These are not just mere prediction but whom I believe should win the said awards.
Manager of the Year
Brian Snitker is the definition of a baseball lifer. In one form or another, he has been in the Atlanta Braves organization since 1977. Spending many nights riding buses never paid off as a player, but he eventually became a member of Bobby Cox’s coaching staff. Over the last three decades, Snitker spent time managing in the minors and coaching in the majors before becoming Atlanta’s interim manager in 2016. After the team struggled under Fred Gonzalez, Snitker helped them play a more competitive brand of baseball that was helpful for the young Braves. In 2018, Atlanta was expected to improve, but not be a factor in the playoff chase. Instead, the young Braves stunned everyone and won the National League East. How can anyone else top that?
Comeback Player of the Year
Los Angeles Dodgers
With a talented group of prospects knocking at the door, the Atlanta Braves unloaded Matt Kemp on the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team for which he had once been an All-Star. However, after a lackluster 2017, it appeared that Kemp’s All-Star days were a distant memory. With the Dodgers, it seemed as if Kemp was playing for his baseball life when he came to Spring Training. When the season was over, it was like Matt Kemp turned back the hands of time as he was an All-Star for the first time since 2012, batting .290 with 21 home runs and 85 RBI. As the Dodgers battled for the National League West, Kemp played a key role, with back-to-back games with walk-off hits at the start of September.
Rookie of the Year
Ronald Acuna Jr.
The tightest vote and closest vote for any of this year’s awards has to be the National League Rookie of the Year, with Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals and Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves having nearly identical stats. Acuna hit .293 compared to .292 for Soto, the Braves rookie also had more home runs, with 26 long balls, compared to 22. However, the 22 home runs is a record for players under the age of 20. Juan Soto did have the edge in RBI 70-64 and a slightly higher OPS at .923 to .917. Ronald Acuna did most of his damage at the top of the Braves order with a franchise record eight leadoff home runs, which were vital in the Braves division championship, and he played a better brand of defense giving him a slight edge in an award that could just as well be shared.
Trevor Hoffman Award
If you lose Greg Holland, it is a good idea to call upon Wade Davis. When Holland went down with Tommy John surgery in 2015, Davis took over as the Royals closer and helped them win the World Series. After Holland left the Rockies in 2017, it was Davis that signed a three-year deal with the Rockies after a season with the Cubs. Wade Davis filled the shoes of Holland perfectly again, leading the National League with 43 saves, two more than Greg Holland had in 2017. While Kenley Jansen who won the award the last two season had a better ERA, Holland’s overall number and starts give him the slight edge as Coors Field creates higher ERAs.
Hank Aaron Award
As he went into game 163, with the National League Central on the line, Christian Yelich had a chance at becoming the first Triple Crown winner in the senior circuit since Joe Medwick in 1937. With a .323 average Yelich had the batting title in his back pocket, his 36 home runs were just one less than Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, while he had two fewer RBI than Javier Baez at 109. As the Brewers battled the Cubs for the National League Central, it was Christian Yelich carrying Milwaukee to the finish line becoming just the third player in baseball’s modern era to hit for the cycle twice in the same season.
New York Mets
The only thing preventing Jacob deGrom from having one of the greatest statistical seasons as a pitcher was his sorry Mets teammates. The Mets bullpen blew several games in which he left with a lead, especially in the early part of the season. Often deGrom got less than adequate run support as he got two runs or less in 12 starts, he even had to provide his only run support with the Mets only RBI in a game. That is why despite a 1.70 ERA one of the lowest in the last 50 years, Jacob deGrom struggled to get to ten wins and finish at 10-9. However, add in his 269 strikeouts the sheer greatness of Jacob deGrom is there. Consider that his 29 straight games allowing three runs or less broke a century old record set by Leslie Cole with the Cubs in 1910.
For a long time, the National League MVP race was just as tight as the battle for the postseason that saw two of the three divisions end in a tie after 162 games. Nearly all the teams battled for the postseason had their own MVP candidate, with Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story driving the Colorado Rockies as they ranked among the league leaders in home runs and RBI. Matt Carpenter with his 36 home runs was key to the Cardinals getting back in the race, while Javier Baez was the MVP candidate for the Cubs with a league-leading 111 RBI. However, with a strong September, that saw him win Player of the Month and come close to winning the Triple Crown, the MVP belongs to the Brewers big fish reeled in from Miami, Christian Yelich.