Cubs Head Baseball Mid-Season Awards

Jerry BurnesAnalyst IJune 21, 2008

With the midseason mark just around the corner, it's about time to name the midseason award winners in Major League Baseball.

Winners are selected by their performance as of June 20.

So, here are the MLB Midseason Awards.


Most Valuable Player

American League: Alex Rodriguez, 3B, New York Yankees. A-Rod proved once again he's the rock for the Yankees offense and team. When A-Rod went down, the Yankees hit one of their lowest points of the season.

Upon his return, the Yanks started hitting, pitching, and most importantly, winning. Rodriguez is hitting .335 with 14 homers and 41 batted in. He's scored 40 runs this year and has an on-base percentage of .413 and is slugging .623. When A-Rod hits, the Yankees win. When he doesn't, they lose.

Best of the rest: Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas Rangers (.315 AVG, 19 HR, 74 RBI, 49 R); Joe Mauer, C, Minnesota Twins (.335 AVG, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 45 R); Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston Red Sox (.303 AVG, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 44 R).

National League: Lance Berkman, 1B, Houston Astros. As much as I love Chipper Jones' push to hit .400 (currently at .390), Berkman has been more productive and not injured. In 264 at-bats, Berkman is hitting .364 with 20 homers and 60 RBI, and 65 runs scored. His OBP is an outstanding .447 and is slugging .701.

Best of the rest: Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves (.390 AVG, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 48 R); Edinson Volquez, P, Cincinnati Reds (10-2, 1.71 ERA, 110 K); Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies (.291 AVG, 22 HR, 63 RBI, 56 R).


Cy Young Award

American League: Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians. Lee is usually great in the first half of the season. This year he has been exceptional and has the Indians in A.L. Central contention, even with C.C. Sabathia starting the season off on a terrible note and Fausto Carmona on the DL. Lee is 10-1 (losing to Volquez and the Reds) with a 2.45 ERA, 79 strikeouts, and just 15 walks.

Best of the Rest: Joe Saunders, Anaheim Angels (10-3, 3.06 ERA, 46 K); Ervin Santana, Anaheim Angels (9-3, 3.17 ERA, 91K); Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay Rays (6-2, 1.76 ERA, 61 K).

National League: Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds. Volquez has been a surprise. The Reds picked him up in the Josh Hamilton deal, which is working out nicely for both teams. Volquez is 10-2 and league-leading 1.71 ERA and 110 K. He is fourth-worst in the N.L. with 45 walks but have not affected his performance at all.

Best of the Rest: Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks (11-3, 3.27 ERA, 82 K); Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs (8-2, 2.76 ERA, 81 K); Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs (8-2, 3.06 ERA, 68 K).


Rookie of the Year

American League: Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays- Everyone knew Longoria would be good whenever the Rays decided to bring him up. He's been better than good. Sure, David Murphy's numbers look better, but Longoria is in the playoff hunt, and that counts in voting no matter how much the voters deny it. Longoria's numbers yield a .255 average, 11 homers, 35 RBI, and 33 runs.

Best of the rest: David Murphy, OF, Texas Rangers (.272 AVG, 10 HR, 48 RBI, 41 R); Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox (.279 AVG, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 52 R, 34 SB)

National League: Geovanny Soto, C, Chicago Cubs- Soto has better competition for this award in Joey Votto, an upcoming Jay Bruce, and teammate Kosuke Fukudome. Soto had one blazing month and has been solid at the plate and behind the plate all year for the Cubs. He's handled the entire pitching staff with incredible ease for a rookie catcher. Soto is hitting .282 with 12 home runs, 43 batted in and 26 runs scored for the first place Cubs.

Best of the rest: Kosuke Fukudome, OF, Chicago Cubs (.298 AVG, 5 HR, 31 RBI, 48 R); Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds (.286 AVG, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 34 R); Jair Jurjjens, P, Atlanta Braves (7-3, 3.43 ERA, 62 K).


Reliever of the Year

American League: Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees. For those who have said Rivera is not the same closer, you were wrong. He's off to his best start in about four or five years. The Sandman is fourth in the A.L. with 20 saves and boasts a 0.79 ERA, only 15 hits allowed, a 0.53 WHIP, and 39 strikeouts in 34 innings. He has only allowed three earned runs and three walks too. Rivera is 2-2 but has no blown saves this season.

Best of the Rest: Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox (3-2, 1.95 ERA, 21 SV, 41 K, 3 BS); Francisco Rodriguez, Anaheim Angels (0-1, 2.25 ERA, 28 SV, 30 K, 2 BS); George Sherrill, Baltimore Orioles (2-2, 3.21 ERA, 25 SV, 32 K, 3 BS).

National League: Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies- This really came down between Lidge and Kerry Wood, but Lidge edges out Wood thanks to zero blown saves this season. Lidge has 18 saves, a 0.90 ERA, with 39 strikeouts and a record of 1-0.

Best of the rest: Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs (4-1, 2.58 ERA, 45 K, 18 SV, 4 BS); Billy Wagner, New York Mets (0-1, 2.10 ERA, 35 K, 16 SV, 5 BS); Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants (0-1, 4.40 ERA, 33K, 19 SV, 2 BS).


Manager of the Year

American League: Joe Madden, Tampa Bay Rays. If there was any doubt to this. Madden turned the perennial cellar dwellers into actual A.L. East contenders. The Rays really came out of nowhere this season and Madden has handled the young players nicely. Only question is, does his team have the experience to make a run for the postseason?

Best of the rest: Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox; Mike Scioscia, Anaheim Angels; Bob Geren, Oakland Athletics.

National League: Lou Piniella, Chicago Cubs. Sweet Lou has the Cubs leading the Major Leagues. Last time they were doing that in June? 1908. What happened in 1908? The Cubs won their last World Series. Although the Cubs were expected to be good, very few expected them to be this good. Piniella has worked around two Alfonso Soriano injuries and now has the team back on track after putting ace Carlos Zambrano on the DL. He has also managed the bench nicely and used the bullpen well to keep the lead.

Best of the Rest: Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia Phillies; Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinals; Fredi Gonzalez, Florida Marlins.