Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Midseason Awards

MVP: Mike Trout
This was tough. Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Trout are the three main contenders. Of those three, Machado isn't on the same level as Donaldson and Trout. He's having an excellent season, he's just not there yet. Now it's down to Trout and Donaldson, they have nearly identical batting averages, .305 for Trout and .302 for Donaldson. Donaldson is a slightly better fielder, saving 9 runs with his glove compared to Trout's 2 but I eventually went with Trout because his plate discipline sets him apart. He's drawn 13 more walks this season en route to a on base percentage that's 39 points higher than Donaldson's.
LVP: Pablo Sandoval
This could have gone to plenty of Red Sox, but I'm going with Panda because he's been worse offensively than Hanley, hitting a paltry .267/.310/.391. Also, Hanley's train wreck in left field has overshadowed Sandoval's usual atrocious fielding at third base.
Cy Young: Chris Archer
Somehow Cy Young managed to be almost as close as MVP. Archer, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Sale and Sonny Gray are all deserving candidates. Ultimately I decided that Archer has been better this year. Slightly. He doesn't lead the league in any meaningful categories, but he's just been steady. Sale's received a lot of attention for his strikeout record, but he's still struggled at times. Archer has only given up more than three earned runs three times this year. Almost every time out he's given the Rays a chance to win. There's nothing more you can ask from a pitcher than that.
Rookie of the Year: Incomplete
It's impossible to predict the ROY at this point. Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers and Miguel Sano have all done well in short stretches this year, but no one's emerged from the pack or played long enough to distinguish himself so far.
MVP: Bryce Harper
The NL's quite a bit easier. While Paul Goldschmidt's gaudy .349/.466/.618 batting line looks good, Harper has somehow been even better, hitting .343/.471/.709 and a more premium position. Harper's Nationals will also make the playoffs barring a huge second half collapse, while the Diamondbacks are struggling to stay at .500. If that wasn't enough, Harper wears stirrups. And stirrups are awesome.
LVP: Matt Kemp
After the Padres gave up a small army for Kemp in the offseason, he has not delivered, to say the least. He does lead the league in one category; unfortunately for the Friars that's games played. At the plate he's hitting .242/.281/.367 and he's been even worse in the field. So far this year he's cost the Padres 12 runs with his glove.
Cy Young: Max Scherzer
Scherzer is having a tremendous year despite being just 9-7. Explain that one to me morons who think Clayton Kershaw is a victim of outdated stats.* Anyway, Scherzer has been even better in Washington than he was in Detroit, sporting a 2.12 ERA and an unreal 10.21 strikeout to walk ratio.
*Kershaw's win loss record has nothing to do with his all star omission. There are plenty of guys who don't have great win loss records like Scherzer, the aforementioned Chris Archer (9-6), or Shelby Miller (5-4). Kershaw was left off the roster because of the unrealistic standard he set for himself in the last few years. We had become so unaccustomed to him being good but not amazing people assumed he was having a bad year.  
Rookie of the Year: Joc Pederson
It feels a little weird to be choosing a .231 hitter for Rookie of the Year, but Pederson has been great in just about every other area. He's a fantastic defender with two defensive runs saved this year, and his hitting numbers have been skewed due to him playing half his games in the cavernous Dodger Stadium. While he is prone to the big whiff (101 strikeouts on the season) I can't penalize him for that because he main competitor, Kris Bryant has almost as many with 95.

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