It seems like just yesterday I was typing up my preseason predictions for the upcoming baseball season. It’s hard to believe that we are already at the halfway point. Who says that the baseball season is too long? As per usual with baseball, this season is full of unpredictability and surprises. We’ve seen two no-hitters within one week to make this the year of the pitcher 2.0, a home run hitter in Canada prove he is more than a one-year wonder, contenders turn to pretenders, amazing turnarounds and the topic of the year, collisions at home plate.
While there is still another half of the season to go and anything can happen, we should reward the best of the best in the first half of the season with PSB’s Midseason Awards.
MVP: Adrian Gonzalez – Gonzalez is justifying the Red Sox’s signing by leading the majors in hits (114), average (.361) and RBI (71). A-Gone also has 16 HR and an on-base-percentage of 1.026.
Cy Young: Justin Verlander – Not only does Verlander have a no-hitter under his belt this year, but he also is tied for the Major League lead in wins with 10 and only 3 losses. Verlander is sporting a cool 2.38 ERA and a Major League leading 124 strikeouts.
Manager of the Year: Manny Acta – Sure Cleveland has trailed off a bit, but after going 69-93 last year, who would have thought they’d be 40-36 right now? Good young talent from the C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee deals are helping the Indians contend for the American League Central crown.
Executive of the Year: Theo Epstein – Epstein does it again as he brought in Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford (who will live up to the contract), Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler and Jared Saltalamacchia. Granted he did let Victor Martinez walk but the other moves balance out.
Surprise Team: Cleveland Indians – Read Manny Acta. After going 69-93 last year, no one expected them to be 40-36 or leading the AL Central.
Disappointing Team: Minnesota Twins – Injuries to Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau (again), has the Twins with the second-worst record in all of baseball (32-44). With a healthy Mauer and a rash of other injuries, perhaps they can make a second-half push as they are “only” 9 games back in the AL Central.
Rookie of the Year: Michael Pineda – It was a tough call for Seattle to choose Pineda over Eric Hosmer, but Pineda has been unreal this year. Sporting a 7-4 record, with a 2.45 earned run average and striking out 94 batters in 95 innings. Along with “King” Felix, Pineda has given Seattle a reason to be excited about Mariners baseball again.
C – Matt Wieters, 1B – Mark Teixeira, 2B – Dustin Pedroia, 3B – Joel Hannahan, SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, OF – Torii Hunter, Adam Jones, Curtis Granderson, P – Jered Weaver
MVP: Prince Fielder – Fielder is only helping his stock as a free-agent this offseason by the numbers he is putting up this year. His 21 HR is tied for second in the Majors and his 68 RBI trail only Gonzalez of the Red Sox. What’s more impressive is the fact that Fielder isn’t just hitting for power this year, but is sporting a .305 batting average and has more walks (51) than strikeouts (44).
Cy-Young: Roy Halladay – While Jair Jurrjens is also 10-3 and has a lower ERA (2.07 to Halladay’s 2.40) in three fewer starts, give the nod to the best pitcher in baseball in my mind. Doc Halladay struck out 123 batters, trailing only Verlander with a ridiculous 1.03 walks/hits per inning pitched (WHIP) and five complete games already. Half a season to go means more amazing stats.
Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle – Call me a homer that’s fine, but what Hurdle has done with this Pittsburgh team is remarkable. The Pirates are 39-38 and are only 18 wins away from matching their total last year. The last time the Pirates were over .500 at this point in the season was August 15, 1999. It looks like the Pirates are finally turning things around.
Executive of the Year: Doug Melvin – With Prince Fielder hitting the free-agent market in the offseason, Melvin knew this was the year to make the ultimate push. Adding 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke to front a rotation with Yovani Gallardo in a trade with the Kansas City Royals for Alcides Escobar, isn’t a bad start.
Surprise Team: Arizona Diamondbacks – As good as the Pirates have been, the Diamondbacks have been better this season. At 43-36, they are only 22 games from their 2010 win total and trail the Giants by just 1.5 games in the open National League West. Kirk Gibson has done an amazing job turning this franchise around.
Disappointing Team: Los Angeles Dodgers – What more is there to say about the Dodgers? The team is underachieving, the owners are going through an ugly divorce and MLB is going to sell the team. Outside of Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, there isn’t much for Dodgers fans to be excited about.
Rookie of the Year: Dillon Gee – While things in New York haven’t been great this year, Gee has given Mets fans a reason to be optimistic. While pitching isn’t their strong suit, Gee won his first 8 games of the season and has his record at 8-1 with a respectable 3.32 earned run average.
C – Chris Iannetta, 1B – Ryan Howard, 2B – Omar Infante, 3B – Placido Polanco, SS – Troy Tulowitzki, OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Ryan Ludwick, P – Cliff Lee
About the Author
Written by Michael Waterloo
I'm currently pursuing my Master's degree in Communication and Journalism from Clarion University. I currently work for Ohio Valley Athletics where I serve as the West Virginia Football Beat Writer and cover West Virginia Men's Basketball as well. I'm a big Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers and Oregon Ducks fan. Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelWaterloo or visit www.ovathletics.com