09 July 2016

2016 MLB Midseason Awards

(Getty Images)
We may be past the true midseason point of the 2016 Major League Baseball season but as we enter the All-Star break, now is a good time to look back at the first half. Therefore, let's hand out some hardware. Here are my midseason awards.

Preseason Awards

AL MVP - Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2012 - Pres)If it was not for a relatively down couple of weeks, Jose Altuve would have a very good case for the MVP award and Josh Donaldson is also in the mix as well, and deservedly so. And if you want, you could fault Trout for the fact that his team is not very good but I have never been somebody that likes to do that. Simply put, Trout is once again the finest player in the American League and he has shown that thus far with just another brilliant season.
Runner-up - Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

NL MVP - Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers (1979 - 2011)It generally is a big deal these days for when a pitcher is in the mix for MVP but with the kind of season that Kershaw has had to this point, even as he is currently on the disabled list, he's definitely deserving of his second MVP. Quite frankly, his numbers are ridiculous even as he has been largely out for the last two weeks. 1.79 ERA (leads the league), 0.73 WHIP (leads the league), 16.11 strikeout/walk ratio (leads the league), 7.6 innings-per-start (leads the league), three shutouts (leads the league), 220 ERA+ (leads the league). Pretty good, right?
Runner-up - Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

AL Cy Young - Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox (1976 - 1990)It is looking like a dog fight for the Cy Young in the Junior Circuit, largely because there really is not a standout candidate from the pack. I like Sale for the award and he has not been as lights-out as he was a year ago as he's got a lower striktout rate and a higher home run-allowed rate. However, he does lead the league in innings and you have got to love the 123 strikouts to 26 walks statistic. I really don't care that much about the 14-3 record but hey.
Runner-up - Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians

NL Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers (1979 - 2011)So if Kershaw is the league's MVP, I think it's pretty clear that he will be the league's Cy Young, eh? After all, do I need to rattle off these numbers again? 1.79 ERA (leads the league), 0.73 WHIP (leads the league), 16.11 strikeout/walk ratio (leads the league), 7.6 innings-per-start (leads the league), three shutouts (leads the league), 220 ERA+ (leads the league). The guy was simply so good in the first three months of the season that he's leading the pack by quite a ways.
Runner-up - Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

AL Rookie of the Year - Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers (2016 - Pres)At the rate that he has been pitching, Fulmer may find himself for multiple awards on this list. After all in his last ten starts, Fulmer has been great. He has cut his ERA from 6.52 in mid-May to now 2.11 thanks to a scoreless streak of 33 1/3 innings and nine straight starts with one allowed earned run or less. A very nice 1.10 WHIP, an ERA+ of 201 and a solid 72/27 strikeout/walk ratio also helps his case as well.
Runner-up - Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers

NL Rookie of the Year - Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers (1979 - 2011)I said before the season that Seager was the clear-cut favorite for this award and thus, he is making me look like a true prognosticator (for once). After all, Seager is currently having one of the better rookie seasons that a shortstop has ever had and if he keeps up this place, he will surpass what Carlos Correa did a year ago and he is well on his way to setting the rookie record for OPS+ (he is 141 while the record is Nomar Garciaparra in 1992 at 123). Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Runner-up - Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals

AL Manager of the Year - Jeff Banister, Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (1972 - 1981)The team with the best record in the American League? The Texas Rangers. Tell me you saw that one coming. And even with a number of injuries to their pitching staff, leaving them with a rotation that is not exactly imposing, they continue to win and win often. Banister did a great job a year ago leading the team to 88 wins and the ALCS and considering that the team has looked really good all season long, he deserves all the praise he can get.
Runner-up - Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

NL Manager of the Year - Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs (1994 - 1996)The Cubs may not be on the blistering pace that they once were as they have gone only 13-19 after starting 39-15 and they don't even have the best record in the majors or even the top record in the National League. That said, you can't ignore that tremendous start to the season even with some injury action and this has been a team that looks ready to compete for their first World Series championship since 1908. And Maddon deserves a good chunk of that credit.
Runner-up - Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants

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