Home > Uncategorized > 2009 MLB Midseason Awards

2009 MLB Midseason Awards

It’s so hard to believe that we are a little more than halfway through baseball’s 162-game, six-month schedule. It just seems like yesterday that I was predicting the Red Sox to not make the playoffs, hyping up Jason Motte as the Cardinals’ closer and not really caring about Russell Branyan.

But things change over the course of 80-plus games. I was wrong then, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again, but here are my current picks for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.

Statistics are only through July 6 because I thought I had already published this post on July 7. Thus, the commentary may sound a bit dated. Anyway, enough gripe …

Midseason picks:

AL MVP

1. Justin Morneau, 1B, Min: This is very deep category, but Morneau may be the best all-around player in the American League right now. He is playing Gold Glove first base, in the top 5 in the league in the Triple Crown categories and is one of only five players in the game who has an OPS of more than 1.000

2. Torii Hunter, OF, LAA: He might very well go 30-30, hit more than .300, win a division title and be the team’s defensive captain. It’s not a pretty pick, but he’s definitely valuable.

3. Joe Mauer, C, Min: You have to understand that he missed a month of the season and still has 45 RBIs and a career-high 14 home runs. He’s nearly flawless defensively and has an on-base percentage of .465!

4. Evan Longoria, 3B, TB: He’s cooled off since the start of the May, but he’s couldn’t have been expected to keep up that pace of 81 HRs. Still, that beginning is the reason why he is here.

5. Jason Bay, OF, BOS: I wrestled with putting either Ian Kinsler or Aaron Hill here. But Bay has put up good numbers, his team is in first place and America loves itself some Red Sox, so he gets into the fifth spot.

NL MVP

Smart money for the MVP.

Smart money for the MVP.

1. Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: Stunning, I know. Ryan Ludwick is batting behind him, and he still gets pitches to hit. It’s unfathomable.

2. Prince Fielder, 1B, MIL: In some ways, this is the best first half of his career and only Pujols is above him in a power-average combo so far this year.

3. Raul Ibanez, OF, PHI: Like Longoria, he’s cooled off of late. He’s also dealt with an injury, but he absolutely carried this team offensively for the first couple of months.

4. Ryan Braun, OF, MIL: Fielder hasn’t done it all by himself for the Brewers. Braun is having a terrific year even after a bit of a slow start.

5. Hanley Ramirez, SS, FLA: The power and speed are down, but he’s going to set a career-high in RBIs and you just don’t see many shortstops with a .346-.409-.574 line.

AL Cy Young

1. Zack Greinke, KC: His ERA just hit 2.00 and he’s supposed to be in a bit of a slump right now. Yeah, what a slacker.

2. Roy Halladay, TOR: He’s been a horse again this season and if not for a short DL stint last month, he would be currently leading the game in wins and innings pitched. Oh, and I am so happy to have these two pitchers on my fantasy team!

3. Edwin Jackson, DET: He was going to be a stud with the Dodgers in his early 20s and then became a valuable contributor with the Rays last year. Now, the Tigers are looking back on that Matt Joyce deal with the smile of a Cheshire cat.

4. Felix Hernandez, SEA: Felix is kind of overlooked because of the team he plays for and for the fact that he has never truly lived up to the “King Felix” moniker. But he has very good numbers this year and eight wins for a pretty bad team.

5. Justin Verlander, DET: Since April 23, he has an ERA of 2.43, and he leads the league with 130 strikeouts for the year. It’s been nice to see him rebound after a dreadful 2008 season.

NL Cy Young

1. Tim Lincecum, SF: Five earned runs in the past 42 innings pitched and three complete games in his past five

It's been a good ride so far, but ...

It's been a good ride so far, but ...

starts. He leads MLB in strikeouts, 2.23 ERA … he’s decent.

2. Dan Haren, ARI: Typical Haren. He’s great in the first half. If you have him on your fantasy team, take a look at his second-half splits and sell now!

3. Matt Cain, SF: He’s been pretty good for a couple of years now, but the baserunners are down and he’s finally getting some run support.

4. Chad Billingsley, LAD: He is in the top five in the National League in Ks and innings pitched. He should have gotten his 10th win on Sunday, and he is the leading a staff that many questioned before the season started.

5. Yovani Gallardo, MIL: Honorable mention here to Josh Johnson, but at least he made it on to the All-Star team. How is Gallardo NOT on that team?

AL Rookie of the Year:

1. Ricky Romero, SP, TOR: Take out May, when he was battling an injury and had a couple of bad starts, and you’ll see that he has allowed just 16 earned runs in 69.2 innings and pitched into the seventh inning in every start.

2. Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX: He’s been phenomenal in the field, has been decent in the field and, probably best of all, I think his presence has helped Michael Young take his mind off defense a bit and concentrate more at the plate. That doesn’t help Elvis’ cause to be the ROY, but the Rangers certainly like it.

3. Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK: Yeah, the A’s are pretty bad and needed an All-Star representative, but he’s still on the team. You can’t say that about a lot of rookies. Rick Porcello also could have gone here, but the luster has really worn off him.

NL Rookie of the Year:

1. Colby Rasmus, OF, STL: He has been a monster since June 1. It must be nice to hit in front of Pujols.

2. Casey McGehee, 2B, MIL: Since he became a regular cog in the Brewers’ lineup on May 19, McGehee is hitting .364 (43 for 118) with 27 RBIs. Rickie Weeks, how you doing?

3. Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT: I like Tommy Hanson, but McCutchen is so dynamic. He’s already scored 20 runs and driven in 20 runs to go along with six stolen bases in his first 31 games in the majors.

AL Manager of the Year:

1. Jim Leyland, DET: It’s not a strong division, but they are on top of it, and that’s saying a lot for the Tigers after what happened to them last season.

2. Ron Washington, TEX: The Rangers are one game out of the AL West top spot in July and are showing to have some staying power. You don’t get to say that often.

3. Terry Francona, BOS: They are surpassing expectations. Well, my expectations.

NL Manager of the Year:

1. Joe Torre, LAD: Many had high hopes for the Dodgers this season, but they are just dominating the National League. If they keep playing .630 baseball, Torre will win this award.

2. Bruce Bochy, SF: The Giants aren’t going to win the division, but they are leading the wild card and are eight games above .500. That’s a pretty amazing feat, considering the Giants’ lineup.

3. Ken Macha, MIL: The Brewers lost Sabathia, Sheets has been hurt, Suppan and Parra have been horrible, and yet, the Brew Crew are right there.

So, that’s just my thoughts for the halfway point. Tomorrow, I’ll post who I think will win these awards at the end of the year. And as the week goes on, I’ll also bring up some of my most surprising and disappointing players, as well as some fantasy notes for the second half.

Thanks for your continued reading through a very slow start to the month.

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