The Midsummer Classic is right around the corner which means it’s time to hand out our 2012 MLB Midseason Awards!
Los Angeles Angels | Mike Trout: AVG – .348/.403/.555, 10 HR, 38 RBI
I understand if I get some heat for this pick, but to me Mike Trout has been the most valuable player this season in all of the majors. Since he was called up from Pacific Coast League on April 28, the Angels have a major league-best 40-23 record. If you recall, Los Angeles had a horrible April. They were 6-14 and 9 games back before Trout joined the club, and at that time Trout had as many big-league HRs as Albert Pujols. Yeah, that would be zero…
Despite missing a month of the season, Trout leads Los Angeles in batting average (.348), stolen bases (26, leads MLB), OBP (.403), and runs (54). Only Albert Pujols has more hits (87) than Trout (86), and I think you can attribute much of Pujols’ production to the 20-year-old rookie phenom getting called up and taking the pressure off of Albert.
Trout has the top offensive WAR in the game, and if you saw that Angels-in-the-Outfield-type catch in Camden Yards, I think it’s safe to say he can play a little defense too.
The Angels have rallied around the rookie since he came to the big leagues, and I’m not so sure they would be a current playoff team at this point of the season without him. I know it’s a short sample size, but what he’s accomplished thus far is nothing short of historic.
Only two players since 1900 have had a BA of at least .343, a SLG% of at least .551, and at least 10 HRs through the first 60 games of a season: Mike Trout, and the other is Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson (1985).
Still want to give me heat for this pick?
2. Robinson Cano
3. Josh Hamilton
Pittsburgh Pirates | Andrew McCutchen: AVG – .356/.410/.603, 16 HR, 54 RBI
Joey Votto is at the top of most people’s list in this category because he flat out gets on base like crazy. However, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is more valuable. McCutchen has a higher batting average, more runs scored, hits, home runs, and more RBI than the Reds’ first baseman. McCutchen has the highest offensive WAR in the NL, and has only committed one error in center field this season, which is a more important defensive position than first base.
Votto is getting on base better than anyone in the league. He leads the NL in on-base and slugging percentage, but McCutchen is at least in the top 4 in those categories. Only Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez has more total bases, and only Votto has created more runs than McCutchen. Don’t get me wrong; I totally get the argument for Votto.
I was very much on the fence about this award, but last I checked the Pirates are 10 games above .500 and sitting in 1st place in the NL Central. Their pitching staff has been vital to their success so far, but McCutchen easily leads the Pirates in pretty much every offensive category and without him, Pittsburgh would be irrelevant as usual at this point of the season. Thanks to McCutchen leading the way, many consider Pittsburgh to be for real. They are, as long as he carries them anyway. No disrespect to Votto, but McCutchen has had the entire Pirate line up on his back through the first half of the season and he’s been the most valuable player thus far in the NL.
2. Joey Votto
3. David Wright
AL Cy Young
Chicago White Sox | Chris Sale: 10-2, 2.14 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
The Chicago White Sox are in first place in the AL Central thanks in part to the left arm of starting pitcher Chris Sale. Opponents are batting just .198 against the lefty this season. He’s given up as many walks as earned runs (25), and he’s 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA on the road. Sale hasn’t lost a decision since May 12th when the Royals shut out the White Sox 5-0.
Justin Verlander has taken on a larger workload than Sale with comparable numbers, but I’m giving the slightest edge to the 23-year-old lefty on the south side.
2. Justin Verlander
3. David Price
NL Cy Young
New York Mets | R.A. Dickey: 12-1, 2.15 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
37-year-old R.A Dickey caught the world by storm after he tossed back-to-back one-hitters against the Rays and Orioles in mid-June. Before he allowed 5 earned runs vs. the New York Yankees on June 24th, Dickey hadn’t allowed an earned run for over a month giving him a remarkable 44 2/3 innings pitched without allowing an earned run.
Dickey leads the NL in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, and complete games. This might be the easiest midseason award to hand out.
2. Matt Cain
3. Gio Gonzalez
Los Angeles Angels | Mike Trout:
If you’re the AL MVP (see above), and you’re a rookie, than I think it’s safe to say you should be the Rookie of the Year too. Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) could have company by the end of the season as the only players to win both awards in the same season.
Washington Nationals | Bryce Harper: AVG – .283/.355/.481, 8 HR, 25 RBI
First off, hats off to Arizona Diamondback rookie pitcher Wade Miley. With Ian Kennedy struggling and Daniel Hudson injured, Miley has saved the D-Backs rotation and is heading to Kansas City for the All-Star Game. If it wasn’t for a couple of shaky starts in his last two outings, this award would have been his. So who gets the midseason NL ROY award? That’s a clown question, bro TM. It goes to the 19-year-old center fielder, Bryce Harper.
Harper has helped maintain the Nationals’ lead in the NL East. He leads Washington in hitting and on-base percentage, and only two teenagers in MLB history have equaled or bettered his numbers for a full season. We’ve seen him steal home, hit for power, and come through in the clutch. He’s been fun to watch, and baseball fans better get used to him.
Managers of the Year: Buck Showalter (BAL) | Davey Johnson (WSH)
We’re half way through the season, and somehow the Baltimore Orioles haven’t spiraled out of control and gone on a 9 game skid. Excuse me for assuming the O’s would soon be back to their usual place in the AL East cellar after their hot start. Instead, Showalter has his team in second place behind the Yankees and in position for a wildcard spot.
Just down the beltway, another manager has their team in a surprising position. Davey Johnson and the Washington Nationals currently sit atop the competitive NL East, along with the best record in the National League. Many considered Washington to be serious playoff contenders, but they’re certainly exceeding expectations in our nation’s capitol thanks to Johnson pushing all the right buttons.
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