When it comes to making awards predictions in MLB, no one truly knows how the season will play out. And therefore, it’s as much a guess based on past performances as it is projecting forward. The 2021 MLB season finally begins this week. And every season, there are a number of awards that are handed out at the seasons’ end. So with that in mind, we present our picks for the 2021 American League Award winners. Also, check out our 2021 National League Award Winners.
The awards that will be predicted will be the standard year-end awards of MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year. As well as each position’s Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winners. And as fans of Major League Baseball, make up your own predictions and see how many predictions you get correct at the end of the season. We will list the players for each section. And as this is merely a speculative list, no stats or overall analysis will be given.
Side Note: In 2021, it will only be in the American League that the Designated Hitter rule being implemented. Which is something that I have long would become permanent in both leagues. You can check out our Baseball Case Study on YouTube about the DH Rule. Or you can also check out any one of three articles we have previously penned on the topic. (Debating the DH, To DH or Not to DH; That is the Question,3 Reasons Universal DH Stays after 2020)
Catcher: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees
First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr -Toronto Blue Jays
Second Base: DJ LeMahieu – New York Yankees
Third Base: Alex Bregman- Houston Astros
Shortstop: Carlos Correa – Houston Astros
Left Field: Michael Brantley – Houston Astros
Center Field: Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Right Field: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
Designated Hitter: JD Martinez – Boston Red Sox
Gold Glove Winners
Catcher: Martin Maldonado – Houston Astros
First Base: Matt Olson – Oakland Athletics
Second Base: Cesar Hernandez – Cleveland Indians
Third Base: Matt Chapman – Oakland Athletics
Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons – Minnesota Twins
Left Field: Austin Meadows – Tampa Bay Rays
Center Field: Ramon Laureano – Oakland Athletics
Right Field: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
Pitcher: Zack Greinke – Houston Astros
Rookie of the Year: Randy Arozarena – Tampa Bay Rays
Smart money is betting on the Tampa Bay Rays’ 2020 postseason star, Randy Arozarena. Arozarena was an absolute force during the 2020 postseason. And going into the 2021 season, Randy will still be considered a rookie. And with that rookie status comes the ability to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
Manager of the Year: Aaron Boone – New York Yankees
While it goes against the normal thought pattern of the Yankees being snubbed for awards, Aaron Boone in 2021 should avoid that dreaded fate. Boone has had his three seasons in the Bronx be completely rattled by injuries. And here in 2021, the injuries have already begun once again. The injuries to Zack Britton and Luke Voit are major blows to the bullpen and offense, respectively. And while the Yankees should be capable of holding down the fort until their reinforcements arrive, this should only stand to aid the case for Aaron Boone winning the Manager of the Year award.
Cy Young: Gerrit Cole – New York Yankees
And while we’re at it, let’s throw in the best pitcher in the American League in Gerrit Cole, winning the AL Cy Young. Gerrit Cole is undoubtedly among the upper echelon elite of starting pitchers. And with the usual competition at the top with Justin Verlander out for the season recovering from an injury and Trevor Bauer now in the NL, this truly opens up Gerrit Cole’s path to be the AL Cy Young Award winner.
Most Valuable Player: Aaron Judge – New York Yankees
This award always stirs up debate because of the word valuable. Depending on how one defines “valuable,” it can mean the best player in the game. But the word valuable can also mean the player that added the most to his team and their chances of winning. Depending on how the word is chosen to be defined by the decision-maker depends on how this award is handed out. That being said, a healthy Aaron Judge could easily be the most valuable player in the American League and thus win the award.
However, if Judge gets hurt, which is a very good possibility, this award would likely find its way back to Mike Trout. Aaron Judge showed in his only season of relative health (2017) what a dynamic force he can be in MLB. And arguably, he should have won the MVP that season if not for a six-week slump because of an injury. But a healthy Aaron Judge could easily become the 2021 Most Valuable Player award winner.