Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Player of the Fortnight

We haven't handed out any hardware since August 1st, when Justin Upton, Clayton Kershaw, Hideki Matsui, and Justin Verlander won Player of the Fortnight for their on-field contributions at the end of July. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, who is playing at the top of their games?

NL Batter of the Fortnight
Pablo Sandoval, Giants
We like our Panda big.
People around the game have begun to notice that Pablo Sandoval has regained much of the weight he lost in the offseason.

It may not matter, seeing as he leads the National League over the past 14 days in Slugging Percentage and wOBA, while swatting 4 home runs and striking out only 4 times.

Honorable mention: Lance Berkman, Jason Bay, and Carlos Lee

NL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
Ian Kennedy won his 20th last night.
After last night's triumphant 8-inning, 1-hit, 1-walk, 12-strikeout performance against the Pirates, a D'backs catcher was quoted by Bob Nightengale "He's f......Cy Young. I don't care what other people think. He is the Cy Young.''. We won't go that far, anonymous D'back catcher, but Ian Kennedy is f...... Player of the Fortnight. In the heat of the NL West pennant race, the Diamondbacks won all three of Kennedy's starts in the past two weeks. Over 21.3 innings, Kennedy leads the NL with a 0.80 FIP, and second in the league in SIERA and K's.

Honorable mention: Clayton Kershaw, Javier Vazquez, Brett Myers, and Yovani Gallardo

AL Batter of the Fortnight
Mike Napoli, Rangers
Napoli can hit.
These awards are usually open to some interpretation. Rarely does a performance jump off the page like Mike Napoli's past two weeks. His raw numbers are rare: .514/.585/.914, with a .629 wOBA and 307 wRC+.

Honorable mention: Adrian Beltre, Jacoby Ellsbury, Desmond Jennings, and Marco Scutaro

AL Pitcher of the Fortnight
Doug Fister, Tigers
Trading for Doug Fister may be
the best acquisition of the year.
After flying much of the season under the radar, the Detroit Tigers have been distinguishing themselves from their competition over the past couple of months. Over the past two weeks, Justin Verlander cemented his Cy Young status by winning road starts in Cleveland, Chicago, and Oakland, giving up four, zero, and zero runs in each game. Even with that success, Verlander's teammate Doug Fister takes the Player of the Fortnight award. Limited to just two starts, Fister was second in the league in ERA, first in WPA and Batting Average Against. As time passes, the Tigers look more and more like championship contenders when stacking up their playoff 1-2-3 punch of Velander, Fister, and Max Scherzer against the likes of Boston and New York.

It's interesting how much we suffer from mainstream media's East Coast Bias, as expectations seem highest in New York and Boston, while the best rotations are in Detroit and Anaheim (Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana). Is it too early to expect a Tigers/Angels ALCS?

Honorable mention: Justin Verlander, C.J. Wilson, and Jered Weaver.

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