MLB Midseason Awards

Alex Kielar | July 11th, 2019

Well, the All-Star festivities are over, with the AL winning for the seventh year in a row, 4-3, and Mets’ Pete Alonso going home the winner of the home run derby. Now as we head into the second half tonight with a makeup game between the Astros and Rangers, let’s hand out our midseason awards.

To hand out the awards, six of our MLB writers (Alex Kielar, John Lepore, Mike El-Far, Givanni Damico , Joey Ricotta, Daniel Corrigan, John “Supi” Supowitz, Marcos Mendoza) gave their picks for AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, Rookie and Manager of the Year. For both Cy Youngs, Jamie Gatlin gave his picks to break ties.

AL MVP: Mike Trout (LA Angels)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Mike Trout8Unanimous

Mike Trout has always been a stud, and at only 27, he is already at legend status. This year has been no different, as Trout is putting up great numbers (.301/.453/.646, 28 HR, 67 RBI, 5.9 WAR). It’s Trout and then everyone else for MVP, not much of a question.

That doesn’t mean, however, that other players aren’t in the discussion. DJ LeMahieu has been a god-send for the Yankees, through all their injuries he has been their most important player and one of the best and underrated free-agent signings of all-time, to this point at least. He is THEIR MVP. LeMahieu has shown his versatility, filling in at every infield position besides shortstop. He has slashed .336/.383/.518 with 12 home runs and 63 RBI, while hitting close to .500 with runners in scoring position. He isn’t too close to Trout in most major statistical categories, so he’s a distant second to the greatest player of our generation.

AL Cy Young: Charlie Morton (Tampa Bay Rays)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Charlie Morton4Johnnie, Dan, Marcos, Jamie Gatlin (tie-breaking vote)
Justin Verlander3Alex, Joey, Supi
Lucas Giolito2Mike, Gio

This was a tight race for us, with one of our other writers, Jamie Gatlin, needing to step in for the tiebreaker. Charlie Morton was ultimately the one to come out on top, but a strong argument could be made for Justin Verlander, as well as Lucas Giolito. Morton leads the league in ERA at 2.32 and is one of the top pitchers in strikeouts at 142 (career-high is 201, last year). He has a 10-2 record and he is averaging 11.3 SO/9 and has a 0.7 HR/9. He has been the ace of the Rays’ pitching staff that has kept the Rays in the AL East race. Verlander has a solid 2.98 ERA with 153 strikeouts (tied second) and leads the league with a 0.81 WHIP and .168 BAA. The one concern with Verlander is that despite the league-leading WHIP, he also leads the league with 26 home runs allowed and 5.4 H/9. If he continues to get hit around like he has, he will fall out of the race. Giolito has emerged as one of the top pitchers in the game for the rebuilding White Sox, going 11-3 with 120 strikeouts, 3.15 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and just a .194 BAA. He will certainly be in the race if he keeps up the top production.

AL ROY: Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay Rays)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Brandon Lowe6Johnnie, Alex, Mike, Joey, Supi, Marcos
John Means2Gio, Dan

Vlad Jr. is nowhere to be seen in our rankings at midseason after all the hype leading up to his promotion. Instead, we’ve got two players from fellow AL East teams receiving votes, with Rays Brandon Lowe getting the bulk of the votes. Lowe is slashing .276/.339/.523 with 16 HR and 49 RBI despite being up on the leaderboard in strikeouts. John Means of the Orioles is in second, being one of the few bright spots on the dreadful Orioles team, and has emerged as one of the league’s top pitchers. He improved his changeup in the offseason and turned himself from an afterthought prospect to an ace.

NL MVP: Cody Bellinger (LA Dodgers)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Cody Bellinger5Alex, Gio, Joey, Dan, Marcos
Christian Yelich3Johnnie, Mike, Supi

This should be a very exciting battle to watch all season long, with Cody Bellinger getting the slight edge, five votes to three. Belli vs. Yelli. Bellinger has been unbelievable, slashing .336/.432/.692/.1.124 with 30 HR and 71 RBI, while the defending-MVP Christian Yelich has continued where he left off last season. Yelich is slashing .329/.433/.707/1.140 with a league-leading 31 home runs and 67 RBI. This is as tight of a race you can get, and both can contend for a Triple Crown (leading in BA, HR, RBI).

NL Cy Young: Hyun-Jin Ryu (LA Dodgers)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Hyun-Jin Ryu5Johnnie, Joey, Dan, Supi, Jamie (tie-breaker)
Max Scherzer4Alex, Mike, Gio, Marcos

Just like the AL Cy Young, this was another tight race for us, as we needed another tie-breaking vote from Jamie. Both Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Nationals are strong contenders for the award, with Ryu getting the slight edge as of now. Ryu leads the entire major leagues with a 1.73 ERA and is second behind Verlander with a 0.91 WHIP. 16 of his 17 starts are of the quality start kind and he has gone the distance once, a complete-game shutout, and nearly pitched a perfect game. Scherzer leads the entire major leagues with 181 strikeouts, 2.00 FIP, 0.6 HR/9, and 12.6 SO/9, and also has a 0.98 WHIP. One thing to watch is Ryu has only given up a .266 average on balls in play (BAPIP) and could start struggling if more of those BASEballs find holes.

NL ROY: Pete Alonso (NY Mets)

PlayerNumber of VotesVoters
Pete Alonso8Unanimous

Pete Alonso is the easy unanimous selection for the midseason rookie of the year in the National League. The home run derby winner had an insane and record-breaking first half, hitting 30 home runs for the most by a Mets rookie in the first half ever. He also slashed .280/.372/.634 with 68 RBI and can definitely contend with Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record of 52 in 2017. He has not only been the best rookie in the league, but also one of the best players in the league thus far.

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Main Image Credit:  Embed from Getty Images

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