Sports department for the student run radio station 90.3 WRST at UW-Oshkosh
The Rookie of the Year Awards were handed out to two up-and-coming, star players. There was no real competition for the AL winner Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays. Myers batted .293 with 13 home runs and 98 hits in just 88 games for the Rays. Myers’ speed and ability in the outfield gave him the ability to track the down the ball, which made him a great addition to a playoff-contending team out of the AL East.
The NL Rookie of the Year was awarded to right-handed, 21year-old Jose Fernandez. His numbers were almost as good as the probable NL Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw. Fernandez’s 2.19 ERA was second in the MLB to Kershaw’s 1.83. Fernandez’s freshman campaign overshadowed Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, who came in second in the voting, and his great rookie year.
The Twins look to have a different face behind the dish in the coming years as Joe Mauer will be transitioning to first base full time. The Twins (now) former catcher, Mauer, won three consecutive gold gloves behind the dish from ’08-‘10. The Twins have a solid catcher in 2nd year player Josmil Pinto. Pinto batted .342 in a small sample of only 21 MLB games. The once sure-handed Mauer’s move to first will keep the job up for grabs this offseason.
Marlon Byrd signed a two-year deal worth $16 million with the Phillies. In 30 games with the Pirates to end the 2013 season, Byrd hit .318 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. Byrd finished the year with the biggest of his career with 24 dingers. Heading into his 13 Major League season, Byrd will try to help the struggling Phillies get back on the winning track.
The AL MVP race has the potential to be a tight one, but most think that Miguel Cabrera will win it hands down. Even though Chris Davis hit 53 bombs with 138 RBI and Mike Trout hit .323, stole 33 bags, and hit 27 homers, Cabrera’s numbers aren’t just consistent, they’re consistently great. As most avid baseball fans know, Miguel Cabrera is a freak of nature. The guy will hit for average and power which correlates directly to an MVP caliber player. I don’t see Cabrera slowing his tear at the plate in the next few years to come.
All of you Ryan Braun fans out there are probably rethinking your thoughts about whether you should like him or not. I think you should just get rid of those negative thoughts you are having about your once favorite player and former NL MVP. Most people think that taking steroids gives you the natural ability to hit the baseball out of the park every time. If life was that easy, you’d see me standing at the plate in a Brewers’ uniform next year, “roided” and ready to drop absolute bombs. If you’re a diehard Brewers fan, you should feel disappointed and betrayed that he lied, but you shouldn’t give up on Braun’s ability to play at an MVP level. Ryan Braun WILL be clean and back on track next season, and the Brewers will be a benefit as a team because of it.
By: Neil Hebert (@Neilabear14)