The Toaster takes a quick look at some of the contenders for a few awards in the American League.
AMERICAN LEAGUE BEST POSITION PLAYER
Alex B: Miguel Tejada Alex C: Miguel Tejada Cliff: Hideki Matsui Derek: Mark Teixeira Jon: Vladimir Guerrero Ken: Manny Ramirez Mike: Gary Sheffield Scott: Gary Sheffield Will: Alex Rodriguez/Eric Chavez
Jon: I still don't think Guerrero has maxed out his potential. That plus West Coast bias could kick the MVP award back to him.
Alex B: I've been a huge fan of Tejada's since I read "Away Games," which chronicled his rise through the Oakland system. Anchoring a good line up, plus playing in Camden Yards should mean another monster year.
Mike: Sheffield was one of the best players in the AL in 2004. And that was an "off" year.
Derek: I have no good reason for choosing Teixeira--just a little tickle in the back of my brain that tells me he's going to blow up.
AMERICAN LEAGUE BEST PITCHER
Alex B: Curt Schilling Alex C: Roy Halladay Cliff: Johan Santana Derek: Rich Harden Jon: Johan Santana Ken: Johan Santana Mike: Johan Santana Scott: Johan Santana Will: Rich Harden
Derek: Again with the tickle in the brain. I really should get that looked at.
Jon: I don't really see a challenger to Santana whose health I trust.
Mike: Johan was so much better than anyone else last year. How can you pass him up?
Scott: Santana and the Big Unit are a step above all other starters.
Alex C: Picking Johnson or Santana seems too easy. Where did all the great pitchers go in the AL? I'm picking Halladay in an upset. He's only a year from having been the best AL pitcher, and I think he'd going to retake his rightful crown.
AMERICAN LEAGUE BEST ROOKIE
Alex B: Dallas McPherson Alex C: Dallas McPherson Cliff: Jeremy Reed Derek: Nick Swisher Jon: Mark Teahen Ken: Felix Hernandez Mike: Dallas McPherson Scott: Dallas McPherson Will: Ian Kinsler
Cliff: Reed could be hurt by playing in Safeco, but if Kenny Williams traded him, he has to be the real deal (see the Pirates rotation).
Alex C: I think McPherson wins mostly because of playing time, and because he'll outslug his class. I'm tempted to go with Felix Hernandez, though, thinking he'll pull a Roy Oswalt and take the league by storm after a callup.
Jon: McPherson's back is a concern. I almost went with Kazmir, but figured pitching uphill with the Devil Rays will overwhelm him. Teahen's got the opportunity to stand out.
Scott: McPherson and Teahen will have similar stats, but playing on a good team (Angels) trumps playing on the Royals. Oh, and let me add: If the White Sox bring up Brandon McCarthy, he wins the AL Rookie of the Year.
Derek: I might have gone with Dallas McPherson, but when I saw that the Angel's official site was touting them as "The A Team," I re-chose out of spite. Oh, and I think Swisher will be pretty good, too.