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The Talon

The Talon

Way too early MLB awards

Talon reporter Levi Foster talks about who he thinks will win the Cy Young (best pitcher), Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Rookie of the Year for the American League and the National League. Infographic made by Levi Foster using Canva

With the season still in its early stages, we have seen some hot starts from top players and breakout stars alike as they push for the postseason this coming October. As of the morning of Thursday, May 2, here are my predictions for players who may snag some personal hardware at the end of the season based on how they have started the year.

American League Most Valuable Player (MVP): Juan Soto

The four-time Silver Slugger may potentially add another prestigious award to his young career, an MVP. Soto is batting an impressive .325 and has already smashed eight home runs, the fifth most in the league. Currently, he is in the top five for OWAR (Offensive Wins Above Replacement) with 1.8 OWAR. The former Washington National and San Diego Padre has found himself a new home in the Bronx, as he will continue his offensive production as the season progresses.

National League Most Valuable Player: Mookie Betts

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In an offseason in which the Los Angeles Dodgers have stacked their lineup with Shohei Ohtani and Tyler Glasnow, Betts is shining the brightest in this storied franchise. The former 2018 American League MVP  has the highest WAR (Wins above Replacement) in the league as of now with 3.2 and has the highest batting average in the entire league with .377. Betts also hits with power as his OPS (On-base Percentage plus Slugging) is 1.101, which is the highest in the league as well. There were questions about Betts’s productivity by playing in a new position this year, but those questions have been answered with the hottest start in all of baseball this year. 

American League Rookie of the Year: Colton Cowser

The fifth overall pick in the 2021 Draft looked like a benchwarmer at the start of the season due to the Baltimore Orioles‘ outfield depth. However, because of an injury in the outfield, Cowser got his shot to be in the starting lineup and has played at a high level. Cowser is batting .288 and has six home runs on the season. His hot start has helped the Orioles share the top spot in the AL (American League) East, as another young star could be in the making down in Camden Yards.

National League Rookie of the Year: Shota Imanaga

Shota Imanaga has been beyond impressive in his first few starts as a Chicago Cub. The former Yokohama DeNa Baystars pitcher has an ERA (Earned Run Average) of 0.78. To put that into perspective, if the season were to end right now, he would have the lowest ERA for a rookie ever. What would be the second lowest? 2.05. Imanaga is holding his opponents to a .172 batting average and only has four walks in six starts. Imanaga is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the Friendly Confines (Wrigley Field), as he could be the ace in the future for this historic franchise.

American League Cy Young: Corbin Burnes

One of the biggest offseason transactions this past winter, the former Milwaukee Brewers ace was shipped to the Baltimore Orioles where he has continued to be a star. Burnes has held opponents to a .193 batting average so far this season and is averaging around nine K/9 (Strikeouts per 9 innings). While keeping the opponent’s bats quiet and getting a strikeout each inning, the former 2021 Cy Young award winner will look to obtain another one this season.

National League Cy Young: Zack Wheeler

After a rough start to the season, Wheeler has warmed up and has been on fire his past few starts. Wheeler has the second most strikeouts so far with 52 and has a WHIP (Walk + Hit per innings pitched). This means that Wheeler is efficiently striking batters out while only allowing around one base runner per inning. While his record of 3-3 may fool the box score watchers, Wheeler has recovered in stride and is pitching extremely well for the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Levi Foster
Levi Foster, Staff Reporter
Levi Foster is a junior at Ankeny High School. In his free time he likes to hang out with friends and family, play sports, and work. He plans to pursue a degree in either Psychology or Journalism. A fun fact about Levi is that he is actively learning how to play an ocarina.
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