TC Arizona Sports’ MLB Midseason Awardsby Fabian Ardaya on Jul. 14, 2013, under Arizona Diamondbacks
It’s time for the Midsummer Classic, the MLB All-Star Game from New York, as Citi Field hosts some of the game’s best. Which of them are deserving of the majors’ top awards for this year’s first half?
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
- Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
- Carlos Gomez, CF, Milwaukee Brewers
It’s tough to argue against “America’s First Baseman” Paul Goldschmidt for NL MVP for this first half, especially when you look at the numbers. He currently has a line of .310/.394/.557 with 21 home runs and 77 RBIs, along with a 4.7 WAR. His line places him in the top 10 in the majors for WAR, on base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, RBIs, and walks. As far as conventional stats and advanced metrics go, Goldschmidt has been the most well-rounded, combining his incredible bat with a solid glove. While Yadier Molina deserves credit and currently leads the NL in batting average, which warranted an MVP for the last two catchers to do so (Joe Mauer in 2009, Buster Posey in 2012), Goldschmidt has just been too great this year, almost making Diamondbacks fans forget completely about Justin Upton and having his team in first heading into the break. McCutchen has been great in leading the Pirates’ resurgence (.303/.378/.471 with 10 HR, 49 RBI, 20 SB, 4.8 WAR), and Joey Votto has maintained his consistent greatness for the contending Reds (.318/.432/.504 with 15 HR, 41 RBI, 69 BB, 4.2 WAR). Carlos Gomez has been a revelation this season (.295/.338/.536 with 20 2B, 9 3B, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 21 SB, 5.7 WAR), but has slid a bit from his hot start as have the Brewers, who are mired in last place of the NL Central.
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
CrushChris Davis, 1B, Baltimore Orioles
- Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
- Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
- Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Despite Chris Davis’ unbelievable breakout year, Miguel Cabrera has put up one of the best first halves of all time. It’s really splitting hairs between the two, but Cabrera’s numbers have never been seen before, and it looks as if he will contend for his second straight Triple Crown. Look at Cabrera’s line through 90 games:
.366/.457/.682/1.139/30 HR/94 RBIs
Are you kidding? Nobody, not in the 81 years of there being such a thing as the All-Star Break, has EVER put up these kind of numbers at the break. This is without even including his line with RISP: .452/.561/.923. Or without including his numbers with RISP and 2 outs: .487/.630/1.026. It is easy to see greatness in this kind of player, and we are currently seeing one of the all-time greats doing his thing in Detroit.
NL Cy Young
- Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets
- Patrick Corbin, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
- Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Washington Nationals
Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35 ERA, 147 SO, 0.92 WHIP) has been great this season, but it’s hard to take this honor away from the guy who has proven to be the best pitcher in baseball this season: Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has followed up on what he did last year (when he narrowly lost the Cy Young to R.A. Dickey) in leading the league in ERA (1.98) and WHIP (0.91) again. Ignore his 8-6 record, as he was the only good thing going for the Dodgers until Yasiel Puig was called up. As great as the NL pitchers have been this year, there is only one Clayton Kershaw.
AL Cy Young
- Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers
- Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners
- Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox
- Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP, Seattle Mariners
- Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Justin Verlander may still be the ace of the Tigers’ pitching staff, but this year Max Scherzer has been the ace of the American League. With a 13-1 record despite a 3.19 ERA, Scherzer definitely has had his share of help from his bats (best run support in the AL) and his bullpen (they have allowed no more than one run in 14 of his 19 starts). But he still ranks in the top three in the AL in WHIP, strikeouts, strikeout ratio, FIP, opponent’s AVG, OBP, SLUG, and OPS. While he has had his share of big innings, no other AL pitcher can make the claim that Scherzer can.
NL Rookie of the Year
- Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
- Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
- Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig-Mania might have just been the main story in Major League Baseball’s first half, but he really hasn’t been in the majors long enough to really make his mark for being the Rookie of the Year. That’s not to say he won’t be at the end of the year. For those making comparisons to Mike Trout and Bryce Harper last year, it must be noted that both Trout and Harper were called up last year in late April, while Puig did not get the call until late May. Now onto Shelby Miller. Not only has he pitched like a Cy Young candidate, but Miller has emerged as a perfect compliment to Adam Wainwright in the rotation, posting a great stat line (9-6, 2.92 ERA, 9.63 K/ 9 IP).
AL Rookie of the Year
- Jose Iglesias, 3B, Boston Red Sox
- Nick Tepesch, RHP, Texas Rangers
- Dan Straily, RHP, Oakland Athletics
- J.B. Shuck, LF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Oswaldo Arcia, LF, Minnesota Twins
Much like Puig, it’s impossible to rule out a possible second half emergence of a Wil Myers or Jurickson Profar, but so far it has been Iglesias’ race to lose. Going into the season, it was known that Iglesias had a great glove at short and that he couldn’t hit a lick. Well that couldn’t have been more wrong. Iglesias has moved to third since Will Middlebrooks was sent down, and his great glove has been matched by his great bat, posting a line of .371/.421/.466. He has been the first AL rookie since Tony Oliva in 1964 to get 43 hits in his first 100 at-bats, and is the third Red Sox player ever (along with Ted Williams and Manny Ramirez) to get 60 hits in his first 150 at-bats.
NL Manager of the Year
- Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals
- Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds
- Walt Weiss, Colorado Rockies
For the third straight season, Clint Hurdle has led the Pirates to a red-hot start in the first half. For the last two years, the Pirates have fallen off, and the franchise still has yet to make the playoffs or even post a winning record since their dramatic playoff loss to the Braves in 1992. That team included a young Barry Bonds, and now Hurdle has his own young star in Andrew McCutchen. It looks like this year might finally be the year, with strong starting pitching and a good supporting cast that includes Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte.
AL Manager of the Year
- John Farrell, Boston Red Sox
- Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics
- Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
- Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
- Jim Leyland, Detroit Tigers
Oh, what a difference a year makes. After last season’s 69-win meltdown/soap opera, it looked like the Red Sox would have to blow it up for the second straight year. But by simply replacing Bobby Valentine with a familiar face in John Farrell, the Red Sox are back to the Red Sox ways of old, keeping the traditions and success that had ruled from the turn of the century until the September of 2011, where the fried chicken-eating, beer chugging Red Sox suffered one of the biggest collapses in major league history. Now the Sox are on pace to 98 wins, and lead the AL East, and John Farrell deserves the credit.