ESPN’s Baseball Tonight panel put together the first half award winners for the 2014 season. Here they are!
NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins: No surprise here. Stanton leads the NL in home runs with 21 and RBI with 63. He has also launched five home runs of 450 feet or more. Those are Mark McGwire type moon shots! Honorable Mention: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates; Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, Angels: Trout’s first half is full of sabermetric stats that prove he is the best player. He leads the AL in OPS, runs created, extra base hits, most times reaching base, and WAR. Really, how can you argue with that? His is also going to be the only player to head into the break with 20 homers and double digit steals. Honorable mention: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays; Nelson Cruz, Orioles.
NL MVP: Yes, they actually gave out an award for least valuable player. Domonic Brown, Phillies: Brown is hitting just .224 with six homers and 44 RBI. Worse than that, he is among the bottom ten of MLB players with at least 250 plate appearances in OPS, slugging, OBP, and is dead last in WAR. When you put it that way, it’s kinda hard to argue… Dishonorable mention: Dan Uggla, Braves; Everth Cabrera, Padres.
AL MVP: Billy Butler, Royals: Butler’s .272 average isn’t that bad, but he has only three homers and 35 RBI, and doesn’t contribute at all in the field. Over his first seven seasons, Butler averaged .298, 17 homers and 35 doubles a year. He will come nowhere close to that this season unless he has a Ruthian second half. Dishonorable mention: Nick Swisher, Indians; Chris Davis, Orioles.
NL CY: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals: Wainwright has been dominant this year. In 16 of his 18 starts, he has allowed just 13 runs combined in those games. Not even Bob Gibson in 1968 could match numbers like that. If it weren’t for Wainwright’s two clunkers (7ER against the Giants, 6ER against the Cubs), his ERA would be under 1. Incredible! Honorable mention: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Johnny Cueto, Reds.
AL CY: Felix Hernandez, Mariners: The King has held court this year. He is on pace to finish with a 0.89 WHIP, opponent’s average of .201, and 264 strikeouts in 248 innings. How many pitchers have ever done that? Not one. Honorable mention: Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees; Chris Sale, White Sox.
NL Cy Young: Sergio Romo, Giants: Romo is 4-3 with a 5.19 ERA, and lost his job as the Giants closer. If that isn’t bad enough, he has a 9.42 ERA since May 2oth. Say it with me kids: YUK! Dishonorable mention: Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks; Edwin Jackson, Cubs.
AL Cy Young: Ubaldo Jimenez, Orioles: Ubaldo is 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA. On top of that, he has allowed the most walks (60) in the majors, and has the third highest WHIP among qualifiers. Dishonorable Mention: Ricky Nolasco, Twins; Clay Buchholz, Red Sox.
NL ROY: Billy Hamilton, Reds: Yes, he is definitely the most exciting player, but he also has 37 steals, and more home runs than Miguel Cabrera(!) since June 10th. Billy leads that race 3-2. Vote for Billy! Honorable mention: Chris Owings, Diamondbacks; Tommy LaStella, Braves.
Which ones do you disagree with?