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Clubhouse leaders MLB awards edition (Midseason)

July 13, 2016
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Looking at the awards races at the midseason mark

With the All-Star Game behind us, we have passed the unofficial halfway mark of the MLB season (Yes, it's technically more than halfway, but we're close enough).

Now that we've got a half-season in the books, let's take a look at some of the players who are in contention for some of the game's most prestigious postseason awards. There have been some shifts on our list from the one-quarter mark and we can expect plenty more twists and turns as the season plays out but here's what we're looking at thus far.

Again this is just one man's opinion regarding who might take these trophies if the season ended today.


AL Rookie of the Year

Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers (First quarter: Nomar Mazara, Texas Rangers)

The relative lateness of Fulmer's call to the bigs resulted in his not even being on this list in the first quarter. However, he has more than made up for it with a phenomenal two-plus months. With an ERA approaching two and the longest scoreless inning streak for a rookie starter since Fernando Valenzuela, he's done more than enough to supplant the cooling Mazara.

(Also noteworthy: Mazara; Tyler Naquin, Indians)

NL Rookie of the Year

Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers (First quarter: Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals)

Seager has been one of the bright spots in a struggling Dodgers lineup. He's absolutely raking at the plate, batting over .300 with an OPS right around .900. He's also bringing strong defense at a premium position. With Diaz cooling considerably after his hot start and the strikeout woes of Colorado's Trevor Story, Seager who might get some down-ballot MVP votes is the obvious choice.

(Also noteworthy: Diaz; Story)

AL Cy Young Award

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox (First quarter: Sale)

There's nothing particularly exciting about this pick. The truth is that while Sale is having a perfectly fine year, exceptional starting pitching is much thinner on the ground here than it is over on the senior circuit. He's leading the league in wins and WHIP with a sub-3 ERA and a bunch of strikeouts. It's a good season, but one hopes that someone like Cleveland's Danny Salazar or Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright will step up and make it a race.

(Also noteworthy: Salazar; Wright; Jose Quintana, White Sox)

NL Cy Young Award

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (First quarter: Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs)

Yeah. Even with Kershaw landing on the disabled list for a stretch, that first quarter pick looks pretty silly. That isn't to say that Arrieta has been bad, but Kershaw has pitched like he's from another planet. His ERA sits at a tidy 1.79. His WHIP is 0.73. The guy has struck out over 16 batters for every one that he has walked. His 2016 has been a display of dominance that in some ways outshines even his own previous excellence. Everyone else is playing for second.

(Also noteworthy: Arrieta; Johnny Cueto, Giants; Madison Bumgarner, Giants; Stephen Strasburg, Nationals)


Jose Altuve, Houston Astros (First quarter: Altuve)

This is a bit of a homer pick he's on my fantasy team but the argument for Altuve is an easy one to make. The guy leads the league in batting average and steals while also managing an OPS of nearly 1.000 and some solid work at second base. Throw in his diminutive stature and it's hard not to root for the guy particularly when he's anchoring a resurgent Astros squad. Still, offer up someone like Mike Trout and I won't fight you on it.

(Also noteworthy: Trout; Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays; David Ortiz, Red Sox; Manny Machado, Orioles; Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox)


Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (First quarter: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies)

So I swapped in one third baseman for another here (though Bryant has been making appearances all over the field). In fact, it's that versatility along with the prodigious best-in-the-game power that bumped Bryant up to this spot. He also tops the league in homers and runs scored. And while Arenado is the league's best defensive third baseman, Bryant has been above-average at four different positions, turning him into the NL's best all-around weapon.

(Also noteworthy: Arenado; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers; Matt Carpenter, Cardinals; Anthony Rizzo, Cubs; Corey Seager, Dodgers)

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