It’s midseason and it’s time for the midseason awards here at Diamond Hoggers. If you’ll remember back a few months, we had several experts around to give their predictions. Including our own. Here is how they stack up thus far, in our opinion still of course.
AL MVP: Magglio Ordonez, Detroit
Ordonez deserves the award over Alex Rodriguez mainly based on team performance. If there was an ‘offensive player of the year’ given in baseball like there is in football, A-Rod would win that award, having one of his finest seasons yet with the bat. Magglio (.367/17/70) might make a run at .400, I just hope that he doesn’t so the Indians can win the AL Central.
AL CY YOUNG: C.C. Sabathia, Cleveland
Charles has been in charge nearly every time he’s taken the ball for the solid Indians ballclub. Sabathia (12-2/3.58/119 K’s) has the same amount of wins as Josh Beckett, but has thrown 30 more innings, has nearly 30 more K’s, has walked 2 less hitters, and isn’t on as strong of a team as Beckett. Sabathia should be starting the All-Star game but clearly he’s emerged as an ace after all those years of Indians fans waiting for it to happen.
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Sammy Sosa, Texas
Sure he’s only hitting .245, but he’s clean now (we hope/think), and he’s came back to not embarras himself as he did in his stint with the Orioles. He’s on pace for nearly 30 homeruns and over 100 RBI. He joined the 600 homerun club as well. Carlos Pena is a fine candidate as well.
AL Manager of the Year: Eric Wedge, Cleveland
If Mike Hargrove doesn’t leave Seattle in the midst of the season, he gets this award at this point. Wedge does a lot with a little, I can say after watching his ballclub almost nightly. The Indians have gotten contributions from a number of soruces: journeymen, stars, and youngsters. That said; a collapse in the 2nd half which I don’t see coming, could cost Wedge his job.
AL Surprise Team: Seattle Mariners
Who else could it be? The Mariners find themselves at 49-36, just three games out of the wildcard and just 2.5 games out of first place behind a loaded Anaheim Angels team. Andre/Adrian Beltre has been resurgent. Ichiro has been Ichiro as always. This team may fade but they certainly treated folks in the pacific northwest to some good baseball at times in the first half.
AL Rookie of the Year: Nick Markakis, Baltimore
I’m sure we missed someone here, so we’re sorry for the oversight. Markakis is on a terrible ballclub, who fired their manager, but he’s been solid. A pedestrian 9 homeruns and .280 average that is sure to rise while playing a great right field for the Orioles.
NL MVP: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee
Prince is a surprising pick to some, but he’s really burst onto the scene and grabbed this award at age 23. He’s going to hit a lot of homeruns for a long time; he’s having the type of year Ryan Howard had last season–identically. I’m not that impressed with Milwaukee as a team, I think that they’ll be caught in the central, but I am impressed with Prince. He’s gonna make a run at 50 homeruns and if Milwaukee hangs on, he’ll be considered for this award at year’s end as well. Oh yeah, the .284 average to go with 70 RBI’s isn’t bad either.
NL Cy Young: Jake Peavy, San Diego
The guy is just the most dominating arm in baseball right now. I don’t know if any team in a short series can get past Peavy and Chris Young. It wasn’t long ago when I said to editor George, “trade me Peavy in fantasy baseball, he’s really never lived up to potential.” That night, he K’d 16 Arizona Diamondbacks in 7 innings. He’s got 125 strikeouts and a 2.19 ERA, but if you watch him pitch he’s even better.
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Josh Hamilton, Cincinnati
Is it possible for a guy who never left to be a ‘comeback’ player of the year? Hamilton might be doing it and we couldn’t be happier. He’s my new favorite ballplayer, for so many reasons. He’s got a .270s average and 14 homeruns. He’s simply the best story in baseball, and yes, I am a Reds homer.
NL Manager of the Year: Willie Randolph, New York Mets
I really like the job that Randolph has done in the big apple of keeping his teams’ head above water when there were so many question marks to begin the season and throughout the first half. Ned Yost is the trendy pick, but I like Randolph. His pitching staff has been in shambles, Carlos Delgado basically didn’t hit at all in the first half, and Dave Wright struggled at times. Randolph kept it all together for the Mets and they are atop a tough NL East division because of it.
NL Surprise Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Ok, like I said, I am not a believer yet. The Cardinals or somebody is going to run these guys down, but they’ve definitely came out of nowhere to win this award at the midway point.
I thought so little of them, that I had to be told by a commenter at the beginning of the season that I had left them out of the standings when predicting the NL Central (sorry Brewers fans). Your team had a great first half, and if my Reds can’t win it, and the Cardinals can’t, you’re higher in my book than Houston!
NL Rookie of the Year: Hunter Pence, Houston
I hate to say it, but he’s going to win it. He’s a fine young ballplayer who reminds me of a Jeff Francoeur really. He just swings and swings and swings and laces line drives everywhere. I hate the Stros and I wish Hamilton would overtake him for it, but I think this guy and his .344 National League leading average are just too much not to call him the winner of the award. We didn’t forget about Ryan Braun either, but Pence impresses us more.