AL Comeback Player of the Year: There’s a case for many players who could potentially receive this award. For me personally, I would have to pick either Mike Moustakas, who has seen a resurgence after being plagued by injuries last season, or Ervin Santana, who has been the ace of the Twins’ staff and may help carry them to a playoff appearance.
NL Comeback Player of the Year: From a pitching standpoint, Zack Greinke would be a good choice, as he has pitched like the $206-million ace that Arizona thought he might be. Others such as Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Conforto should also be up for consideration.
AL Manager of the Year: This one is a bit tougher, because there are so many managers who have their teams performing beyond expectations for this season. If I could only pick one at the moment, it would be Mike Scioscia. Even with Mike Trout missing significant time due to injury and the rest of the roster mostly depleted of talent, it’s incredible to see that the Angels are just a couple games out of a Wild Card spot.
NL Manager of the Year: While Bud Black has the Rockies performing at their peak, I believe Torey Lovullo has to be the front-runner for this award, considering where the Diamondbacks were last season and how he has been able to unleash the maximum potential out of some players that the baseball community had previously written off, while overcoming injury woes that haunted the team last season.
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge. I know that he hasn’t been able to buy a hit since the All-Star break, but he has still out-performed other rookies above and beyond, and still has a good chance to break Mark McGwire’s record for most home runs by a rookie (48).
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger. Just like with Judge, Cody Bellinger burst onto the scene and was crushing baseballs at an outrageous pace, much like Gary Sanchez did in 2016. Bellinger has out-performed other NL rookies, so this award should be his for the taking.
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale. So far, the Red Sox have been more than satisfied by the results of the trade they made last offseason. Their intimidating left-hander has been shutting down lineups just as Dave Dombrowski had hoped. An argument could also be made for Corey Kluber, but because he missed some time this season due to injury, I believe Sale should have no problem getting his first Cy Young, especially if he wins the pitching triple crown.
NL Cy Young: Despite both of these pitchers suffering from injuries, it would be hard to give the Cy Young to someone other than Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer. It’s hard to decide between the two of them at the moment, but the choice will probably be much more clear after the conclusion of the season.
AL MVP: If you had asked me this question before the All-Star break, I would have definitely picked Aaron Judge. However, due to his recent struggles, I would have to give this award to Jose Altuve. Altuve stands at the moment with an amazing .358 average while also leading in stolen bases. Altuve is often under-appreciated due to his small stature, but he has led the big leagues in hits since his arrival, and this season is his best opportunity to win a well-deserved MVP, especially since Trout also missed significant time with a thumb injury.
NL MVP: The answer out of many people’s mouths at the moment would be Giancarlo Stanton. However, despite the torrid pace at which he is hitting home runs, I believe someone like Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt is more deserving. I was also considering Bryce Harper before his injury, which could potentially sideline him for the season. If not for Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado would have won the MVP last season, and now that both him and Goldschmidt have put their teams in positions to make deep playoff runs, it’s time in 2017 that all of these overlooked players finally get their well-deserved recognition.