Before we start, just in case you didn't see it, my recap of the All Star Weekend is here.
At last, the stat geeks and average fans can agree: Mike Trout is the best player on the planet and should win MVP. If you're old school, you can appreciate that he's hitting .310 with 22 round trippers. If you're new school, you'll be happy with the fact that he's leading the league in OPS+ and has 5.5 WAR. The last few years he's been not getting votes for playing on bad Angels teams. That's all been put to rest with the Angels right in the thick of it all and Miguel Cabrera having an "off" year. (Note the quotation marks.)
With all the attention in the National League going to Troy Tulowitzki, Cutch is quietly putting up another monster season, trumping his 2013 campaign in almost every statistical category. Even though Tulo has the gaudy numbers I'm drawn away by his home and road batting averages (.417 at home vs. .265 on the road) Meanwhile, McCutchen is hitting .324/.420/.575 while playing his usual great defense in center for a team he's single handedly keeping in the race.
There are few things worse than a first baseman making 15 million dollars and giving you .208/.288/.348 splits. When he's doing it for a team trying to stay in contention it's even worse. That's one of the specifications of my LVP ballot. The player has to be on at least a decent team because all the awful players on bad teams don't stand out. The team as a whole is just bad.
Dan Uggla is to the LVP trophy what Jerry West is to the NBA logo: A player and a symbol always associated with each other. I even considered calling this "The Dan Uggla LVP Award" before deciding the ultimate gesture would be giving him another LVP to add to his trophy case. Obviously he's a terrible player. Then you factor in his 13 million dollar a year salary so the Braves can't get rid of him. If you add all of that up, it's like the Braves have a 24 man roster because their 25th guy is useless.
AL Cy Young
I'm not going to say "King Felix is living up to his nickname" in this paragraph because people say that way too often. Although if I did say that I would be correct because he's currently leading the AL in ERA, FIP, WHIP and some other stats that don't involve capital letters.
NL Cy Young
Yeah, I know Wainwright's thrown more innings and is better in some statistical areas, but just look at these numbers. He's striking out almost ten batters for every one he's walked and allowing one homer every two games along with his miniscule ERA of 1.78. But this season goes beyond stats for Kershaw. Everybody will remember this year just for his flat out dominance, scoreless innings streak, and no hitter. In other words, this year belongs to him.
AL Rookie of the Year
Up until a few weeks ago, despite the historic season Abreu was losing this battle to Masahiro Tanaka. But with Tanaka on the shelf there isn't anyone who can come close to challenging Abreu is this category. Now all he needs is a good nickname. I personally like "The Cuban Crusher" but that's just my opinion.
NL Rookie of the Year
As I've written earlier, Hamilton is one of my favorite players in the league just because of his mind blowing speed. At first he was just a gimmick, but now that he's starting to put it all together, man, I'm glad I'm not the fan of a team in the NL Central.