Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mid-Season Awards

We're just about to the true mid-season of the MLB with each team around 80 or so games. The All-Star break is just two weeks away, so it's finally time for our mid-season awards.

AL MVP:  1B Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox 

Not even a question about this one. The newly acquired Adrian Gonzalez is the heart and soul of the best lineup in baseball. Gonzalez has driven in a ridiculous 71 runs already, to go along with his .361 batting average. He leads the MLB in hits as well, with 114.

Honorable Mentions: Curtis Granderson, Paul Konerko, Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera

AL Cy Young:  SP Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Every single time he takes the mound, there's a no-hitter alert. I'd have my money on him to be the next pitcher to pitch a no-hitter or even strikeout 20 in a game. Verlander has been lights out so far this year. 10-3 with a 2.38 ERA and 124 K's. He's won his last 6 starts and it seems as if he is getting better every fifth day.

Honorable Mentions: Jered Weaver, James Shields, Josh Beckett, Michael Pineda

AL Rookie of the Year: SP Michael Pineda, Seattle Mariners

Any Rookie that garners Cy Young consideration is a lock for the ROY. He's been dominant this season, but his innings will be cut drastically in the second half in order to protect his arm. The Mariners did a great job in limiting Felix Hernandez when he was younger, so expect the same treatment for Pineda.

Honorable Mentions: Zach Britton, Jeremy Hellickson, Mark Trumbo

NL MVP: 1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers

Prince is having his career year on his walk year, not surprisingly. Fielder's hit 21 bombs and has 68 RBI's already. He's batting over .300, something he's never done in his career. Prince will likely be suiting up elsewhere next season, but the Brewers are going to make one last run at a title with Prince at first base.

Honorable Mentions: Jose Reyes, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Ryan Braun

NL Cy Young: Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves

I know many will be wondering why I picked Jurrjens over Roy Halladay, and all I can say is: look at the stats. Yes Halladay has more complete games and strikeouts, but Jurrjens has a better ERA and the same amount of wins, in less starts. Jair gets a ton of movement on his pitches and some may argue he is currently the best pitcher on the best pitching staff in baseball. Halladay is very deserving of this award too, and he is more likely to continue his performance than Jurrjens.

Honorable Mentions: Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Tommy Hanson, Clayton Kershaw

NL Rookie of the Year: Craig Kimbrell, Atlanta Braves

Kimbrell has converted 21 saves in 26 chances as a rookie, which is very impressive. He has struck out 61 batters in 39 innings, good for a 14 K/9 rate. The NL ROY race is one with many contestants, as there are four or five players that could be in the discussion. The NL has a lot of young players contributing heavily to their respective teams.

Honorable Mentions: Dillon Gee, Danny Espinosa, Freddie Freeman, Darwin Barney, Justin Turner

I would include the AL/NL Managers of the Year, but it is way too early to see if some of the managers can keep their teams in contention. But here are a few to keep in mind: Clint Hurdle, Kirk Gibson, Joe Maddon

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