First Half MLB Awards
We have now reached the halfway point in the Major League Baseball schedule. The following are my awards up to this point, if the season ended today. These are subject to change due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances. After that disclaimer, here are my picks for Cy Young, Rookie Of The Year and Most Valuable Player in both the American and National Leagues.
In the American League, Max Scherzer has been one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen this season. I think of the CY Young as being the “pitching-MVP” award of sorts, and Scherzer certainly fits the bill. He started the season 13-0 and just suffered his first loss of the season, which is absolutely wild to think about. He has a 3.19 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, which are solid numbers that are far better than his career averages. His 152 strikeouts are nothing to sneeze at either. He seems to give the Tigers that extra boost when he goes out there has he has fueled winning streaks and stopped losing streaks all year long. (Runner up: Felix Hernandez)
Clayton Kershaw has been having a stellar individual season for the Dodgers once again. While LA has largely been a disappointment this year, Kershaw has shined as bright as ever, registering a sub-two ERA and a 0.91 WHIP, which basically means he is overpowering the vast majority of hitters. With more run support (he averages an 8th worst 3.15 runs per game), he would most certainly get the level of attention that he deserves. Let’s not forget that we are watching one of the greatest pitchers of our time, which has become apparent over the last few years. He is well deserving of the award, mainly because the Dodgers would be absolutely lost without him. (Runner Up: Adam Wainwright)
Rookie Of The Year
Jose Iglesias has been on the radar of baseball fans for some time and he has finally burst upon the scene this season. Through 180 at-bats, he has maintained a gaudy .367 batting average and an impressive .417 on-base percentage. He has also been a revelation in the field as he has shored up the Red Sox infield at both third base and shortstop with Gold Glove level performances at both positions. With a general weak field of rookies in the American League so far, Iglesias has been the most striking to watch. But watch out for division rival Wil Myers to take the award with a strong second half (he hasn’t played enough games to get my consideration). (Runner Up: Nick Franklin)
Shelby Miller is the definition of a phenom. He has lived up to all the hype surrounding him in a hardcore baseball environment in St. Louis. He has held opposing batters to a measly .225 average against him and has racked up a remarkable 112 strikeouts in his rookie campaign. What is even more impressive is the fact that he’s only walked 29 batters in 104.1 innings so far this year. That shows a maturity level that is not found in many rookie pitchers and is deserving of a certain degree of awe. (Runner Up: Yasiel Puig)
Most Valuable Player
Miguel Cabrera might be one of the most talented players to ever play the game. Regardless of whether he will be able to keep this up throughout the rest of his career, we are currently getting the pleasure of watching Miggy in his prime. He has somehow maintained an insane .365 average while playing in Comerica Park (not known as being friendly to hitters) while blasting 30 home runs and driving in 95 runs (already!). He owns a 5.5 WAR (wins above replacement), which is second only to Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez. We always knew Cabrera had a chance to be something special and now he is rewarding baseball fans everywhere by putting on a show every time he steps on the field. He narrowly beats out that guy down in Baltimore for the MVP so far this season. (Runner up: Chris Davis).
While he may not be the sexy pick for the award, Paul Goldschmidt has been absolutely raking down in the desert of Arizona, and playing some incredible first base in the process (.997 fielding percentage). Paul leads the NL with 77 RBIs and is getting on base nearly 4 out of every 10 times he steps to the plate. He has hit 21 home runs so far, which puts him in fourth place in that category. He is a remarkable all-around player and he has gained the respect he deserves throughout the league so far this season. There is no doubt that he is one of the main reasons for Arizona being the leader of the National League West, as their pitching has been largely mediocre this year. He will be making the trip to New York for the All Star Game with fellow D-Back Patrick Corbin as a reserve first baseman.