AL Cy Young

4 Names to Watch for AL Cy Young

After looking at four names to watch for the AL MVP, we wrap up our players-to-watch list with AL Cy Young candidates. With games already underway, we’ve already seen some dominant performances from pitchers on this list. They all uniquely share one common trait with each other: the AL Central.

Names to Watch for the AL Cy Young

Pablo López


AL Cy Young
Mar 28, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez (49) pitches during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Twins ace Pablo López had a career year in 2023, posting a 3.66 ERA and 234 K’s in 194 innings of work. The 28-year-old finished seventh in MVP voting on the year and, entering the 2024 campaign, he is one of the favorites to win the award. López took a huge step up since being traded to the Twins from the Marlins and the sky’s the limit for him. He diced up the Royals on opening day so he looks tuned up for a tremendous 2024 campaign. Like every name on this list, playing in a (projected) weak AL Central should give him an advantage.

Tarik Skubal


AL Cy Young
Mar 28, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Tarik Skubal (29) delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Opening Day game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

All signs point to 2024 Detroit Tigers Opening Day starter Tarik Skubal to break out as a superstar. Skubal is coming off only 80.1 innings (due to coming off a major surgery) in the 2023 season and turned that into a 2.80 ERA, 102 Ks, 0.896 WHIP, along with an insanely good 11.4 K/9. Skubal has dealt with injuries throughout his career as he only had one year of throwing over 120 innings.  The 27-year-old is now entering the prime years of his career and he looks healthy in spring training with his fastball averaging mid to upper 90s. The Tigers are in a weak AL Central this year, so Skubal gets to dominate weaker opponents. Skubal dominated the White Sox on Opening Day, so all signs point high for Skubal to break out. Barring injury, it will be hard to not see Skubal’s name mentioned in Cy Young conversations if he throws at least 150+ innings.

Cole Ragans


AL Cy Young
Apr 3, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Cole Ragans (55) delivers in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Opening Day starter Cole Ragans is very similar to the previously-mentioned Tarik Skubal. As a hard-throwing lefty, Ragans struggled in his first year and a half as a Texas Ranger, but when traded to the Royals in a deal that sent Aroldis Chapman to Texas, he blossomed into a monster in the second half of the season. In 12 games started as a Royal, he threw 71.2 innings, had 89 Ks, 11.2 Ks per 9, and a 2.64 ERA. At only 26 years old, Ragans is still very young, and he should only grow with experience. Ragans along with a young Royals roster looks to make a step towards winning baseball as they haven’t been at least 500. since 2016. Ragans looked great in his first start of the year so expect more of it. The Royals will need the best version of Ragans if they want to be a winning club this year.

Tanner Bibee


AL Cy Young
Mar 30, 2024; Oakland, California, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Tanner Bibee (28) throws a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians have a future ace on their hand with second-year starter Tanner Bibee. Bibee, as a rookie, compiled a 2.98 ERA and 141 Ks in 142 innings last year. Although you would like to see the strike-out number higher, you have to remember Bibee was a rookie. Coming off a year of experience, Bibee should increase those strikeouts and put his name on the map as a Cy Young candidate. It is also worth mentioning the Guardians have a proven track record when it comes to developing pitching with Cy Young winners with Shane Bieber and Corey Kluber. They are in the AL Central so, similar to Ragans, the 24-year-old will have the bulk of his starts against lackluster teams. He had a rough first start to the year but don’t be shocked if he turns it around. He is a sneaky pitcher to look out for if you are looking for a long shot.

Main Image:Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

5 2 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
5 2 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x