Monday, July 9, 2012

First Half MLB Awards

It's the All-Star Break. Time to see how our MLB Awards ballots would look if voting on performances of the first half.

AL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award
1. Mike Trout, Angels
Trout has many reasons to smile
2. Yu Darvish, Rangers
3. Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox

Trout and Darvish are fairly easy to write in 1-2.

The third place vote could have even gone to Quintin Berry or Robbie Ross.

Yoenis Cespedes and Jarrod Dyson deserve to be mentioned, while preseason golden boy, Jesus Montero is nowhere to be seen.

NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award
1. Bryce Harper, Nationals
Bryce Harper is the youngest
position player All-Star ever.
2. Lance Lynn, Cardinals
3. Todd Frazier, Reds

The left side of the Reds infield is succeeding with youth as Zack Cozart is having a productive season at Shortstop and Todd Frazier has filled in admirably during Scott Rolen's absences. Others deserving mention inclde: Adrelton Simmons, Norichika Aoki, Wade Miley, and Michael Fiers.

American League Cy Young Award
1. Chris Sale, White Sox
2. Justin Verlander, Tigers
3. Jered Weaver, Angels
4. C.J. Wilson, Angels
5. Felix Hernandez

It's a long season. David Price, Jason Hammel, Max Scherzer, and Jake Peavy could end up on the ballot with a solid second half.

AL Manager of the Year Award
1. Robin Ventura, White Sox
2. Buck Showalter, Orioles
3. Joe Girardi, Yankees

Of all the worthless first half awards, the First Half Manager of the Year award is the most worthless, as it depends on team success.

Robin Ventura is the toast of the South Side

NL Manager of the Year Award
1. Clint Hurdle, Pirates
2. Don Mattingly, Dodgers
3. Terry Collins, Mets

Clint Hurdle was probably in this spot last All-Star break, before the sky fell on another Pirates' season. Mattingly needs to bounce back from a recent Dodger fade into the break. Terry Collins has provided a steady voice in the Mets clubhouse, taking the overachieving club somewhere very few expected: a competitive July. Davey Johnson and Dusty Baker are polar opposites with how they prefer youth to experience, but they are both having excellent seasons. Bruce Bochy has always handled a bullpen well, and he's doing it again now..

National League Cy Young Award
1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
2. Zack Greinke, Brewers
3. R.A. Dickey, Mets
4. Matt Cain, Giants
5. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals

Strasburg may be shut down before he can lock up his first Cy Young Award, but he could certainly qualify for his performance in the first half. Long arguments could be made on behalf of Greinke, Dickey, and Cain. It'll be fun to see how their performances continue this season. James McDonald, Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels, and Clayton Kershaw have also enjoyed outstanding first halves. I'd be concerned about Kershaw's foot injury and recent performance foreshadowing rough times ahead.

American League MVP Award
1. Mike Trout, Angels
2. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
3. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
4. Chris Sale, White Sox
5. Justin Verlander, Tigers
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
7. Austin Jackson, Tigers
8. Paul Konerko, White Sox
9. David Ortiz, Red Sox
10. Josh Willingham, Twins

Don't expect to see Chris Sale stay atop these leader boards. The White Sox will have to manage his innings carefully, which will limit his contributions to the team. Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo could be quick risers if their production continues at current rates.

National League MVP Award
1. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
2. Joey Votto, Reds
3. David Wright, Mets
4. Ryan Braun, Brewers
5. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
6. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
7. R.A. Dickey, Mets
8. Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
9. Matt Cain, Giants
10. A.J. Ellis, Dodgers

Andrew McCutchen is trying to lead
the Pirates out of the dark ages.
Stephen Strasburg, Michael Bourn, Zack Greinke, Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Holliday, and others are having outstanding seasons in what is shaping up to be a great year for the National League.

Where have we erred? Whom did we foolishly omit or praise too much? Let us know in the comments or on the tweeter.

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