The Midsummer Classic is upon us, and that can only mean one thing. Awards! Some are obvious, and some will probably make you shake your head. But, before you jump to any conclusions regarding my decisions, keep in mind that my friends call me "the Real Miss Cleo" when it comes to predictions. Yeah, I'm legit. So, here they are, the 2009 MLB Midseason Awards.
AL MVP: Torii Hunter
The popular choice for this award seems to be Joe Mauer, and I have no problem with that, either. But, looking at what both players have done for their teams, Hunter has done a little more.
With Vladmir Guerrero having been on the shelf for the better part of the first half, Hunter has stepped his game up the most when the Angels needed it. Here's a look at his first half stats: .305, 17 HR, 65 RBI. He has also missed numerous games due to injury.
And, there's something to be said for his emotional leadership. When Nick Adenhart was tragically killed in a car accident, Hunter was the one who rallied the troops and kept their heads up. Don't expect Hunter to keep his torrid pace in the second half, but don't expect him to fall off the face of the Earth, either.
Apologies to: Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, Ben Zobrist
NL MVP: Albert Pujols
It's silly to even argue anybody else for this award. Here's a stat that is just scary. The Machine has homered 32 times in his first 88 games. He has struck out 35 times. How ridiculous is that? To put that into perspective, let's examine fellow NL All Star Ryan Howard.
The Phillies' First Baseman has 22 Home Runs and 101 Strikeouts. What Pujols has done in the first half of this season is the stuff that legend is made of. If he can keep this pace up (I personally don't think he can), then he might have himself the greatest batting season ever.
Apologies to: Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, Prince Fielder, Pablo Sandoval
AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
This was tough. There are, in my mind, three pitchers deserving of this award. Halladay, Zach Greinke, and Justin Verlander. What separates Halladay from the other two is this: he was on the DL for a while, but has still pitched 117 innings this season.
The other two have had no DL stints, and are only a few innings above Halladay. Doc also has fewer walks than the other two, and fewer losses. Keep in mind, though, Halladay will lose his consideration for the Cy Young if he is traded to the NL.
Apologies to: Greinke, Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Josh Beckett, Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum
This is not as tough as the experts are making it. Let's look at one thing: Tim Lincecum's team is 10 games over .500; Dan Haren's team is 13 games under .500. Go ahead and scream "Hey, that's not fair! The rest of Arizona's pitching staff is terrible!"
That's fine, but I'm gonna scream back: "Dakota Fanning is scarier than the Giants' hitting!" And, on top of the Giants being a better team (which the Freak has a huge hand in), Lincecum is the ML leader in strikeouts. That's a huge statistic when looking at who is going to win the award.
Apologies to: Haren, Matt Cain, Josh Johnson, Adam Wainwright
AL Manager: Jim Leyland
After last years disaster in Detroit, Leyland stuck with his guns and has turned it around in the Motor City. Acquiring Edwin Jackson was huge for this team, as was the re-emergence of Justin Verlander, but Leyland was the one who kept everyone calm when it looked like things were gonna get nasty.
Look for him to use his experience and keep the Tigers atop the AL Central.
Apologies to: Don Wakamatsu, Ron Washington
NL Manager: Bruce Bochy
Give yourself a high-five if you thought the Giants would be 10 games over and leading the Wild Card by 2 games going into the All Star break. Seriously, give yourself one, because you deserve it, Nostradamus.
The Giants are the surprise of the first half of the 2009 season, and Bochy is a big part of it. Moving Aaron Rowand to the leadoff spot has seemed to rejuvenate the offense, and giving Nate Schierholtzmore playing time has worked wonders.
Apologies to: Joe Torre, Charlie Manuel
AL Rookie: Ricky Romero
This could have also gone to Andrew Bailey, who has been filthy out of the A's bullpen. But, Romero has given the Jays a lift in a year when they desperately needed it with so many starters injured. Look for him to hit the rookie wall in the second half, though, as most rookie pitchers do.
Apologies to: Bailey
NL Rookie: Colby Rasmus
Rasmus started his season off a little slow, but has seemed to find his way the last month or so. He is providing the Cardinals a much needed bat to compliment Albert Pujols, and provides plenty of speed, too. Let's wait a few months on this before just handing it to Rasmus, as Andrew McCutchen seems to be the real deal in Pittsburgh.
Apologies to: McCutchen, Jordan Zimmerman
Things to keep your eye on in second half:
-AL East: Can the Red Sox hold off the Yankees in the second half? Will the Rays make a move? Watch the Baltimore Orioles' outfield, it is young, and fabulous.
-AL Central: Will Detroit's pitching stay strong? Is Jermaine Dye on the move? Will Cleveland clean house?
-AL West: The three-way race between the Angels, Rangers, and Mariners will be an interesting one. Expect the Rangers and Mariners to fade.
-NL East: Will Washington continue to SUCK? Can Florida keep surprising?
-NL Central: Will the Cubs make a run? Can St. Louis, with their lack of pitching, hold their slim lead?
-NL West: Will the Dodgers keep their torrid pace? Can the Giants keep up their success, even with no bats? Watch out for the Rockies, they are young and upstart and could be dangerous.