I've made my team predictions for 2014, now here are some individual award predictions.
AL MVP-- Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers)
Boring, I know. The guy has only won the last two AL MVP awards. But, hey, he needs to earn those $300 million, right? He better be MVP for a few of those years. If the Tigers are to win the AL Central, Cabrera will have to carry the offense. Prince Fielder is gone. I don't see why any pitcher would pitch to Cabrera this year, but they will.
Honorable mentions: Mike Trout, David Ortiz, Evan Longoria, Robinson Cano, Jose Abreu. Trout will be Cabrera's chief competition, yet again. The Angels need to be in the playoff hunt for him to get my vote.
NL MVP-- Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates)
I am expecting big things out of the Pirates this year. For them to succeed, McCutchen will have to be the catalyst. He did it last year, so I don't see why he can't do the same this year, and do it even better.
Honorable mentions: Bryce Harper, Hanley Ramirez, Freddie Freeman, Yadier Molina. If Harper and Ramirez can stay healthy for 150-plus games, they'll push ahead of McCutchen. I just don't think it'll happen.
AL Cy Young-- Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox)
The lanky 25-year-old is just hitting his prime. He has shown remarkable durability despite his funky delivery and slight frame.
Honorable mentions: The usual cast of characters-- Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Yu Darvish.
NL Cy Young-- Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins)
Anyone who knows me knows of my man-crush on Fernandez. I just love everything about the kid-- from his life story to his smiling when he is giving up home runs. This kid is the real deal. He has complete control of a wide repertoire of pitches.
Honorable mentions: Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg. Kershaw is already hurt so that gave me the confidence to put my full support behind Fernandez.
AL Rookie of the Year-- Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox)
He could be the Yasiel Puig of 2014. The Cuban defector has tremendous raw power. Can he adjust to major league pitching? Can he hit the breaking ball? Can he turn around a 97 m.p.h. fastball on the inside edge? From what little I've seen to this point, the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" Thirty home runs and a .280 average are reasonable expectations.
Honorable mentions: Xander Bogaerts, Masahiro Tanaka. Admittedly, the 21-year-old Bogaerts is perhaps the only true rookie in this bunch. Over the long run, Bogaerts will prove to be the best player of this group. Just not this year.
NL Rookie of the Year-- Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks)
While the American League is loaded with an influx of promising rookies, the National League is a bit thinner. Bradley just missed out on the fifth starter job in Arizona, so he is close. Manager Kirk Gibson acknowledged as much. The opportunity will open up soon for Bradley and he has a chance of being the Jose Fernandez or Garrett Cole of 2014. OK, maybe not Fernandez.
Honorable mentions: Billy Hamilton, Oscar Taveras. Hamilton could steal 170 bases in a season... if he was used, exclusively, as a pinch runner. If he has to hit to get on base, that'll be a problem. Taveras just needs an opportunity in St. Louis.