MLB quarter-season awards part 2

5/24/13 in MLB   |   droth   |   127 respect

Part 1 featured the quarter-season MVPs and Cy Young awards.  Check it out.

AL Rookie of the Year: Connor Gillaspie

May 16, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY SportsGillaspie had a great April and looked like he could run away with the award.  He has since come back down to earth and is currently sporting a .276 batting average, but fortunately for him, the rest of the rookie class hasn't taken advantage of his drop off.  

Other position players that are lurking behind Gillaspie are Oswaldo Arcia of the Twins, who has shown an ability to drive in runs, and Leonys Martin of the Rangers, who has stolen five bases and is hitting .284.  Two Rangers pitchers, Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm, are also in the hunt.

But there is a lot of season left.  There are several prospects on their way up that are expected to contribute and could force their way into Rookie of the Year consideration.

NL Rookie of the Year: Shelby Miller

The NL rookie class has been considerably more impressive so far in 2013 and Miller is at the top of that list.  The former first round pick is more that living up to the hype with his 1.74 ERA.  The Cardinals rookie has allowed only three long balls all year and is leading all rookies in innings pitched.   In an outing earlier this month against the Rockies, Miller threw struck out 13 and allowed one hit in a complete game shutout.  That alone puts you in Rookie of the Year territory.
Apr 12, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller (40) throws to Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn't been as impressive as Miller, but he is having a nice season.  He's failed to finish the sixth inning only once and he currently has a 3.30 ERA.

Among position players, Evan Gattis of the Braves is leading the way.  He has 10 home runs and 27 RBI, leading all rookies.  His .256 batting average raises a few eye brows but it should improve considering his low BABIP (indicating that he hasn't been especially lucky on the balls he hits) and that he hit for a high average in the minors.  If not, he still has power, a rare commodity from the catcher position.  

Behind Gattis, the D-Backs Did Gregorius with his .348 BA and the padres Jed Gyorko have been impressive as well.

AL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi

May 16, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (28) watches batting practice before the start of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsThis is a tight race but Girardi gets the edge.  The Yankees have had to deal with an absurd number of injuries to key players yet they have the second best record in the AL.  This hodge-podge roster was supposed to tread water until guys came back but instead the Yankees now have to hope that the stars don't ruin a good thing when they get back to full strength.

Speaking of exceeding expectations, Terry Francona and Indians are in first place.  They made some nice moves in the offseason, but the Tribe lost 94 games last year.  You don't go from 94 losses to first place with just a few nice transactions, Francona deserves credit for giving this club a spark.

NL Manager of the Year: Mike Matheny

April 16, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) observes batting practice before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsThese catchers sure know how to manage.  The Cardinals have the best record in the bigs (30-16) and it seems like every year they just cycle in new players that fit with what the Cardinals are doing.  The Cardinals player development is one of the best every year and deserves a lot of praise for their seemingly endless line of capable ball players, but Matheny is the man responsible for making that collection of names the best team in baseball.

Like the Cardinals, Kirk Gibson and the Diamondbacks are quite adept at plugging in homegrown talent and it seems that they take on Gibson's personality.  It's a tough-minded team that has overcome the loss of their most talented player in Justin Upton.  Under Gibson, Paul Goldschmidt has become an absolute force and the D-backs are tied for first in the NL West.
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