The first half of the season is in the books and there were many great teams, players and moments. I will hand out awards for best and worst team, AL and NL MVP’s, CY Young’s, Rookies and and Managers of the first half. We can only hope the second half lives up to the excitement we had for the first three months.
The Pirates have been improving over the past few seasons, but have fell apart in the second half. This franchise that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992 might be finally headed towards post season baseball in the steel city. Andrew McCutchen has had an all star first half hitting .303 with 10 homers and 49 rbi’s and has stolen 19 bases. Pedro Alvarez is beginning to consistently hit at the major league level and has shown a ton of power with 24 homers and 62 rbi’s. Garrett Cole, one of their big pitching prospects has arrived and has 4 wins with 3.68 era and 20 strikeouts. Even though they traded Joel Hanrahan in the offseason their bullpen hasn’t missed a beat. Jason Grilli has 29 saves and Mark Melancon has 0.81 era. Clint Hurdle not only has this team headed towards their first winning season in 21 years, but may be heading towards a post season berth.
The team that went out a acquired a ton of talent to compete in the AL East is 11 1/2 games out at the break. Jose Reyes is hitting .318 but has only played 27 games due to injury. Melky Cabrera has had a mediocre first half hitting .278 with 29 rbi’s and hasn’t been the same playing since testing positive for PEDS. Their two all star pitchers, Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey, have combined for 9 wins and a mid 4 era. It could get worse if they think they can contend they may add a piece and dwindle their farm system even more.
AL Rookie: Jose Iglesias, SS/3B Boston Red Sox
Jose Iglesias was being heralded as the future Sox shortstop because of his awesome glove. Red Sox scouts were just never sure if he could hit at the major league level. Well in 2013 he has proven he can do both, batting .367 and making many spectacular plays almost every night.
NL Rookie: Jose Fernandez, SP Miami Marlins
In a pretty miserable season in Miami, their young star pitcher has been a bright spot. Jose Fernandez has made 18 starts, logged 104.2 innings and gone 5-5. Due to a lackluster offense he has a .500 record, but has an impressive 2.75 era. The Marlins have many holes but a young ace is not one of them.
AL Manager: Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians
They had a makeover this off season in Cleveland and it started with Terry Francona as the Tribes new manager. Francona brought in Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds and Jason Giambi to improve the offense and clubhouse, while they added a young talented pitcher in Trevor Bauer. At the break Cleveland is 51-44 and a game and a half behind the Tigers in the AL Central. The team has overachieved and could bring postseason back to Cleveland for the first time since 2007.
NL Manager: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates
Speaking of making baseball relevant again, Clint Hurdle is doing that in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are 56-37 and is a game back of St Louis in the NL Central. With Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez leading their offense, Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano dominating the rotation and Jason Grilli closing down games, the Buccos are a tough team to beat.
AL CY Young: Max Scherzer, SP Detroit Tigers
Scherzer was lights out in the first half going 13-1. He threw 129.2 innings and struck out 152 batters to the tune of a 3.19 era. The All Star game starter will hope to build on an even better second half and lead the Tigers back to the World Series.
NL CY Young: Matt Harvey, SP New York
The kid has taken over New York City and got the nod to start the All Star game in his own ballpark. Harvey went 7-2 in 19 starts posting a 2.35 era and struck out 147. Along with Zach Wheeler, these two young studs could lead the Mets back to competitive baseball.
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, 3B Detroit Tigers
The man who snapped the triple crown streak is having another brilliant season. Cabrera is batting .360 with 30 homers and a stunning 95 rbi’s at the break. Along with Prince Fielder they form one of the most potent 3-4 combos in the game today.
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B Arizona Diamondbacks
A guy that the Diamondbacks have always raved about is finally proving them right. Goldschmidt is following a solid 2012 season with a even better first half. He is hitting .307 with 21 homers and 77 rbi’s. Thanks to Goldschmidt the D-Backs are atop the NL West.