The 2022 MLB Season has already been a crazy one, to say the least. Featuring what could be one of the craziest trade deadlines and some very tight award races. Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani, who wins the American League MVP? For the National League Rookie of the Year, is it Spencer Strider, Brendan Donovan, or someone else? Here are my 2022 early award predictions!
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt: St. Louis Cardinals (First Base)
I believe Goldschmidt has easily been the favorite for this award since early to mid-May. He currently is hitting a slash line of .329/.409/.611 with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs and is the only National League hitter with over a 1.000 on-base plus slugging (OPS). The only thing that I think could hold him back from winning this award is St. Louis not winning enough games if they do not improve their pitching. Goldschmidt is carrying St. Louis to an above .500 record as they are 54-48. Along with that, they are only one game back at the moment in the Wild Card Race and only four games back in the NL Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
Honorable Mentions: Austin Riley of the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
NL Cy Young: Sandy Alcantara: Miami Marlins (Starting Pitcher)
Sandy Alcantara is easily one of the best starters in the league at the age of 26 and is an upcoming star in my opinion. He has a 9-4 record with a 1.99 ERA (first in the NL) over 149.1 innings pitched (first in the MLB). He has 138 Strikeouts (fourth in the NL), has played two complete games, and has 5.4 wins above replacement (WAR) which both lead the league. If Alcantara is able to win the Cy Young Award, he would be the first Miami Marlin to win it.
Honorable Mentions: Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers and Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves.
NL Rookie of the Year: Michael Harris II: Atlanta Braves (Outfielder)
Michael Harris made his debut in late May and has since been a consistently good hitter for the Atlanta Braves. He has a batting average of .279 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs as well as 11 stolen bases in just 57 games. I think that by the end of the season he could very well have 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. He will be a key role player for Atlanta in the upcoming years and be a contact/speed guy that a lot of teams need.
Honorable Mentions: Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves and Oneil Cruz of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
NL Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter: New York Mets
In just his first year as the New York Mets manager Buck Showalter has led the Mets to a 64-37 record, which is the second best in the NL. By the end of the season, the Mets could have the best record in the National League. He has made this New York Mets team super fun to watch.
Honorable Mentions: Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oliver Marmol of the St. Louis Cardinals.
AL MVP: Aaron Judge: New York Yankees (Outfielder)
This was the hardest one to choose but it is “Judgement” day and this man is just on a whole different planet right now. He has a batting average of .297 with 42 home runs and 91 RBIs at the moment and there are 60 games left. For me and I think a lot of people, this was between Judge and Shohei Ohtani. A big part of MVP for me is winning. While Ohtani is great and a generational talent the Los Angeles Angels are below average and not as good as this Yankees team. Judge has these stats and has the Yankees at a 69-34 record which is best in the league. If Judge keeps on this streak and averages the same sort of stats he did in July, he will finish with 68 home runs and 155 RBIs. All while still having a batting average of around .300 leading the Yankees to be a 100-plus win team, that is crazy. Aaron Judge MVP!
Honorable Mentions: Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros.
AL Cy Young: Shane McClanahan: Tampa Bay Rays (Starting Pitcher)
Shane McClanahan has pitched 122 Innings and is 10-4 in 20 games started. He has a 2.07 ERA, 158 strikeouts, and a 0.828 WHIP. Since May, McClanahan is 9-2 as a starter and since May 11th McClanahan has pitched six innings or more in 13 straight starts. In that span, he has 111 strikeouts and only allowed over two runs only four times.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox.
AL Rookie of the Year: Julio Rodriguez: Seattle Mariners (Outfielder)
I think this one was the easiest award for me to choose. I do not think this will be even close as long as Rodriguez gets and stays healthy. He did just get hit and hurt in a recent game against the Houston Astros and now is on the 10-day injured list. The injury is not supposed to be long term and he should be back with the team once fully healthy. Before the injury, he was hitting an average of .271 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs while also stealing 21 bases in 96 games played. He just finished second in the Home Run Derby, he lost to Juan Soto but crushed 81 home runs and showed off his power. Rodriguez should win this and has such a bright future.
Honorable Mentions: Jeremy Pena of the Houston Astros and Bobby Witt Jr. of the Kansas City Royals.
AL Manager of the Year: Aaron Boone: New York Yankees
The Yankees have the best record in all of baseball at 69-34 and this team is very talented. If they can get a good starter at this trade deadline, it would be hard to not say they will at least be in the American League Championship Series. Boone has his team in a very good position and look to make a World Series title run!
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Hyde of the Baltimore Orioles and Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros.