Every year, baseball “experts” gladly give everyone their picks for where each team will finish. Along with that, we like to (attempt) to predict the NL/AL MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, etc. With one month in the books, here are your current NL frontrunners:
NL MVP: Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves
When I first started writing this, I immediately assumed it wasn’t even close, that the answer was Upton. When you look at the numbers though, a very strong case could also be made for Bryce Harper. However, in the end, the fact that Upton has virtually carried the Braves offense (12 HR, 19 RBI, and .722 Slugging percentage) for the first month and led them to 1st place in the East, gives him the slight edge.
NL CY Young: Matt Harvey, New York Mets
This is really a toss up of personal preference at this point, since so many pitchers are boasting incredible numbers this early in the season. In my opinion though, no one has been more impressive than Harvey. Matt Harvey has gone 4-0 for a Mets team whose rotation, aside from Harvey, is a combined 4-11. Along with that, he has posted a .82 WHIP, a 1.56 ERA, and 46 K’s in 40 innings. Mets fans are saying “Strasburg who?” After all, this guy has smoked Strasburg’s numbers through the same amount of starts.
NL Rookie of the Year: Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals
When looking at the top rookies, there were lots of interesting choices, ranging from Evan Gattis to A.J. Pollock to Pete Kozma. However, I am going to go with Kozma’s teammate, Starting Pitcher Shelby Miller. Miller has been very impressive in his first 5 starts, going 3-2 with a 2.05 ERA. Oh, and a .189 opponents average against and 33 K’s in 30 innings isn’t too shabby either.
Coach of the Year: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
After losing 5 of 6 to start the year, it would’ve been very easy for a Pirates team that is very accustomed to losing, to just roll over. Instead though, Hurdle has guided this mediocre offense and starting staff to 16-12 and the Pirates have either won or split 6 out of 7 straight series. He better find a way to start resting his bullpen though, they have been way overworked thus far.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson