Couch Side’s MLB mid-season awards
Editor’s note: About a week before the All-Star break, Couch Side blogger Brandon Smith included his mid-season MLB awards for both leagues as part of our MLB Power Rankings. We couldn’t let his spot on picks go to waste, so here they are, repackaged, in a blog of their own. Enjoy!
BY BRANDON J. SMITH, Couchsideshow.com blogger
• NL MVP: Joey Votto — No argument here, he’s the most valuable offense force on a team that happens to be a contender.
Runner up: David Wright
• AL MVP: Mike Trout — The numbers have been outstanding, and he’s easily the most exciting young player in the game outside of Harper. His production has been nothing but phenomenal on the offense and defensive side. I’m sure it would be a tough call between him and Hamilton.
Runner up: Josh Hamilton
• NL CY YOUNG: R.A. Dickey — The journeyman knuckleballer has been the biggest individual surprise of the season, and has an impressive 12-1 record on a shockingly decent Mets squad. He also has two straight 1-hitters to his resume and a league leading 0.88 WHIP, at this point he’s the best choice.
• Runner up: Zack Greinke
• AL CY YOUNG: Justin Verlander — The reigning MVP and Cy Young winner hasn’t lost a step, he has the most complete games in the AL along with the most innings pitched.
• Runner up: Chris Sale
• AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout
• Runner up: Yu Darvish
• NL Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper — You really think anyone else is going to win it? That’s a clown assertion, bro.
• Runner up: Andrelton Simmons
In most cases, articles will discuss biggest surprises or disappointments of the first half, in this case and in the spirit of independence day we’ll change it up a bit.
• Biggest Patriot: Pittsburgh Pirates — It’s déjà vu all over again like Mr. Berra would say, and we can look back and fondly remember the 2011 Pirates who briefly held a claim on the central last summer before regression swallowed them whole. Now at 44-36, they sit in a beneficial position against the Reds and Cardinals to keep it up. And what a strange beast this team is, relying on veteran pitchers like AJ Burnett and Erik Bedard, a young stud in James McDonald, the ever inconsistent bat of Pedro Alvarez, all capped off with the exciting and high flying Andrew McCutchen.
• Benedict Arnold: Philadelphia Phillies — It’s hard for a 100-win team to collapse in the fashion at the Phillies did, but they did. They now sit at the bottom of the AL East 37-46, and the division for the most part is improved. Gone is Roy Halladay for an extended period of time, returned is Chase Utley when their offense needed him most, winless was Cliff Lee until today. It’s been an odd season for the Phils, and they’ve had a few too many cracks in the liberty bell to recover. Does this guarantee a fire sale? They’ve already sent Jim Thome to Baltimore and Chad Qualls to New York, GM Ruben Amaro is in a peculiar position indeed.