Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What To Expect Of The MVP And Cy Young Award Winners In 2013

With the year 2012 officially in the rearview mirror, spring training is just around the corner. While there is a lot of pressure on nearly every star player, there is added pressure on the reigning MVP and Cy Young award winners in each league. Here’s a closer look on what to expect from the four players voted as the best of the best in 2012.

Buster Posey

Everyone knew Buster Posey was good, but they did not really know how good until last season’s breakout year. It seems like years ago that he tore up his knee in a collision at home plate. Hitting .336 for the season was a bit of a surprise, and he did not have to sacrifice any of his power to do so. In fact, hitting 24 home runs at AT&T Park is no small feat, nor is 103 RBI. The thing that should be concerning for some fantasy baseball owners though is durability issues. He is only 26 years old, but his catching days already seem to be dwindling. He can’t hide at DH in the National League either for some rest. He is still by far the best fantasy catcher though, and he should go overall within the first 25 picks or so.

Miguel Cabrera

Much like the AL MVP debate, fantasy owners will be trying to decide between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout for that #1 overall draft pick (with Ryan Braun also in the mix). Cabrera is still just 29, so regression for a guy who does not rely on speed seems unlikely. Durability is always a bit of a concern, especially since he is playing third base. Fantasy owners care little about defense though, and just want to make sure his bat is still producing. The Tigers are still loaded in the middle of the lineup, so it is realistic that he can keep up his power numbers. His power numbers might dip slightly, but his batting average should still be there. He has not hit below .324 for a season since 2008.

David Price

With James Shields in Kansas City, David Price is without question the ace and leader of Tampa Bay’s staff. He’s a durable, hard-throwing left-hander who has shown quite a bit of consistency since arriving late in 2008. Can he back up his remarkable 2012 campaign though?

Some might look at his subpar 2011 season and worry a little, but taking a look at the numbers does not really show much. He did not have any control issues, he just got hit around a bit. It is realistic to believe that his ERA will not be as low as 2.56 this season, nor will it be as high as 3.49. Winning 20 games might also be a stretch, but 200 strikeouts should be the norm. He’s the top fantasy left-hander in the game, and he should be anywhere from the third to fifth pitcher taken overall. Only Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander should be drafted before.

R.A. Dickey

The knuckleballer was a great story in 2012, but he is also the least reliable major award winner in 2013. Not only does he always have to rely on a knuckleball to have success, but he is 38 years old and switching teams.

Dickey’s numbers were absurd in 2012, as he went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts. He does not float his knuckler up there either. Switching leagues can be difficult, but since he is a knuckleballer, it might actually help him. Regardless of his track record, most fantasy owners just can’t seem to fully trust a knuckleballer. In most drafts he should probably be about the 11th-15th pitcher taken, but do not be surprised if he goes before that.

* Cy Young Award photo  by Shrevecrump (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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