By: Kyle McGrath
With the second half underway and the trade deadline looming, Kyle hands out award to the players who have impressed the most so far.
Now that we’ve moved past the All-Star break and into the second half of the 2015 season, it’s time to give out some midseason awards. We’ve had plenty of time to evaluate this season. There have been players living up to their potential, surprise stars, and underachievers. Let’s look back at the previous 95+ games to hand out some awards and glorify the play of a select few.
American League MVP: Mike Trout (CF, LAA)
What can be said about this guy that hasn’t been said already? He has it all, being the 5-tool player that you can only dream your franchise will draft. Coming off one of his worst seasons, which also happened to be worthy of an MVP, Trout is playing all-around great baseball, hitting for average and power along with his stellar defensive play. He’s not the league’s best hitter, though it could be argued, but undoubtedly its best position player.
National League MVP: Bryce Harper (RF, WSH)
Finally. FINALLY. Harper has been very due for a season like this, and he has started off this year strong. In the entire MLB, he is 5th in average, tied for third in home runs, and first in WAR (6.6). With the hype he generated when he was younger, he had previously been unable to appease critics, who cited his lack of performance and string of injuries. This season, however, he is living up to the high standards set for him as a sophomore in high school, where he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as the “Chosen One”. Those are lofty heights to achieve for any player, and it is great to see his talents begin to fully manifest themselves.
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (LHP,CWS)
This was the hardest choice to make. With Houston’s Dallas Keuchel pitching incredibly well, this was not a clear cut decision. However, when you accomplish a feat that Pedro Martinez, in my completely biased opinion, one of the best pitchers of all time, has also done, you’re in great company. Sale went on a tear where he pitched eight consecutive starts with 10 or more strikeouts. That kind of utter dominance deserves to be recognized, and here’s my humble way of giving him that well-deserved credit.
NL Cy Young: Zack Greinke (RHP, LAD)
Now this award might have been the easiest. Greinke is the LA Dodgers number 2 starter, only because their number one is perhaps the best pitcher of the decade. However, he is giving his teammate a run for his money this year. Kershaw’s command has been a little off, but Greinke has been absolutely deadly on the bump. Every game he pitches he gives his team a strong chance to win, and he has posted a record of 9-2 for his team thus far. He leads the league in ERA, WHIP, and WAR and finished an historic 45 ⅔ innings of scoreless work in his last start . He’s been great so far, and I bet he’ll continue on to pitch well for the rest of the season.
AL Rookie of the Year: Carlos Correa (SS, HOU)
The 20-year old from Ponce, Puerto Rico is my pick for AL ROY. The Astros top prospect was called up on June 9, and he has been hitting well and playing lights out defense. He’s has some power, but he is great at hitting for average, and his glove adds a lot of value to him as a player (he has a fielding percentage of .971).
NL Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant (3B,CHC)
The 23 year old, 6-5, 215 lbs. stud from Las Vegas, Nevada, caused quite a stir during Spring training this year, making it clear with his 9 home runs that he was MLB ready. He was called up on April 17, and, after a slow start, he has been making headlines ever since. He has put a spotlight on himself and the Cubs, and he has performed well in this position.
There still a lot of season yet to be played, but these guys are at the top of their games right now, and look for them to continue this success going forward.