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A Look Back At Our Midseason Award Winners

by Photo of Kenneth Teape

Take a trip down memory lane to see how our midseason award picks matched up with the actual winners.

A Look Back At Our Midseason Award Winners

Back at the All-Star break we wrote an article handing out the midseason awards, breaking down who was ahead in the MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year races. We also added some of the least valuable players through the first half the season. With the award winners being announced recently, what better time to check back and see how we did? Here we will compare the midseason award winners to the real award winners announced at the end of the season. 

AL MVP

Midseason Pick: Miguel Cabrera, Third Baseman, Detroit Tigers

Actual Winner: Miguel Cabrera

This was probably the least surprising pick of the award winners. Cabrera actually put up better numbers than his triple crown MVP season in 2012 finishing with a .348/.442/.636 slash line with 44 home runs and 137 RBI. It is hard to imagine that he would have actually had better numbers had he not been dealing with injuries towards the end of the season. He played in 148 games but plenty of those were through injury as he toughed it out for his team. Cabrera is easily the best hitter in baseball right now and it is a pleasure that we get to see the greatest hitter of our generation in his prime right now.

NL MVP

Midseason Pick: Andrew McCutchen, Centerfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates

Actual Winner: Andrew McCutchen

This award was given to McCutchen not solely based on stats but because he epitomized what an MVP really is: the most valuable player to his team. McCutchen was the heart and soul of the Pirates and was the leader on a team that broke their 20-season playoff draught. He also put up good stats while playing outstanding defense at a premium position in centerfield. McCutchen finished the season with a slash line of .317/.404/.508 with 21 homeruns, 84 RBI and 27 stolen bases. For the first time in his career McCutchen had some help in the lineup and it resulted in the highest individual honor a player could receive in baseball. Next season he will look to help the Pirates advance even further in the postseason.

AL Cy Young

Midseason Pick: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Actual Winner: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

Here is the first midseason pick that did not turn out the same at the end of the season. Darvish had a solid year, finishing 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 277 strikeouts, but he did not compare to Scherzer. The Cy Young winner finished the season with a 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 240 strikeouts. Scherzer became the ace of a loaded Tigers staff that also included former MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez and more-than-serviceable Doug Fister and Rick Porcello. Scherzer was great in the postseason as well, starting three games and giving up seven earned runs in 22.1 innings pitched to go along with 34 strikeouts. Scherzer will be in line for a massive extension when he becomes a free agent in 2015.

NL Cy Young

Midseason Pick: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Actual Winner: Clayton Kershaw

This one was right up there with Cabrera among the easier picks. Kershaw was the most dominant pitcher in the majors all season despite the struggles the Dodgers had for most of the first two months. Kershaw finished at 16-9 with an astounding 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 232 strikeouts. How he ended the season with just 16 wins and nine losses is mind boggling by just looking at his stats but goes to show just how poorly the Dodgers played at points this season. Kershaw is a big reason for any success the Dodgers had and will have in the coming years as he looks poised to sign the biggest contract in MLB history not only for a pitcher but for any player.

AL Rookie of the Year

Midseason Pick: Jose Iglesias, Shortstop/Third Baseman, Detroit Tigers

Actual Winner: Wil Myers, Outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays

Iglesias was the best of the bunch at the halfway mark but his hitting fell off to the point the Red Sox felt comfortable enough shipping him out in the trade that brought back Jake Peavy. Myers showed why he was thought to be one of the hottest prospects in baseball with a slash line of .293/.354/.478 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI. Keep in mind that was in barely half a season. Myers appeared in only 88 games as the Rays are very meticulous and careful in promoting prospects. Myers is the third Rays rookie to bring home the award since 2008, following in the footsteps of Evan Longoria and Jeremy Hellickson.

NL Rookie of the Year

Midseason Pick: Jose Fernandez, Starting Pitcher, Miami Marlins

Actual Winner: Jose Fernandez

At the midseason point this was the most scrutinized pick that was made as most of the baseball community was swept up in the craze that was Yasiel Puig; in reality this was never really a race. The flame-throwing Fernandez, who turned just 21 in July, shut down lineup after lineup throughout the season. At the beginning of the season many baseball pundits thought this was a move being made by the Marlins as a publicity stunt. Fernandez was one of the top prospects in their system and the team was expected to struggle again. But he quickly quieted the doubters, showed ace quality stuff and looked like he will be a lynchpin in anything positive going on with the Marlins for the foreseeable future. Fernandez finished the season with an impressive 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 172.2 innings pitched over 28 starts. The Marlins watched him closely this season but next year the reigns should almost be off as Fernandez will continue what looks to be a very promising MLB career.

AL Manager of the Year

Midseason Pick: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox

Actual Winner: Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

Each manager deserved the award as both turned underachieving teams from 2012 into playoff teams. Farrell led the Red Sox to a World Series just like Francona did in his first year in Boston. For Francona, he led what had been a cellar-dwelling Indians franchise to a 24-game turnaround in 2013 and the AL Wild Card game. He got the most out of what was thought to be a semi-rebuilding roster. The Indians were one of the top offensive teams in the majors to help an average pitching staff. Francona looks to have the Indians heading in the right direction as another franchise turnaround under his watch looks to be underway.

NL Manager of the Year

Midseason Pick: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates

Actual Winner: Clint Hurdle

There were a couple of other managers that deserved some recognition for the work they did like Mike Matheny or Don Mattingly, but Hurdle had context on his side. Hurdle faced a 20-year losing season drought in Pittsburgh and he conquered it. That is really all the qualifications needed for Hurdle to take home manager of the year. The Pirates had been the first half Cinderella for two seasons prior but were finally able to put it all together for an entire season. The future is bright in Pittsburgh with Hurdle at the helm and players such as McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole not yet in their primes.

So there you have it, the complete list of our midseason award winners compared to the actual winners at the end of the regular season. The final tally had five correct predictions out of eight for the actual awards. For the least valuable awards, Josh Hamilton still looks like he will be the owner of an albatross contract the Los Angeles Angels will regret handing out. B.J. Upton will challenge Hamilton for the worst contract in the sport for the Atlanta Braves as he almost did not make the postseason roster. The Toronto Blue Jays rotation was not able to get things turned around much as they finished last in the AL East and Ian Kennedy turned things around a little bit but needed a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the San Diego Padres to do so and was still far from being the ace people expected him to be.

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