02 July 2014

2014 MLB Midseason Awards

With every MLB club either at or beyond the midseason point of the 2014 MLB campaign, it is time to give out some hardware. Here are my MLB midseason awards.

Most Valuable Player - Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
We have been down this road before with Trout but this is shaping up to finally be the year that Trout wins MVP in the Junior Circuit. His average may have gone down just a tick but his power has come in stronger than ever as he is on pace for a career-high 39 home runs and is leading the league in OPS and OPS with a tremendous 1.027 and 188, respectively. Not to mention that he is providing his usual tremendous defense and is leading baseball with a 5.3 WAR.
Runner-Up - Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

Cy Young - Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners
This is a tough one as both Hernandez and Masahiro Tanaka have had tremendous years and both are certainly worthy of the award. Both are tied with a 2.10 ERA. Tanaka leads in ERA+ (190 to 179), has a lower walk per nine rate (1.4 to 1.5), strikeouts per nine (9.9 to 9.6), strikeouts per walk (7.06 to 6.23). Hernandez has started two more games, leads the league in WHIP (.919) and FIP (1.95), has a better hits per nine (6.7 to 7.2) and home run per nine (0.3 to 1.0), throws fewer pitchers per at-bat (3.72 to 3.79) and per inning (14.4 to 14.7) and has a lower batting average against (.206 to .217). Fernandez definitely has an average pitching in Safeco Field as opposed to Yankee Stadium, but I would still go with him by a nose.
Runner-Up - Masahiro Tanaka, SP, New York Yankees

Rookie of the Year - Masahiro Tanaka, SP, New York Yankees
This is another top category in it of itself as Abreu has been tremendous for the South Siders. However, Tanaka has not only been an elite pitcher all season long, he may be more or less singlehandedly keeping the Yankees in the playoff race despite having other issues in their rotation and in the lineup. Of course, you can always have the people saying they are not real rookies, either Tanaka or Abreu, but I have never bought into that babble.
Runner-Up - Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox

Manager of the Year - Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics
Nobody seems to know what makes the criteria for this award, or any award for that matter, but I think Melvin deserves it slightly over John Gibbons. Yes, Gibbons has led a surprising team that has been in control of the AL East all season long, but nobody can deny how strong the Athletics have been in terms of being perhaps the best team in baseball despite their noted budget restraints. Melvin has a good roster on paper, but not one I would consider to be the best in baseball.
Runner-Up - John Gibbons, Toronto Blue Jays

Most Valuable Player - Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
This award is wide open at this juncture as you can make legitimate cases for Jonathan Lucroy, Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Yasiel Puig and some other guys. But I think that the best player all season long in the National League has been Tulowitzki. We all know he plays in a great hitting park, but his numbers are sensational across the board. He is first in baseball average (.353), first in baseball in on-base percentage (.445), second in slugging percentage (.618), first in baseball in OPS (1.064) and tied for second with a 5.1 WAR. And anybody that discounts him because of the team he plays on is a fool.
Runner-Up - Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers

Cy Young - Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Once Clayton Kershaw gets eligible innings-wise, he may end up winning this award yet again, and nobody would be surprised. That said to the point, the best pitcher in the NL has been Mr. Cueto. Cueto is first in ERA (1.99), ERA+ (194), WHIP (0.836), hits per nine (5.4), innings pitched (124.1), complete games (three), batting average against (.176), on-base percentage against (.238), slugging percentage against (.271), and OPS against (.509). Need I say more?
Runner-Up - Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Rookie of the Year - Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds
This is perhaps the easiest award to give out, thanks in part to a feeble field and thanks in part to a tremendous season to this point by Hamilton. Everybody knew that Hamilton was going to provide speed and plenty of it to the Reds as he is on pace to steal more than 70 bases. However, his bat has been much greater than expected as he is hitting .283 for the season. He also has been getting better as the season has gone on, great news for a Reds club trying to get into the postseason.
Runner-Up - Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

Manager of the Year - Ron Roenicke, Milwaukee Brewers
What if I told you before the season that the Brewers would have the best record in the Senior Circuit and tied for the most wins in baseball at this point? You would have thought I was crazy, perhaps more so than already. And while I thought the Brew Crew would have the chance to be a good team, I did not expect this and Roenicke deserves a ton of credit. He has himself a very good lineup, a good rotation and a decent bullpen. This team has played great all year and I see no reason for it to stop anytime soon.
Runner-Up - Don Mattingly, Los Angeles Dodgers

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