Monday, September 21, 2015

Looking Back At My 2015 Comeback Player of the Year Award Predictions

Every season I begin the year by predicting who I think will win each of the major awards around Major League Baseball. Truth be told I am usually way wrong, like most, but I still stick to my guns and tell you and show you how wrong I am. I'm humble like that. So SEE HERE for the original post or see below as we recap my picks for the AL and NL Comeback Player of the Year Award winners.

Every year around this time I begin the season long process of completely embarrassing myself by trying to predict the major award winners, playoff teams, and World Series victor before the season even begins. This season will be no different and I will start the 2015 prediction show by predicting the Comeback Player of the Year Awards for both leagues. I should, and wanted to, pick Alex Rodriguez for the American League side of the award but I feel like most would stop reading and remove your bookmark for the blog so rest assured, it’s safe to keep reading.

For the American League I am going to stay with the Yankees, I’m a homer sometimes what can I say, and I am going to pick Masahiro Tanaka. There aren’t many comeback trail type stories except for Barry Zito’s this season so I will go with the player that is coming back from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow in 2014. I believe Tanaka, after following the diagnosis and advice of four highly acclaimed doctors, did the right thing in resting and rehabbing the elbow rather than going under the knife and will show the dividends of that decision in 2015. Tanaka has altered his mechanics a bit and added more of an attack to his repertoire with the addition of a two-seam fastball that he will use more consistently and should be better physically. The results have looked great thus far in spring training despite what the stat line says as the velocity is consistent with what it was last year before the injury and the command and control is as crisp as ever. I may be totally forgetting someone and it may just be the Yankees fan in me but I am going with Tanaka as my Comeback Player of the Year in 2015.

For the National League I thought about going with Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals or Matt Harvey for the New York Mets but I ultimately decided on Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies. Why you ask? For the first time in his career the Rockies are at least toying with the idea of trading Gonzalez and/or Troy Tulowitzki out of Colorado to a contender. Every player wants to win and having a big season so he can be traded to a playoff contender is the ultimate motivator. Gonzalez has done nothing to make you believe this is going to come true so this may be a bit of a bold prediction but I get these wrong nine times out of ten anyway so go big or go home, just like Gonzalez is going to this season.

Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez could conceivably win this award although the injury to Teixeira and the past may keep Rodriguez from winning the award. I'm not sure Tanaka will win the award but he's definitely been a great comeback story in my opinion as he defies popular opinion and the beat writers, fans etc. that think he should have gotten the ulnar collateral ligament surgery.

Carlos Gonzalez has quietly had a great and healthy season for the Rockies this season sporting a .263/.319/.536 slash in 140 games to go with 37 home runs and 88 RBI without Troy Tulowitzki in the lineup to give him protection. After getting in just 70 games last season and batting only .238 in 2014 Gonzalez should get recognition for the award but the media and the general fan base loves Matt Harvey so I can see him winning the award.

Check in tomorrow as we check out the Rookie of the Year awards.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)