What up, Ball Boys and Girls? The CBA talks ended, free agency is happening as you read this, fantasy baseball drafts are going, springtime, and baseball. It's all so fresh.
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Chicago White Sox- 95-67, last season 93-69 and 1st
Minnesota Twins- 89-73, last season 73-89 and 5th
Detriot Tigers- 84-78, last season 77-85 and 3rd
KC Royals- 77-85, last season 74-88 and 4th
Cleveland Guardians 70-92, last season 80-82 and 2nd
Let's give a warm welcome out west to the following players who will take the Diamond for their new teams. (Note these are players who will have an impact on their squad going into the new season)
Welcome to the AL Central:
White Sox: LHRP Joe Kelly, RHP Vince Velasquez, RHRP Kendall Graveman, UTL Luery Garcia(EXT),
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray, C Gary Sanchez, INF Gio Urshela, SS Carlos Correa, RHRP Joe Smith, RHP Chris Archer, RHP Dylan Bundy,
Tigers: RHP Eduardo Rodriquez, SS Javy Baez, LHRP Andrew Chafin, RHP Michael Pineda, OF Byron Buxton(ExT), OF Avasil Garcia,
Royals: RHRP Amir Garret, RHP Zack Grienke,
It's time to say goodbye to some players whose impact will be missed by their previous teams.
White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon,
Twins: SS Andrelton Simmons, C Mitch Garver, RHRP Alex Colome, 3B Josh Donaldson,
Tigers: UTL Nike Goodrum,
Royals: No significant losses
Guardians: No significant losses
Each team in this division has stars, and let's figure out who the most likely MVP candidates are from each team going into the season. These are the guys who will create the most fireworks for their teams.
MVP Award Candidates:
White Sox: OF Luis Robert
Twins: SS Carlos Correa
Tigers: SS Javy Baez
Royals: C Salvador Perez
Guardians: Jose Ramirez
Now that we looked at the most prestigious batter's award, let's look at the most prestigious pitching Award and candidates from each team in the NLW.
Cy Young Candidates:
White Sox: Dylan Cease
Twins: Sonny Grap
Tigers: Eduardo Rodriquez
Royals: Zack Grienke
Guardians: Shane Bieber
Please keep your eyes glued on the below players because they are ready to show out during the 2022 season. Just trust me.
Break Out Player:
White Sox: OF Andrew Vaughn
Twins: INF Gio Urshela
Tigers: OF Akil Baddoo
Royals: Nicky Lopez
Guardians: OF Myles Straw
Everyone in the MLB has to overcome adversity at some point and time in their career. For these guys, that point in their careers is 2022
Comeback Player Candidates:
White Sox: OF Eloy Jimenez
Twins: C Gary Sanchez
Tigers: P Tarik Skubal
Royals: 3B Kelvin Gutierrez
Guardians: INF Amed Rosario
You might have heard of these guys; you might not have. After impressive 2021 from these young guns, we got a sample of what is to come. Keep them on your radars going into 2022
Rookie of the Year Candidates:
White Sox: UTL Romy Gonzalez
Twins: RHRP Jhoan Duran
Tigers: OF Riley Greene
Royals: SS Bobby White Jr.
Guardians: INF Gabriel Arias
Manager of the Year:
Rocco Baldelli of the Twins
The 2022 season in the AL Central belongs to the White Sox with their incredible bullpen and a deep bench to overcome injuries. But if Jimenez and Roberts are healthy, it's locked for the White Sox; however, the re-loaded and revamped Twins look like genuine contenders for a Wild Card spot, while the young talent of the Tigers looks ready to step a significant step forward and really turn some heads.
Then we have the Royals, loaded with young talent, veterans, and arguably the best catcher in the MLB now that Buster Posey is retired in Salvy. The Royals have a feel-good story in Greinke. It's a battle for 3rd with the Tigers.
Then we have the last place Guardians, who are bound to take a significant step back; however, with their pitching, they still have a legit shot at competing with their starters. It's really a battle for 3rd between the Tigers, Royals, and Guardians. You could even say that the Twins, Tigers, Royal, and Guardians are battling for 2nd in the division. What a weird, odd division is the AL Central.