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MLB Midseason Awards

by Photo of Sam Cohen

If the MVP, Cy Young and other individual awards were handed out now, here’s who would win.

MLB Midseason Awards

As surprising as it may be, the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season is rapidly approaching. As trade talks start to pick up and fans vote for the best players to play in the All-Star Game, talk of which players and coaches will win each of the major awards are soon to occur if they haven't already. With that being said, let’s take a look at who is in the race for each of the major individual awards so far. The picks are based off of stats at this point, as well as potential during the second half.

A.L. Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics

Bob Melvin has yet again made the Oakland Athletics, a team with no true superstars, a first place squad in a tough A.L. West. Led by hitters Josh Donaldson, Derrick Norris, and Brandon Moss and pitchers Scott Kazmir and Sonny Gray, the A’s are an exciting young team that will look to continue to exceed expectations. Melvin not only has the A's on top on the A.L. West, but the A's have the best record in the American League.

Also in the race: John Gibbons (Blue Jays), Terry Francona (Indians) Buck Showalter (Orioles)

N.L. Manager of the Year: Bruce BochySan Francisco Giants

Bochy has the Giants playing the best baseball in the MLB and despite dealing with injuries to players like studs Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Brandon Belt. The Giants have not taken their foot off the gas. Bochy’s trust in his players, in-game managerial decisions, and knowledge of what makes an effective bullpen have made him one of the best managers in the game. If the Giants can keep it up, Bochy will win his second N.L. manager of the year award.   

Also in the race: Ron Roenicke (Brewers), Mike Redmond (Marlins), Walt Weiss (Rockies)

A.L. Comeback Player of the Year: Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels

This may surprise some people, but hear me out. While Albert Pujols has been solid in his return from a season marred by bad play and ultimately foot surgery, he has cooled off dramatically since a torrid start. Melky Cabrera deserves to be in the conversation too, though last year was not completely lost for him despite injuries. Josh Hamilton has already missed a few weeks this season, but he has been mashing the ball when healthy this season, making a lot more contact and seeing the ball much better than he did in his dreadful season last year. If he can stay healthy, which is a huge if, he will make Angels fans forget about last season. 

Also in the race: Albert Pujols (Angels), Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays), Joakim Soria (Rangers) 

N.L. Comeback Player of the Year: Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds 

After missing much of last season due to a handful of injuries, Cueto has come back throwing the baseball better than anyone else in the game. He is third in ERA, second in strikeouts and shutouts, and first in WHIP, innings pitched, and complete games. There are a lot of deserving names for this award, but Cueto’s stats speak for themself.

Also in the race: Jason Hammel (Cubs), Tim Hudson (Giants), Michael Morse (Giants)

A.L. Rookie of the Year: Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

After the Yankees gave Tanaka $155 million to leave Japan and come to the Big Apple, expectations were high. Tanaka has been everything Yankees fans could have hoped for and more. He is 10-1, first in ERA in the A.L., top 5 in strikeouts in the A.L., and top ten in just about every pitching category. While Jose Abreu has been magnificent, Tanaka has been nearly flawless and is one of the very few reasons the Yankees are still relevant.

Also in the race: Jose Abreu (White Sox), Collin McHugh (Astros), George Springer (Astros)

N.L. Rookie of the Year: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates

While he may have just come up, there is no way a player with the tools and body that Gregory Polanco possesses doesn’t win ROY, especially in a weak N.L. field. At 6’4" and 220 lbs, this monster of a man has taken over the minor leagues over the past couple years and is one of the best prospects in recent years. Polanco steals bases, hits for average, hits for power, has a great glove in the outfield, and has a cannon of an arm. He will be a force to be reckoned with this year and for the next decade, at least.

Also in the race: Oscar Taveras (Cardinals), Chris Owings (Diamondbacks), Billy Hamilton (Reds)

A.L. Cy Young: Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

Mark Buehrle has been spectacular for the Blue Jays and sabermetric stats suggest that he will continue to pitch at a high level, but Tanaka’s stuff is simply better. He is on pace for a historic season and underlying numbers suggest that he will not slow down either. I’ve seen most of his games this season and firmly believe he will join Fernando Valenzuela as the only other pitcher to win both ROY and Cy Young in the same season. 

Also in the race: Mark Buehrle (Blue Jays), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Scott Kazmir (A's)

N.L. Cy Young: Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds

This is the race to watch this summer. Julio Teheran has been almost as good as Cueto, as he leads the league in ERA and is among the leaders in WHIP. Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright are also firmly in the mix, while Tim Hudson and a few others have a decent shot. Cueto has been the Cy Young so far, but that could change at any given moment.

Also in the race: Julio Teheran (Braves), Madison Bumgarner (Giants), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)

A.L. MVP: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays

There are a plethora of players in the A.L. playing great baseball this year and while Miguel Cabrera is probably the safest pick to win MVP, Jose Bautista has been the MVP so far and has the potential to keep it up. Bautista has established himself as one of the best players in baseball the past few seasons and he is having another spectacular year. While he doesn’t have as many home runs as some of the other candidates, his A.L.-best .434 on base percentage is 37 points higher than the second highest OBP, he leads the league in walks, and is fourth in the MLB in runs scored. He is also playing amazing defense, ranking at or near the top of almost every fielding category among A.L. right fielders.  

Also in the race: Nelson Cruz (Orioles), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Josh Donaldson (A's)

 

N.L. MVP: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

Troy Tulowitzki is a monster. He’s hitting .356 (1st in MLB) with 17 home runs (4th in MLB), 43 RBI, and a .448 OBP (1st in MLB), all while playing gold glove caliber defense. Many skeptics will criticize him for having mediocre numbers away from Colorado, which is the most hitter-friendly park in baseball, but his numbers are way too good overall to pass him over. He also has the highest WAR, a sabermetric stat that summarizes a player’s total contributions to his team in one statistic. It would be very unsurprising if the injury bug bit him once again, but so long as he stays healthy, he will continue to put up big numbers. 

Also in the race: Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Carlos Gomez (Brewers), Yasiel Puig (Dodgers) 

Who are your picks for the individual MLB awards? Let us know in the comments section!

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