MLB

2014 MLB Awards: Updating The NL Front-Runners At The All-Star Break

2014 MLB Awards: Updating The NL Front-Runners At The All-Star Break

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Baseball has always been a sport distinguished by two halves. Here are my leading NL award candidates for the first half of 2014.

MVP - OF Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

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MVP - OF Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

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Andrew McCutchen has his team being competitive; Troy Tulowitzki and Giancarlo Stanton don't. Upon closer inspection, Tulo's home/away splits are pedestrian. Keep in mind the Coors Field advantage, Tulo hasn't been very good on the road, where he is slashing .265/.367./.463 with only seven HRs and 17 RBI. Conversely, Cutch's road splits are .289/.390/.497 with eight HRs and 24 RBI.
Runners-up:
1st SS T. Tulowitzki (COL)
2nd OF G. Stanton (MIA)

Cy Young - SP Adam Wainwright (STL)

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Cy Young - SP Adam Wainwright (STL)

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Adam Wainwright has remained healthy so far after Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2011. His first half ERA of 1.87 is insane, and he is tied for the NL lead in wins (12), is 1st in complete games (three), and 2nd in WHIP (0.91). The second half should bring interesting results in the NL Cy Young race.
Runners-up:
1st SP J. Cueto (CIN)
2nd SP C. Kershaw (LAD)

Silver Sluggers

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Silver Sluggers

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C: Jonathan Lucroy (MIL)
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)
2B: Scooter Gennett (MIL)
3B: Todd Frazier (CIN)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki (COL)
OF: Charlie Blackmon (COL)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (PIT)
OF: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
P: Madison Bumgarner (SFG)

Hank Aaron Award - OF Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

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Hank Aaron Award - OF Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

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Giancarlo Stanton doesn't have much of a supporting cast to work with in Miami, but he's still getting the job done. He's 1st in HRs with 21, despite not having the benefit of playing home games in a hitters park like Tulowitzki, and he is 1st in RBI and 4th in OPS (.933). His strikeout rate could come down, but his .295 AVG is well above his career mark of .270.
Runners-up:
1st SS T. Tulowitzki (COL)
2nd OF A. McCutchen (PIT)

ROY - OF Billy Hamilton (CIN)

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ROY - OF Billy Hamilton (CIN)

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Many questioned if the career .280 hitter in the minors could transition to MLB caliber hitters and still find success. After a slow start, Billy Hamilton is now hitting a respectable .285 in the leadoff spot for the Reds. His 38 SBs come in at 2nd in the NL, and he provides his team with a valuable glove and defense in CF.
Runners-up:
1st SS C. Owings (ARI)
2nd: 2B K. Wong (STL)
3rd OF G. Polanco (PIT)

Comeback Player - SP Johnny Cueto (CIN)

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Comeback Player - SP Johnny Cueto (CIN)

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Johnny Cueto suffered a wide array of injuries in 2013, and as a result only started in 11 games for Cincy. He's been a rock for them so far in 2014, and is ranked inside the top five pitching categories in the NL for wins, ERA, IP, SO and WHIP. He is considered one of the front runners for the NL Cy Young as well.
Runner-up:
SP T. Hudson (SFG)

Trevor Hoffman Award - LHP Aroldis Chapman (CIN)

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Trevor Hoffman Award - LHP Aroldis Chapman (CIN)

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Aroldis Chapman sustained a skull fracture in the preseason that resulted in a 2.5 hour surgery to have a metal plate inserted into his cheekbone, as well as multiple staples to close the wound shut. A lesser man may be shy about taking the mound again, but Chapman has come back stronger than ever. He set a new MLB record, recording a strikeout in 40 consecutive relief appearances.
Runners-up:
1st RHP C. Kimbrel (ATL)
2nd RHP H. Street (SDP)

Manager of the Year - Matt Williams (WAS)

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Manager of the Year - Matt Williams (WAS)

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Matt Williams is in his rookie season as an MLB skipper, and the Nationals have a great shot at a Wild Card berth, if not an NL East title. He's also had to juggle a Bryce Harper injury and all the media distractions that come with having a player like him and Stephen Strasburg on the roster. Ron Roenicke could still take this, but if the Nationals beat out the Braves for the division, this goes to Williams.
Runner-up:
Ron Roenicke (MIL)