By Nick Silverman @NickySilv on May 15, 2014
With 40 games in the books. We're a quarter of the way through the 2014 MLB season, and though we have over four months of baseball left, it's never too early to start forecasting this year's awards.
After a terrible 2013, the San Francisco Giants quietly had a terrific offseason, bringing in veteran starting pitcher Tim Hudson, and power-hitting outfielder Michael Morse--both have provided huge contributions early on. The health of Angel Pagan has strengthened a shockingly and suddenly deep offense. If Pablo Sandoval turns it around, this team could stay at the top of the NL West for the duration.
Runner Up: Dee Gordon
You never want to see a young player go down, especially when it's an electric talent like Jose Fernandez. Fernandez is set to have Tommy John surgery tomorrow, which will end his 2014 season. He joins Jarrod Parker, Patrick Corbin, and Kris Medlen as other notable top arms to get TJ surgery this season. The MLB must start researching the cause of this problem, or else we will continue to lose young pitchers.
Runner Up: Arizona Diamondbacks
Ron Roenicke has led the "Brew Crew" to the best record in the MLB. It's no longer just a hot start, the Brewers are here to stay. Roenicke sees his staff boast a team ERA and WHIP that's top five in baseball. They look like the class of the NL Central 40 games into the season.
Runner Up: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants
Billy Hamilton was the preseason favorite, but with a .297 OBP and a 18/5 K/BB ratio, the Cincinnati Reds speed merchant has underwhelmed to start. Yes, he's stolen 12 bases, but he's been caught five times. However, due to the very weak rookie NL class to start, Hamilton wins this by default.
Runner Up: Mike Olt, Chicago Cubs.
With Clayton Kershaw missing several starts due to injury, the race for the NL Cy Young is wide open. And Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto has a two-horse lead out of the gates. He's only 4-2, but has been simply dominant. He leads the NL in strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP, and has a WAR of 2.9. Hitters are sporting a timid .137 batting average against him, by far his career-best.
Runner up: Zack Greinke
Troy Tulowitzki's numbers are just gross: .391/.497/.750 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. His fantasy owners everywhere are lighting candles, praying to the gods that he stays healthy. Yes, Tulo does have a funhouse mirror home/away split of .696/.247, and no one expects him to flirt with .400. But he has the Colorado Rockies at 23-19, and just might mash enough balls to overshadow the pitching woes.
Runner Up: Giancarlo Stanton
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