The All Star break is here and with every team playing over half of their 162 games, it’s now the perfect time to look at the stats for the half season of games. After that, we can make up reasons why each winner deserves it over the guys that just barely lost out. So here we go!
Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
I actually found the choice between Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista to be very difficult. Both players are at the top of the heap when it comes to talent as hitters is concerned. You just can’t avoid Bautista and his 7.2 WARP (Wins Above Replacement). Well, that and the fact he has 31 HR at the break to go with a crazy .334 BA. It’s just amazing to see him put up these kind of stats after what he did last year. Many readers and forum members thought he was a fluke and that he had no shot at reproducing the year he had in 2010. He’s actually doing even better than he did last season. That’s why Bautista is the AL MVP! P.S. Homerun Derbies don’t mean anything.
AL CY Young
Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
If you haven’t heard about Justin Verlander’s freakish performance as of late then you haven’t been following baseball at all. Verlander’s last 8 appearances have yielded only 6 runs for the opposing teams and have seen Verlander pitch at least 7 inning in each of those games. Verlander currently ranks 2nd in the AL in wins (11), 1st in strikeouts (138), 1st in innings pitched (143.1), and 2nd in complete games (4). Verlander was scheduled to make an appearance at the all star game but was instead replaced by….
AL Rookie of the Year
Michael Pineda – Seattle Mariners
Michael Pineda was brought in to start for the Mariners straight out of Spring Training and he has proven to be a legitimate ace in the future, if not already. Pitching in the shadow of King Felix and in the relatively media starved northwest, Pineda has been allowed to pitch without much attention. The local Seattle fans and opposing teams are quickly learning that Pineda could very well already form the best 1-2 punch in all of baseball. Pineda pitched today against the Angels and was crushed for 7 earned runs but his numbers are still very impressive. An 8-6 record, even with the leagues worst offense and an ERA just recently elevated above 3 to 3.03 on top of 113 strikeouts and a BAA of .198 make him an easy selection for AL ROTY. Congrats to Pineda for making the all star team in his rookie season.
AL Manager of the Year
Manny Acta – Cleveland Indians
The fact of the matter is that if anyone outside of maybe Cleveland, had they you that the Indians were going to be any sort of contender this season, they were either lying to you and themselves or were talking about contending for the #1 pick in the 2012 draft. At 47-42 the Indians are only half a game away from the Tigers for the lead in the AL Central and in large part Manny Acta is to thank. We’ll have to wait and see if the Indians can keep up the momentum or if they fill fizzle over the second half.
Lance Berkman – St. Louis Cardinals
Lance Berkman was a player I thought my team should have tried desperately to sign in the offseason. Well, they didn’t and now they have the worst offense in all of baseball. Meanwhile, Berkman has 24 HR and is hitting .290. That’s two of any other hitters combined for my squad. Yes… I’m bitter. Berkman may not be too popular of a selection here but without him, the Cardinals, who had to deal with Superman Albert Pujols starting the season off cold would not be tied for the lead in the NL Central if it wasn’t for Mr. Berkman here putting up the surprising numbers he has.
NL CY Young
Jair Jurrjens – Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens is the NL leader in Wins (12) and is fourth in CG. Throw in his ERA of 1.87 and you have an ace that deserves the half season NL Cy Young award. Braves fans should also be optimistic about Jurrjens keeping these stats up over the second half of the season. In his last 10 starts he has only gone over 100 pitches four times. His arm should hold up the entire season and allow the Braves to keep up with the Phillies and at least keep their grasp on the wild card.
NL Rookie of the Year
Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
Craig Kimbrel has amassed 27 saves in 32 chances while pitching as the closer for the Atlanta Braves. Not only that but he is 23 years old and has an ERA of 2.35. Not only that but he has a whopping 70 strikeouts in only 46 IP. Not only that be he also just has 18 BB in those 46 innings. Not only that…. ok that’s enough of that. Kimbrel is a solid candidate for the NL ROTY. When you have a gun like Kimbrel, opposing hitters almost have no shot, especially when they only see you once a game.
NL Manager of the Year
Clint Hurdle – Pittsburgh Pirates
Who saw this coming? I mean, the Pirates? Seriously? The Pirates haven’t been contenders since they had those silly hats and Willie Stargell played for them at Three Rivers Stadium. Clint Hurdle has done an amazing job in making the Pirates relevant again in baseball. Not only do they now have one of the best stadiums in the MLB but they also have a product that is worthy of playing in it. For the first time in a very long time the Pirates may be buyers at the deadline instead of their trademark selling of future talent.
So there you have it. The half season MLB award winners. If you have any questions, comments, gripes or complaints…. to bad. Or you can just voice them in the comments below or join our growing sports forum to debate about anything you could possibly want to debate.