First half award winners
With the first half over it is time for me to do what I love to do, first I will give out awards to the Cardinals based on their first half performances and then I will give out awards as if it were the end of the year! So here we go, time to have fun with this one, comment and tell me what you think:
Rookie of the Year:
Joe Kelly, though he hasn’t been around nearly as long as fellow rookie Matt Carpenter, Kelly’s impact has been very important. In his first six career starts, Kelly has yet to allow more than three earned runs. He has a 2.71 ERA while just posting a 1-1 record thanks to a very low run support. Kelly has been very important filling in for the injured Jaime Garcia, and he has really become a favorite of STL Cardinal Baseball’s. Hopefully he will go on to have continued success in the majors!
Carlos Beltran takes this award with ease. For those of you wondering, why not Holliday? Remember that Holliday batted just over .200 for the longest time until finally finding his stride in June. Beltran has been reliable all year and could make a run for the NL MVP if he keeps it up! He finished the first half batting .296, with 20 homeruns and 65 RBI. His 20 homers are second in the NL only too Ryan Braun, but his 65 RBI lead the National League! Beltran has been a bargain signing from John Mozeliak and has once again made Johnny Mo look like a genius.
Lance Lynn. After a tremendous month of April and another good month of May, Lynn really struggled in June and hasn’t really been the same since. However his 11-4 record and the fact that he is an All Star still makes him the pitcher of the year. Lynn may be headed to the bullpen if the Cardinals trade for a starter at the deadline, however at this moment he is the Cardinals pitcher of the year, with Kyle Lohse very close behind.
Mitchell Boggs. The set up man has been really incredible this year, despite a few rough outings he has been the Cardinals most reliable reliever all year. He ended the first half with a 1.91 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 37.2 innings, while walking only nine. He also has 2-1 record and just two blown saves which is nothing compared to what the rest of this bullpen has done.
Yadier Molina. We held a fan poll on our facebook page, and the fans agreed with me on this one. Yadier Molina is the MVP for many reasons, he does it all. He literally is the most valuable player for the Cardinals, if we did not have him we would not be where we are now. Molina is also having a career year offensively batting .304 with 13 HR and 45 RBI he also has 8 stolen bases in nine chances. Molina does it all, he has a great glove, great arm, and a great bat. He truly is El Captain!
Andrew McCutchen- Some of you are probably like “whaaaat?” but no I am serious. McCutchen has quietly put up an unbelievable first half of the season and has been leading the first place Pirates. He is leading all of the majors with his .362 AVG, he also has steady numbers in all other offensive categories including 18 homers, 60 RBI, 17 doubles, and 14 stolen bases. He really has done it all for the Pirates despite not getting the recognition of more big named players like Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, and Carlos Gonzalez.
Gio Gonzalez- The left handed pitcher who came over to the Nationals in the off season has been nothing short of spectacular. He is tied with R.A. Dickey with 12 wins (only three losses), but he has a 2.93 ERA, and 118 strikeouts to go along with it. Gonzalez along with Strasburg has led the resurgent Nationals as they hope to make it to the post season for the first time. This one was tough to narrow down and it will go down to the wire, anyone from Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain, R.A. Dickey, and Gonzalez could win the award at the seasons end.
Rookie of the year:
Bryce Harper, it is spectacular the numbers that Harper has been able to put up at the young age of 19. He has been a huge part to the Nationals success as they really are having a turn around in their franchise. Harper ended the first half as an All Star with a .281 with eight homers and 25 RBI while also stealing eight bases. He has been an exciting talent with flashes of offense, speed, and defense making him a player to watch for years to come.
Josh Hamilton- Is there another choice? Hamilton has put up some crazy numbers including a 4 homer game something that has been done less than perfect games in MLB history. Hamilton has again led the Texas Rangers to the best record so far in the A.L. and he is looking like he will easily win his second M.V.P award. At the end of the half Hamilton has a .313 AVG as well as a MLB leading 27 home runs and 75 RBI. Hamilton is one of my favorite players and he shows why again putting up huge numbers and leading his team to a great record. Look for the Rangers to continue their dynasty this year, who knows it could be a rematch in the World Series.
Jered Weaver- The Angels Weaver is once again the most dominant pitcher in the American League at the All Star break. Will he be able to continue like this all year or will he tail off like he did last year? Either way he is the first half Cy Young. His record of 10-1 and his 1.91 minuscule ERA is enough evidence to support that, he also has 73 strikeouts which seems low for a guy like Weaver.
Rookie of the Year:
Mike Trout- Another easy one. Trout has been not only the best rookie but one of the best players in the game so far. At the young age of twenty it is pretty crazy to think that he is putting up the numbers that he has. He is currently leading the A.L with his .341 AVG, he has 12 homers, 40 RBI, and the AL leading 26 stolen bases. If Trout keeps it up, he might be able to surpass Hamilton for the MVP as well. Simply amazing what he has done, very deserving of being an All Star.