COMMENTARY: Players to watch for the 2021 MLB season


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Sports Editor Max Burke sees Lucas Giolito as a leading contender for the American League Cy Young Award.

Baseball is back in full swing, and the MLB plans to have a full season after last year’s 60 game schedule. The league is rounding up the end of spring training, and some of the game’s biggest stars are already shining.

The awards given at the end of last season were tightly contested. Every year certain players stay in the mix, and new options show up. Here are some of my predictions for the MLB awards.


American League Rookie of the Year Award

There is a slew of great candidates this year for Rookie of the Year, but my choice is Jarred Kelenic, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners. These will be back-to-back wins for young Mariners. Kelenic is the number one overall prospect in MLB, and he looks like a real future star. He has not made his MLB debut yet, but I do not think this will hold him back as he has been a solid player his whole baseball career.

Potential runners-up: Randy Arozarena and Dane Dunning


National League Rookie of the Year

I believe the National League Rookie of the Year Award will be much more one-sided. I think that the Pirates’ third baseman, Ke’Bryan Hayes will run away with the trophy this year. He only played 24 games last year, but he looked like a star already. He is a great hitter at the plate and can make a run at the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in the future.

Potential runners-up: Ian Anderson and Sixto Sanchez


American League Cy Young

There are so many great pitchers in the American League. We could see a crowded field by the end of the season; however, my pick is Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox. I think that the White Sox will be a tremendous team to watch this season. I even believe they will make a deep playoff run. Everyone knows they have the strength in their lineup, but now the pitching has come together. I think Giolito will be the anchor to this staff, and I think he will show that he is a true elite ace in the American League.

Potential runners-up: Kenta Maeda and Gerrit Cole


National League Cy Young

The National League award is much easier to predict. I think it is only a two-pitcher race, but my winner is Jacob DeGrom of the New York Mets. DeGrom is simply the best pitcher on the planet today. I love Trevor Bauer, and he is coming off signing the biggest pitcher contract ever, but I think that last year was his year. DeGrom will be back on top this year.

Potential runners-up: Trevor Bauer and Jack Flaherty


American League Most Valuable Player

Like the National League Cy Young Award, I think the American League Most Valuable Player Award will be a very close race between only a few solid players, but I think one man will take back his MVP crown this year. Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, is the best baseball player on the planet. He will be in his 10th season this year, and I think he will add another MVP to his collection.

Potential runners-up: Matt Chapman and Tim Anderson


National League Most Valuable Player

For the first time in this article, I think that the National League award is much harder to predict. There are so many great players who could easily win the Most Valuable Player Award this year, but my pick is Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are one of the three best teams in the league, and Betts is its best player. Betts is a true five-tool player who can change the game at any point.

Potential runners-up: Freddie Freeman and Fernando Tatis Jr.

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