AL Cy Young: Carlos Rodon
While Rodon has always had ace potential, he’s struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Subtle changes to his windup this season has made all the difference. In 12 starts this season, he has a 6-2 record, and a sparkling 1.83 ERA over 73.2 innings pitched. Rodon also has 105 strikeouts, good for a 12.8 K/9. Though there may be some questions moving forward due to his injury history, he is the clear front runner.
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom
The two-time Cy Young Award winner deGrom is etching his name into baseball history, putting together the best start to a season in the Modern Era. His 0.50 ERA leads all starting pitchers by far, which pairs nicely with his 0.514 WHIP. Though he has missed a few starts due to injury, deGrom’s performance over these twelve starts has overshadowed his missed innings. His absence shouldn’t affect his Cy Young case at this point in the season. A third Cy Young Award would almost guarantee the righty a spot in the Hall of Fame, as every pitcher that has won this Award three or more times is in Cooperstown.
AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani
Out of all the awards in this blog, this race may be the closest. Vlad Guerrero, Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays is having an elite season offensively, leading the league in myriad offensive categories. However, what Ohtani is doing this season is historic. He’s tied for the league lead in home runs, and has an impressive .984 OPS. On the mound, he has a 2.58 ERA, over 11 starts and 59.1 innings. It is incredible that he can both pitch and hit at the Major League level, but the fact that he can do both at an elite level is extraordinary. Due to how difficult it would be for Shohei to maintain this success over a full 162-game season, I believe Guerrero, Jr. will win the AL MVP. However, what we are seeing with Ohtani is historic, and if the season ended today, I would vote for him.
NL MVP: Jacob deGrom
I am not a fan of when pitchers are in the MVP discussion as they have their own award, but due to how historic of a start deGrom has had, he is surely the front runner for NL MVP. He is putting together a superior season than recent starting pitchers that won MVP, such as Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. This helps his case. Just like Ohtani, it will be hard for Jacob to maintain this level of success over a full season, but if any pitcher in baseball is capable of doing so, it would be deGrom.
AL Rookie of the Year: Adolis Garcia
Garcia has burst onto the scene in 2021, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 52 runs thus far. While he does not walk much and sports a lowly .308 OBP, his .860 OPS is impressive. He’s on pace for a 40 home run, 100 RBI season, and if he does so it should be enough for him to win this Award.
NL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Rogers
In the 2020 season, Rogers struggled in his seven starts. He had a poor 6.11 ERA, over 28 innings. However, he has proven to become a valuable starting pitcher at the Major League level in 2021. Over 15 starts, he has a 7-4 record, a 2.08 ERA, and 101 strikeouts over 86.2 innings pitched. He’s been incredibly durable thus far, and is proving why he was a top prospect and first round pick.
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Trey Mancini
Since it was announced that he would be ready for Spring Training this year after beating Stage 3 Colon Cancer, it was just about etched in stone that Mancini would win this Award. The Baltimore star’s performance on the field so far this year has proven that he is back to form. He’s driven in 52 runs and 14 home runs, to go along with 72 knocks. I fully expect him to maintain this great comeback season, and you couldn’t ask for a better guy to root for.
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Marcus Stroman
After opting out of the shortened 2020 season, it was unclear if Marcus would return back to the Mets. However, he accepted the qualifying offer, which received mixed opinions from their fanbase. He’s proven to be an essential piece to the Mets rotation, posting a great 2.32 ERA over 15 starts, and 85.1 innings pitched. Though he did exit his last start in the second inning due to hip soreness, the MRI came back clean, so he shouldn’t miss significant time if any.
AL Manager of the Year: Alex Cora
After getting suspended for the 2020 season, Cora retained his role as Boston’s skipper. Under interim manager Ron Roenicke, the Red Sox finished in last place in the previous season. Cora’s return has been much needed, as Boston is currently in second place, with a 44-31 record. If Cora can lead the team to a playoff berth, it would be a great turnaround season for the Red Sox, given where they finished last year.
NL Manager of the Year: Luis Rojas
Going into 2021, the Mets were considered by many to be the NL East favorites. However, no one could have expected the Mets to be where they are now, given the plethora of injuries they have had to deal with. Starters such as Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso, and Kevin Pillar all hit the IL at some point this year, and had missed significant time. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard have yet to make their 2021 debuts after suffering setbacks, and outfielder Brandon Nimmo is still on the IL. The Mets currently sit atop the NL East standings, and Rojas deserves a ton of credit for how he’s handled these obstacles.
Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year: Liam Hendriks
Hendriks is off to a great start for the first place Chicago White Sox. He leads the AL in saves with 19, and has a 2.01 ERA thus far. He has done a terrific job in keeping hitter’s off base, as he has a 0.766 WHIP. For Chicago to make a deep playoff run this year, they’re going to need Hendriks to perform as he is now.
Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year: Josh Hader
The race in the NL for this Award is very tight. Padres’ closer Mark Melancon leads all of baseball with 23 saves, and Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs has seen a resurgence. However, I have to give this Award to Josh Hader of the Brewers. Though he is four saves away from Melancon, he is a perfect 19 for 19 in save opportunities. That does it for me, and his 0.59 ERA and 0.717 WHIP certainly doesn’t hurt his case.