FBJ First-Half Awards - MLB Midseason Awards

An annual FBJ tradition is to give our first-half award selections (you can see last year's selections HERE).  It's also a fun exercise to compare our actual awards to our preseason predictions.

Joey Votto practicing his Midseason MVP catwalk.  Image Via Twitter


NL MVP - Joey Votto
NL Cy - R.A. Dickey
NL ROY - Bryce Harper
NL MOY - Clint Hurdle
NL Rolaids - Santiago Casilla
Player to watch in the second half: Bryce Harper

Votto currently has 30 doubles, he's hitting .355 (getting on-base at a .481 clip, which would rank top 50 all-time for a single season) and he is currently the single biggest reason why the Reds are in first place... it's clear that we're witnessing the emergence of a very special player in Votto. Dickey might seem like the "popular" pick right now, given his recent success but he currently leads the league in wins, he is second in the league in ERA, he leads the league in quality starts and he's third in the league in strikeouts; he has earned the first-half Cy Young, in my book. Hurdle's Pirates are currently sitting in second place in the NL Central despite an anemic offense and a group of no-name starters... find me a manager that has done more with less and I'll take back my pick. Casilla is a bit of a reach; a better argument could probably be made for Craig Kimbrel (who strikes batters out at a much higher clip) but given the situation that Casilla was thrown into (the bearded one, Brian Wilson, lost for the season), I think that his success has meant more to his team than any other reliever in baseball. And last but not least, Bryce Harper has done enough to earn a lot of respect.  He plays baseball the right way but he'll be under serious pressure in the second half of the season. I am extremely excited to see what the kid can do in a pennant race.

AL MVP - Josh Hamilton
AL Cy - Justin Verlander
AL ROY - Mike Trout
AL MOY - Ron Washington
AL Rolaids - Jim Johnson
Player to watch: Mark Trumbo

Aside from the injured Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton has proven to be the best hitter on the planet since day one of the 2012 season. His .651 slugging percentage is all you really need to know... he's tearing the cover off the ball. Trout has been overshadowed by Bryce Harper but Trout has been the better player, so far by a long shot. His triple slash of .338/.399/.531 is awesome but Trout also leads the American League in stolen bases (21) and plays tremendous defense. Washington deserves credit for not allowing the Texas Rangers to have a World Series hangover. It's going to be fun to watch Trout and Harper go at it for the next 10-15 years. Jim Johnson is a stretch but being a reliever in the AL East is tough and Johnson is a huge reason why the Orioles stand in first place. As for Trumbo - he forced himself into an every day role with the Angels by posting the third best OPS (.980) in the American League over the first half.  With Trout/Albert Pujols/Kendrys Morales around him, there's no telling what his second half numbers could look like but it's definitely going to be exciting to see if he can keep it up.


NL MVP – Joey Votto
NL CY – R.A. Dickey
NL ROY – Lance Lynn
NL MOY – Davey Johnson
NL Rolaids – Craig Kimbrel
Player to watch – Bryce Harper

There are so many great candidates for NL MVP. Ryan Braun is having another stellar year, but without Prince Fielder, it’s not enough to vault them to the top of the Central. Andre Ethier is carrying the Dodgers in the wake of Matt Kemp’s injuries. Melky Cabrera made the jump from the American League and is hitting over .351. Likewise, David Wright has spurred the Mets to play seemingly above their potential. Carlos Beltran has also seen a resurgence putting up numbers reminiscent of five years ago. As of 6/21, 16 pitchers sport ERAs under 3.00 making this another year of the pitcher. Dickey is the biggest standout and surprise as he’s in the hunt for the triple crown at this point. Other notables are Matt Cain, Stephen Strasburg, and Cole Hamels. Lance Lynn has been the Cardinals best pitcher thus far and as a rookie has looked impressive. The top NL rookie batter thus far has been Kirk Nieuwenhuis, however, Lynn’s showing has upstaged the young Met hitter. Davey Johnson has taken a team that was supposed to be a year or two away and made them a legitimate front runner in the vaunted NL East. The team is hitting and pitching better than anyone else and seem poised to make a serious run at the division. Kimbrel has picked up right where he left off. He seems to have shrugged off his late season implosion to once again be a dominant ninth inning force. Finally, as Bryce Harper becomes more and more acclimated to big league pitching, I think he’s going to continue to crush the ball and lead the Nats to a post season.

AL MVP – Josh Hamilton
AL CY – Jered Weaver
AL ROY – Mike Trout
AL MOY – Buck Showalter
AL Rolaids – Chris Perez 
Player to watch – Albert Pujols

Hamilton is running away with the MVP again this year and is in the top three in triple crown categories. Texas is loaded on offense, but Hamilton can carry the team in long spurts. Weaver missed some time, but has been very strong for a team that until recently had underperformed. He leads the league in ERA, WHIP, and Batting Average Against, all pitcher influenced categories. Mike Trout is taking the league by storm and is a runaway ROY candidate and maybe even an MVP candidate. Showalter has the Orioles playing above themselves. They’ve come back down a little allowing the Yankees to regain the AL East lead, but they’re playing well on all sides and are competing in the division. Best reliever is a tough battle between Perez, Jim Johnson of the Orioles and Fernando Rodney of Tampa Bay. All are having great years. The Indians are a surprise team and Perez is a big reason for their success in the back of the bullpen. The player to watch for me is Pujols. He’s had a horrendous year by his standards, and I think he’ll pick it up in the second half.


NL MVP- Joey Votto
NL Cy- R.A. Dickey
NL ROY- Bryce Harper
NL MOY- Davey Johnson
NL Rolaids- Craig Kimbrel
Player to Watch- Stephen Strasburg

Votto's just been an all out stud so far, getting on base at almost a 50% clip. He is the main reason they are in first and may stay there. Dickey is having a career year - could keep it up all year. Bryce Harper has been everything, as advertised and moving him to outfield was the best move. Give Davey Johnson credit for making the Nats believe they can win this year and not wait till next year. Kimbrel has not lost a step this year. Watch Strasburg in the second half, if they are winning, will they stick to the 175 inngs and pull him for the rest of the year and not let him pitch in the playoffs?

AL-MVP- Josh Hamilton
AL Cy- Justin Verlander
AL ROY- Mike Trout
AL MOY- Joe Girardi
AL Rolaids- Jim Johnson
Player to Watch- Kendrys Morales

What more needs to be said about Hamilton? Nobody has replaced Verlander as the best in AL. Trout has not disappointed and has turned the Angels season around when it looked like it may flop. Girardi has kept the Yanks winning after losing Mariano and less then expected seasons from A-Rod and Teixeira. Watch out for Morales in the seconf half, may be the key to their success.


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