Predicting 2019 for this year’s MLB awards finalists
The finalists for MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year all had great 2018 seasons. Some continued along their superstar paths, some emerged as greats, while multiple rookies showed they might soon be in line for bigger things in the years to come. Their accomplishments in 2018 mostly speak for themselves as we head toward winter. But as for next season, some have a greater chance at repeating last year’s excellence than others. Here’s the 2019 outlook for the 2018 finalists.
American League MVP
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox: There is little to quibble with the right fielder’s great season. He hit for average and power, walked at a high rate, and used his speed to create runs on the basepaths and make outs in the field. In the past decade, only Betts and Mike Trout have put up 10-plus WAR seasons (via FanGraphs’ blend, fWAR). Betts didn’t have a great postseason, but that hardly matters now, and he did miss some time, which limited him to 136 games. Next season, expect that .346 batting average to be closer to .300, but if he can stay on the field, the 26-year-old might find himself looking at back-to-back MVP awards.