While the All-Star Break doesn’t occur after exactly 81 games, it’s routinely thought of as the halfway point. The first half is over and the second half is about to begin. So just as we were polled at the start of the season, the staff here at MMO was asked to give out their first half awards. Let’s see how they stacked up to the early-season predictions.
The National League looks like this:
Not one of the four players picked at mid-season for the MVP was picked at the start of the season, although Ryan Braun was picked early and is putting up MVP-caliber numbers.
As for the Cy Young Award, several people picked Roy Halladay, although Jair Jurrjens made nobody’s ballot at the beginning of the year, yet comprised all but one of the votes not cast for Doc at the break.
Five different players were supported for the Rookie of the Year Award, with Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa garnering the most votes. Dillon Gee followed, then Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel. The future is bright for the National League East.
Manager of the Year by consensus goes to Clint Hurdle. What he’s done with that Pirates team is nothing short of mind-boggling. Our own Terry Collins fell just one vote short.
Moving on to the American League:
Jose Bautista edged out Adrian Gonzalez 7-6 for the MVP award, but Bautista got zero votes at the start of the season. He’s proving literally everyone wrong.
Jered Weaver did not get anyone’s pre-season vote, but Verlander and Sabathia were represented. Verlander is the run-away favorite, garnering more than half the votes cast.
The AL Rookie of the Year goes to Michael Pineda in a landslide, with honorable mention going to MarkTrumbo.
Manny Acta was as decisive a win for Manager of the Year as was Pineda in his category. Joe Maddon saw some votes for keeping the Rays in the hunt despite losing Carl Crawford, Carlos Peña and Rafael Soriano in the off season.
Let’s also revisit some of the statistical categories the staff weighed in on and see where we stand.
In the NL, Dan Uggla, Albert Pujols and Joey Votto were the hopefuls for the home run crown. Pujols ranks tied for 6th, but Uggla and Votto rank 19th and 21st, respectively.
For the batting crown, predictions were made for Pujols, Votto, Troy Tulowitzki, Buster Posey, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Braun. Props to the Votto fans, as he ranks second behind you-know-who. Honorable mention to Dave for his Braun pick. Ryan ranks 5th in the league.
Stolen bases was a two-horse race between Michael Bourne and Jose Reyes. As expected, they are 1-2 in the standings, with Reyes trailing the Astros centerfielder by five.
Moving back to the American League, votes were cast for Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Gonzalez for the league leader for home runs. Cabrera is alone in 9th place and Gonzalez is tied for 10th.
The batting race was wide open, as seven players received votes. Props to Satish , the lone Miguel Cabrera supporter. Even though Cabrera ranks only eighth, no one else’s pick ranks in the top 15.
Six of the fastest guys in the AL were all given support for the most stolen bases and mostly they didn’t disappoint. Jacoby Ellsbury, Elvis Andrus, Rajai Davis and Brett Gardner all rank in the top five.
Let’s put those comment hats on. Who are your first half award winners?