MLB quarter-season awards part 1

5/23/13 in MLB   |   droth   |   127 respect

We've just past the quarter mark of the 2013 season and already there have been new names to burst onto the scene, great performances by proven vets, and even a few career revivals.  The meat of the season is still in front of us, but here is a look at the players that have shined so far this spring.

AL MVP:  Miguel Cabrera

Right now Cabrera is one home run shy of leading the majors inMay 15, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits a single in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports the triple crown categories.  Again.  His .387 batting average is 35 points higher than any other AL player and his 52 RBI is 13 more than anyone else.  If he wins back-to-back triple crowns, the conversation about the best hitter of all time will have to include a new name.  

Chris Davis comes in second place after getting off to an ridiculous start this season.  He's slowed down a little bit but is still right behind Cabrera in several offensive categories.  He's tied for the most HRs with 14 and has a slightly higher slugging percentage than Cabrera.

NL MVP: Joey Votto (barely)

May 20, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) singles to center during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field.  Reds won 4-3.  Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY SportsVotto is one of a few NL first basemen that are vying for the award.  The Reds slugger is leading NL hitters in WAR, On-Base%, batting average, OPS, hits and walks.  But he loses points because his teammates, Chin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips are also having tremendous years.  You could even make the argument that Choo has been more valuable to Cincinnati's success.  All of that being said, Votto is the Reds best player and he's playing like it.  The Reds have the second best record and have scored the second most runs in the NL and Votto is the main reason why, even though he isn't doing it alone.

Paul Goldschmidt is putting on a show this year and has led the Diamondbacks to the top of the NL West with much less help.  Goldschmidt has had power before and, as a Giants fan I've watched him destroy the champs for a few years, but now the rest of the league is seeing what he's capable of.  For the record, I want to see him in the Home Run Derby, along with Mark Trumbo, Robinson Cano, and Chris Davis.

AL Cy Young: Clay Buchholz

May 17, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Boston Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) walk from the bull pin to the dug out before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsBuchholz may be doctoring the ball, but it seems to be working so far.  He's 7-0 now with an AL best 1.73 ERA.  Buckholz has allowed a total of one earned run in his last three starts and has last fewer than seven innings just once this season.  

This race is a bit tighter than the NL with Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish, Chris Sale and Matt Moore not far behind Buchholz.  Hernandez is being his usual royal self, Darvish is striking everyone out, Sale is living up to the hype, and Moore is leading the AL in wins with 8.

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

May 20, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitches in the 1st inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsIf he keeps this up, Kershaw may enter the MVP discussion. He's thrown the most innings in the majors and is leading everybody in ERA (1.35) and WHIP (0.82).  He has yet to allow more than three earn runs in a start and he's struck out at least nine batters in four of his ten starts.

Two youngsters, Matt Harvery of the Mets and Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks have been very impressive as well.  Neither can qualify for Rookie of the Year because they pitched more than 50 innings last year, but both have ERAs under 2.00.  

Corbin doesn't get the attention that Harvery gets because of where he plays, but he is 7-0 with a .97 WHIP to go along with his 1.44 ERA.

 
Check back for more awards including Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Manager of the Year.
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5/26/13   |   orangemen90   |   5785 respect

My award goes to all the players with beards this year!!!! Seems thats the way they want to look....

5/23/13   |   Scott   |   53016 respect

I think you could throw the names of Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Troy Tulowitzki into a hat and nobody would argue with whomever you picked.