MLB Midseason Awards

7/10/12 in MLB   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

There’s still plenty of baseball to be played, but why not take a look at who’s out in front in the big awards races?  So sit back, watch some of the game’s best duke it out for World Series home field and take a look at the first half award winners:
American League
June 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) bats during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rockies defeated the Rangers 11-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIREMVP – Josh Hamilton
Texas’s golden boy cooled off a bit after his ridiculous run in May, but when you look at the .308/27/75 line, you can’t make much of an argument against Hamilton for AL MVP as of now.  Texas and New York have been the top two teams in the AL so far and while you could make a case for maybe Cano as MVP, Granderson, Teixeira, and Jeter have been almost equally as valuable so far for the Yankees.  Hamilton has a hefty amount of support, but without him, the Rangers wouldn’t be nearly the powerhouse they have become.
July 7, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA;     Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (36) pitches during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Cy Young – Jered Weaver

Last year, Weaver was leading this race at the midpoint of the season as well.  But a godly second half from Verlander and a drop in production from Weaver forced the tables to turn.  As of now, Weaver leads the majors with a nasty 1.96 ERA and he’s one of only two pitchers with double digit wins and only 1 loss (the other is the current NL Cy Young frontrunner).

July 7, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA;    Baltimore Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit (24) looks on as Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) scores a run during the game against at Angel Stadium. Angels won 3-0.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRERookie of the Year – Mike Trout
Not much of a question here.  Trout leads the American League in batting (.341) and stolen bases (26), while adding an impressive 12 home runs.  But the most remarkable feat of Trout’s season so far has just been the way he rejuvenated an Angels team that looked like they were deflated in April.  Now with half the season left, the Angels sit atop the wild-card race and only 4 games behind the first-place Rangers.

National League
July 8, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) reacts to the crowd after hitting his second home run of the day against the San Francisco Giants during the seventh inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIREMVP – Andrew McCutchen
Yes, the Pittsburgh Pirates own the second best record in the National League.  And while a decent amount of credit goes to the much-improved pitching staff, you can’t under-value the work of all-star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.  Leading the NL in batting average (.362), third in RBIs (60), third in runs scored (58) and fourth in home runs (18), McCutchen has been a jack-of-all-trades for Pittsburgh.  Beltran and Votto also deserve some consideration as of now, but if the Pirates end up taking the NL Central crown, the Pirates may have their first MVP since Bonds in 1992.

July 5, 2012; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) reacts on the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Cy Young – RA Dickey

Dickey’s currently sitting at 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 123 strikeouts.  He leads the NL in both complete games (3) and shutouts (2), but there are plenty of other NL hurlers right on his heels: Cain and Vogelsong have been nothing short of dominant for San Francisco, while McDonald and Cueto have helped fuel their teams to the top two spots in the NL Central.  However, as of now, the Nashville Knuckleballer takes the crown.

Jun 28, 2012; Denver, CO, USA;  Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) hits a home run in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Nationals in 11 innings, 11-10. Mandatory Credit: Andrew B. Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
Rookie of the Year – Bryce Harper

The anticipation was off the charts, but the 19-year-old hasn’t backed down from the pressure at all.  Harper puts so much energy and passion into the game that it’s hard not to like him.  The big numbers may not blow you away as of right now - .282/8/25 – but it’s some of the other things that show you how special of a player Harper is.  His 43 runs in just 63 games and his cannon of an arm from the outfield help round out his game and make him the current NL Rookie of the Year, with Arizona’s Miley as the runner-up.
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7/12/12   |   Jeff_P   |   19925 respect

GOOD CHOICES................but ALL ARE up for grabs.....too many games left and if the kid from the CUBS.......ANTHONY ..RIZZO stays the rest of the year...HE COULD GET THE ROY over HARPER.....and the other 2 awards are not a GIVEN either......ENJOY THE 2ND HALF.............IT WILL BE FUN............

7/11/12   |   The Wakka Man   |   16 respect

Good picks (although I feel obliged to note that David Wright is another strong candidate for MVP, being just about as crucial to his team's success as McCutchen is).