MLB Predictions for 2016 Awards
AL: Jose Altuve
Batting average prediction: .330
The 5-foot-6 second baseman may be small in stature, but always produces a large pile of hits. Altuve led the league in hits in each of the last two seasons, collecting at least 200 in each. He has a batting title under his belt already and finished third last season.
Reigning batting champ Miguel Cabrera will be his biggest challenger, but the 32-year old slugger battled injury issues last year and didn’t secure enough plate appearances to qualify until late in the season. That risk makes Altuve the safer bet. Xander Bogaerts could be in the mix again as well, but if he starts to hit for more power then it could change his approach at the plate at the expense of his batting average.
NL: A.J. Pollock
Batting average prediction: .325
Last year’s breakout season was one reason why Arizona had the NL’s second best offense. Pollock has hit over .300 in each of the last two seasons and was second in the league with 192 hits in 2015. He saw his power spike with a career-high 20 homers last season, so if that trend continues then a few more of those deep fly outs may turn into hits that clear the fence.
Dee Gordon won the award last year, but his .333 average was by far a career high. Prior to that he has a .265 average over the previous three seasons, casting doubt on whether or not he can keep up this breakout performance. He also plays in a pitcher-friendly stadium, while Pollock calls home to one of the better hitters parks in MLB.
Next: Silver Slugger and Gold Glove