he switches to the American League, and he’ll be the most obvious difference maker on all of the American League’s primary playoff contenders.

William Tasker: Miguel Cabrera- Cabrera has strung together several impressive seasons with last season being his best yet. If he plays a somewhat adequate third base with similar negative fielding stats as he was at first, writers will give that to his credit. A somewhat higher positional adjustment boosts his WAR total and puts him over the top of Pujols.

Hippeaux: Miguel Cabrera

Gabe Lezra: Albert Pujols- This Albert guy is pretty good, in case you all were wondering.

Az Nekoukar: Albert Pujols- Pitchers aren’t going to know what hit them.

Will Moller: Albert Pujols- Prince Albert has one or two beastly seasons left in him. The AL West won’t know what’s hit them.

American League Cy Young:

Jason: David PriceSomething tells me he’s making The Leap this year.

Brien: C.C. Sabathia I’m pretty sure that the big guy will win a Cy at some point in his Yankee tenure, so I might as well keep picking him until he does, especially considering how open the field of contenders is. I have a gut feeling that Jason might be right about Price, though.

William Tasker: Felix Hernandez King Felix had a good season after his 2010 Cy Young Award. He is the best pitcher in the American League. Verlander and Sabathia will contend as always with Brandon Morrow as a dark horse candidate.

Hippeaux: David Price

Gabe Lezra: C.C. Sabathia- Verlander will not repeat his 2011, and I think that CC could be primed for a big season. I know this looks like a homer pick, and I guess it is. But still.

Az Nekoukar: C.C. Sabathia- Homer pick alert.

American League Rookie of the Year:

Jason: Yu Darvish Yes, I think he will be very good. Matt Moore was a very close second, with Jesus at his heels.

Brien: Matt Moore- It’s basically a toss up for me between Moore and Darvish, but I think Moore will have less trouble adjusting to his first MLB season, and will probably get an extra boost in the mind of voters because he plays for the Rays if it’s a close race at the end of the season.

William Tasker: Yu Darvish- This award almost surely goes to Yu Darvish by default. All Darvish has to do is win 14 or 15 games and be better than league average to win the award.

Hippeaux: Jesus Montero

Gabe Lezra: Yu Darvish- He’s really, really good.

Az Nekoukar: Yu Darvish- Yeah, I’m buying into the hype.

Will Moller: Yu Darvish- Beating out Jesus.

American League Manager of the Year:

Jason: Mike Scoiscia-Adding Pujols and Wilson will do wonders for a manager’s resume.

Brien: Mike Scoiscia- I’m expecting this to be a banner year in the annals of the “Manager of the Year” award going to guys who do more to hurt their team than help it.

William Tasker: John Farrell- All the usual candidates are expected to do well. If the Blue Jays have a very good season, he could very well land the job. Jim Leyland would be my other candidate.

Hippeaux: John Farrell

Gabe Lezra: Joe Maddon- He has some sort of inexplicable power over people. And no, I don¡t want to expand on that.

Will Moller:Mike Scoiscia- Not that he’ll actually deserve it.

National League MVP:

Jason: Hanley Ramirez I think he bounces back with a vengeance.

Brien: Joey Votto He’s the best hitter in the National League with Albert gone, and his team should be in the thick of the playoff race all year. Sounds like an eventual MVP to me.

William Tasker: Joey Votto- Votto is the best player in the National League. His numbers are off the charts for the past two seasons and there is no reason for that not to continue. His one problem is the positional adjustment for first base. The Reds will have to contend for him to be a factor in the MVP race. My dark horse candidate would be Hanley Ramirez.

Hippeaux: Carlos Gonzalez

Gabe Lezra: Justin Upton I feel like it’s his year. This is a purely gut call though.

Az Nekoukar: Matt Kemp Too good, five-toolsy.

Will Moller: Matt Kemp- I’m kind of punting, but I think Kemp will be motivated after last season.

National League Cy Young:

Jason: Cliff Lee Because he’s really, really good.

Brien: Cole Hamels My initial reaction is to pick Roy Halladay, but I think he might have reached the point where voting for him feels like a cop out to the voters unless he does something truly unbelievable or there are simply no other viable choices. I think Hamels will be this year’s Clayton Kershaw, combining a legitimate break out (of sorts) of his own with the impulse to find someone other than Halladay to vote for to win the award.

William Tasker: Clayton Kershaw- Kershaw has become the best pitcher in the National League and barring injury, he pitches in a pitcher’s park which only helps him further. He is extremely efficient for such a young age. Zack Greinke has looked great all spring and pitched better than his ERA by a long shot last season. He will be Kershaw’s main competition.

Hippeaux: Madison Bumgarner

Gabe Lezra: Zack Greinke- Oh yeah. He was really, really good last year, but all the conventional numbers didn’t show it. He’s going to have a huge season.

Az Nekoukar: Roy Halladay- Duh.

National League Rookie of the Year:

Jason: Drew PomeranzIf I knew Bryce Harper was going to get to 120 games with the big club, then maybe. For now, I take the lefty who has a rotation spot already.

Brien: Devin Mesoraco He’s a very good hitter who should be the Reds’ primary catcher from Opening Day on. That should be good enough to take the award in a Bryce Harper-less field.

Gabe Lezra: Devin Mesoraco- Bryce Harper won’t come up early enough to qualify.

Az Nekoukar: Yonder Alonso Every day player, will put up numbers.

Will Moller: Trevor Bauer

Hippeaux: Starling Marte Winning Rookie of the Year is usually more about opportunity than talent. A prospect Baseball America ranked in its preseason top 5 has not won the award since Evan Longoria (#2) got it in 2008. Prior to Longoria, you’ve got to go all the way back to Kerry Wood (#4) in 1998. So, the safe money would probably forego Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Only five rookies qualified for the batting title in 2011. Only two got as many as 600 plate appearances. Only three rookie pitchers qualified for the ERA title and among them, the eventual AL ROY winner, Jeremy Hellickson, threw by far the most innings. The rookies who enter the season with strangleholds on regular playing time would appear to be Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Moore, Jesus Montero, Zack Cozart, Drew Pomeranz, and Yonder Alonso. That doesn’t mean they are the only candidates, but it gives them a considerable advantage.

National League Manager of the Year:

Jason: Ozzie Guillen- There might not be a more perfect storm a’brewin’ than what’s going on in Miami and I think that team is playoff bound. Yep, I’m drinkin’ the Kool Aid.

Brien: Fredi Gonzalez- This is the easiest pick in the whole lot for me. I like the Braves to remain strong relative to the rest of that division so, given the circumstances of their late 2010 collapse, no manager in baseball is better positioned with respect to the narrative on which this award is based. The fact that he’s one of the very worst managers in the game won’t make the slightest bit of difference. For what it’s worth, I think Dusty Baker will be the runner up.

William Tasker: Either the Nationals or the Marlins will give the Phillies a run for their money. Whichever one does will capture the Manager of the Year. So, either Davey Johnson or Ozzie Guillen.

Hippeaux: Davey Johnson

Gabe Lezra: Ron Roenicke- I’m all in on the Brew Crew.

Az Nekoukar: Ozzie Guillen- New team, and if they can win the division in a year the Phillies are down, the attention is going to be intense and he’ll be rewarded for it.

Will Moller: Davey Johnson- After the Nats push to win a wild card spot. Call me crazy.


About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

17 thoughts on “The 2012 IIATMS Rountable: Part I

  1. I picked Dee Gordon as my NL Rookie of the Year. Either he isn't a rookie and Brien didn't want to embarrass me or Brien was laughing too hard at the choice to include it. Heh.

  2. Even if Darvish wins it, does anybody expect him to continue to have the success over the life of his contract? Japanese pitchers seem to usually have a harder time keeping up here. I'm just wondering what everybody thinks.

    • I watched Darvish's last Spring Training start and I was very impressed. Obviously, pitching in Texas will work against him to some degree, but Darvish has a more consistent and liquid release and works quicker than any Japanese pitcher I've ever watched.

      What you say aboud Japanese pitchers is at least partially true. I wrote about the "Japanese Bubble" last year in anticipation of the Darvish posting:

      While I found that Japanese players in general have been bad investments, most of the most productive Japanese transfers have been pitchers (both in term of total WAR and WAR/$). Darvish is both a.) younger and b.) has a better track record than any of them did in Japan, so he has as good a chance of living up to expectations as anyone.

      Also, I think it's unfair to hold Darvish responsible for the "posting fee," which he never sees any part of. So, he really only has to earn a little less than $10 Mil. per season until he's 31 years old to be worthy of his contract. That's not really that high a bar.

      • $10 mil? We're paying that much to Kuroda. I'd take Darvish over our geezer, if we're talking the same dollars each way. I'd be surprised if Yu didn't have a better year than our guy in '12.

        • Kuroda is well worth 10M$…even moreso when you figure its a one-year deal.

          While the posting fee doesn't count against the cap, it is a cost. You can look at that cost with maybe a 30-40% discount as you don't have MLB taxes, FUTA taxes, etc. on that sum, however it is real money.

          Yu seems to be a better talent than Kuroda, but is unproven on the highest stage. I recall how good Dice-BB looked and all the hype…three years later and he was a deemed a 100M$ waste. No way should they regret the decision on Yu; regardless of the outcome.

          • Totally agree on Kuroda.

            If you prorate the posting fee as you suggest, you get a guy who's basically making C. J. Wilson money ($15+ M/YR for 6 yrs.) but who is SIX YEARS YOUNGER THAN WILSON. From Texas's perspective, I think the decision was an obvious one.

            Oh, and there's this:

            Dice-K in Nippon Age 20-24: 61-43, 3.00 ERA, 8.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
            Darvish in Nippon Age 20-24: 76-28, 1.72 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

          • I don't think we can compare Kuroda to Darvish here, Darvish has six years too, the Yankees didn't want to have that type of commitment, especially after Igawa. Plus, the posting fee was ridiculous.

            I won't be surprised if Darvish succeeds in 2012, i WILL be a little surprised if he has the continued success throughout his entire MLB career though.

  3. AL MVP – Albert Pujols – He is the best player in baseball right now and will be the best first baseman ever when he retires.
    AL Cy Young – James Shields – He will complete 13 games for the Rays and will help them reach the postseason as the wild card team.
    AL ROY – Matt Moore – He is a great young pitcher with a lot of potential. Since he pitched well in his first couple of appearances, he will win the AL ROY with Jesus Montero right behind him.
    AL Manager of the Year – Mike Scoiscia – He will win this because the Angels are going to make it to the postseason and win the World Series. With the Angels new additions and Kendrys Morales coming back they will have a great manager to help them get as far as they can go.
    NL MVP – Troy Tulowitzki – He is the best shortstop in the league and will give the Rockies a power boost. He will it 30 home runs and will steal at least 10 bags..
    NL Cy Young – Tim Lincecum – The freak is the best pitcher in my opinion but can't win a lot of games with no offensive pop. The Giants will be better with Posey coming back and Brandon Belt hitting lots of homers. He should win 15 games if the Giants could produce some runs for him.
    NL ROY – Drew Pomeranz – He will be in a very close race for first with Julio Teheran and Devin Mesoraco but will come out on top by a hair.
    NL Manager of the Year – Ozzie Guillen – I think the Marlins will come out in 2nd place in the east behind the Phillies and earn themselves a wild card spot. If Ozzie doesn't get thrown out 25 times or kick the catchers mask then the Marlins will win. Coming in close 2nd is Ron Roenicke because the Brewers will still be able to get some runs without Prince.