MLB awards: Here’s how we pick ‘em

Four writers who couldn’t agree on the best restaurant in Scottsdale during spring training or the quickest route to the hotel from Citizens Bank Park during the World Series reached consensus on two awards categories for the 2009 season.

Ryan Howard will again hit more home runs than any other National League player and Johan Santana will win the NL Cy Young award.

Not exactly upsets, there. More intriguing picks run in more intriguing categories. Who will be the first manager fired? The first GM? Who will be the breakout hitters and pitchers? The free-agent flops? How many victories will the Yankees get from CC Sabathia in the first year of that landmark $161 million deal?

And on what date will Alex Rodriguez take the field? No guesses on the number of boos he’ll receive.

 

Jeff Passan
Jeff Passan

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Steve Henson
Steve Henson

Gordon Edes
Gordon Edes

AL MVP
Winner: Josh Hamilton,
Rangers
Mark Teixeira,
Yankees
Kevin Youkilis,
Red Sox
Evan Longoria,
Rays
Dark
horse:
Carl Crawford,
Rays
Evan Longoria,
Rays
Grady Sizemore,
Indians
Josh Hamilton,
Rangers
         
NL MVP
Winner: Hanley Ramirez,
Marlins
Manny Ramirez,
Dodgers
Manny Ramirez,
Dodgers
David Wright,
Mets
Dark
horse:
Joey Votto,
Reds
Milton Bradley,
Cubs
Aramis Ramirez,
Cubs
Geovany Soto,
Cubs
         
AL Cy Young
Winner: Roy Halladay,
Blue Jays
CC Sabathia,
Yankees
Roy Halladay,
Blue Jays
Jon Lester,
Red Sox
Dark
Horse:
Kevin Slowey,
Twins
James Shields,
Rays
James Shields,
Rays
Felix Hernandez,
Mariners
         
NL Cy Young
Winner: Johan Santana,
Mets
Johan Santana,
Mets
Johan Santana,
Mets
Johan Santana,
Mets
Dark
Horse:
Josh Johnson,
Marlins
Dan Haren,
Diamondbacks
Chad Billingsley,
Dodgers
Edinson Volquez,
Reds
         
AL Rookie of the Year
Winner: Matt Wieters,
Orioles
David Price,
Rays
David Price,
Rays
Matt Wieters,
Orioles
Dark
Horse:
Travis Snider,
Blue Jays
Trevor Cahill,
A's
Koji Uehara,
Orioles
Brett Anderson,
Athletics
         
NL Rookie of the Year
Winner: J. Zimmermann,
Nationals
Cameron Maybin,
Marlins
Kenshin Kawakami,
Braves
Cameron Maybin,
Marlins
Dark
horse:
Pedro Alvarez
Pirates
Dexter Fowler,
Rockies
Chris Dickerson,
Reds
Jordan Schafer,
Braves
         
AL HR leader
Winner: Chris Davis,
Rangers
Josh Hamilton,
Rangers
Carlos Quentin,
White Sox
Josh Hamilton,
Rangers
Dark
horse:
Alex Rodriguez,
Yankees
Evan Longoria,
Rays
Evan Longoria,
Rays
David Ortiz,
Red Sox
         
NL HR leader
Winner: Ryan Howard,
Phillies
Ryan Howard,
Phillies
Ryan Howard,
Phillies
Ryan Howard,
Phillies
Dark
horse:
Jay Bruce,
Reds
Jay Bruce,
Reds
Adam Dunn,
Nationals
Manny Ramirez,
Dodgers
         
AL batting champ
Winner: Ichiro Suzuki,
Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki,
Mariners
Kevin Youkilis,
Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia,
Red Sox
Dark
horse:
Howie Kendrick,
Angels
Alex Rodriguez,
Yankees
Matt Holliday,
A's
Ian Kinsler,
Rangers
         
NL batting champ
Winner: Albert Pujols,
Cardinals
Albert Pujols,
Cardinals
Hanley Ramirez,
Marlins
Albert Pujols,
Cardinals
Dark
horse:
Andre Ethier,
Dodgers
Hanley Ramirez,
Marlins
James Loney,
Dodgers
Hanley Ramirez,
Marlins
         
MVPs-in-waiting
AL Grady Sizemore,
Indians
Evan Longoria,
Rays
Grady Sizemore,
Indians
Nick Markakis,
Orioles
NL Justin Upton,
Diamondbacks
Justin Upton,
Diamondbacks
Matt Kemp,
Dodgers
Joey Votto,
Reds
         
Cy Youngs-in-waiting
AL Jon Lester,
Red Sox
Ervin Santana,
Angels
Scott Kazmir,
Rays
David Price,
Rays
NL Clayton Kershaw,
Dodgers
Stephen Strasburg,
Nationals
Edinson Volquez, Reds Clayton Kershaw,
Dodgers
         
Comeback players
AL Fausto Carmona,
Indians
Eric Chavez,
A's
Fausto Carmona,
Indians
Nomar Garciaparra,
Athletics
NL Chris Carpenter,
Cardinals
Chris Carpenter,
Cardinals
Troy Tulowitzki,
Rockies
Troy Tulowitzki,
Rockies
         
Breakout hitter
AL Shin-Soo Choo,
Indians
Howie Kendrick,
Angels
Coco Crisp,
Royals
B.J. Upton,
Rays
NL Rickie Weeks,
Brewers
Pablo Sandoval,
Giants
Joey Votto,
Reds
James Loney,
Dodgers
         
Breakout pitchers
AL Matt Garza,
Rays
Brandon Morrow,
Mariners
Zack Greinke,
Royals
Zack Greinke,
Royals
NL Jason Motte,
Cardinals
Yovani Gallardo,
Brewers
Josh Johnson,
Marlins
Johnny Cueto,
Reds
         
Free-agent flops
AL A.J. Burnett,
Yankees
Brian Fuentes,
Angels
Pat Burrell,
Rays
Brandon Lyon,
Tigers
NL Milton Bradley,
Cubs
Edgar Renteria,
Giants
Milton Bradley,
Cubs
Edgar Renteria,
Giants
         
First manager fired
  Ron Washington,
Rangers
Clint Hurdle,
Rockies
Dave Trembley,
Orioles
Cecil Cooper,
Astros
         
First GM fired
  J.P. Ricciardi,
Blue Jays
Dave Dombrowski,
Tigers
Ed Wade,
Astros
J.P. Ricciardi,
Blue Jays
         
First A-Rod game played
  June 13 vs. Mets May 15 vs. Twins May 1 vs. Angels May 4 vs. Boston
         
CC Sabathia victory total
  19 22 14 18