MLB Mid-Season Awards

AL Rookie of the Year: Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani 4
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

This award is a no-brainer. Ohtani came to the States with huge expectations and so far he has delivered in every way. Ohtani has done everything early in his Major League career, he’s the AL leader for HRs with 33 (Vlad is number two with 28) and is third in RBIs (70). He’s hitting .282 halfway through the season as well. He was also the AL starter in this years All-Star Game posting a 4-1 record with a 3.49 ERA. Ohtani is pretty much the sole reason the Angels are in the playoff picture at the break, Mike Trout has missed close to two months of the season at this point and the Angels pitching outside of Ohtani is suspect to say the least. There are a thousand reasons why he deserves AL ROTY at the mid-season and is basically a lock for the award at seasons end. This kid is special and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

NL Rookie of the Year: Trevor Rogers

Michael Dwyer/AP

Coming into the season Rogers wasn’t even in the conversation as a front runner for this award, however at the halfway point he is by far the best rookie in the NL. Rogers has dominated hitters all throughout 2021 in the first half posting a 2.31 ERA and 122 Strikeouts this season. He has a nice Arsenal of pitches he throws and whenever he is on the mound he’s given the Marlins a great opportunity to win the game. He also made his first All-Star team this season which is an impressive feat. As long as he can stay healthy I could see him making the Marlins a contender in the next few years with the young nucleus of players they have there at the moment. Keep doing your thing young’n!

AL Cy Young Award: Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson
Michael Ainsworth

This might not be the popular pick but if we are going by numbers and performance Kyle Gibson has proven himself time and time again this season that he is legit. Playing for the Texas Rangers has been a struggle for most players this season but Gibson has flourished so far this season. He’s 6-1 this season with a 2.29 ERA with 88 Strikeouts and a 1.07 WHIP. Gibson is a veteran but is having a career year and has shut down opponents all season long. He’s not the hardest thrower but has a nasty sinker and slider that have kept batters at bay this season. It’s unfortunate his team as a whole just doesn’t have the talent at the moment to be true contenders but one thing is certain, Kyle Gibson is an animal.

NL Cy Young Award: Jake DeGrom

Jake DeGrom
Jim McIsaac

This is another no-brainer pick. DeGrom has been a MONSTER this season! He’s been practically unhittable so far this season as is evidenced by his 1.08 ERA and minuscule 0.54 WHIP, he has struck out an incredible 146 batters at the halfway point as well. The Mets have debatably the best pitching rotation in baseball and a large part of that is due to DeGrom, if only his offense could consistently produce runs he would easily be undefeated this season. He has a wicked slider and throws a 100 MPH fastball which has locked hitters up all season. He’s on track to have possibly one of the best seasons of all-time if he can keep this up. He’s a blast to watch and gives the Mets a huge chance to win the NL East this season. 

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Chris O’Meara/AP

Ok let’s be real here, obviously Ohtani is and should be the AL MVP at the mid-season but since I already gave him the ROTY let’s showcase another player having a fantastic season. Guerrero Jr has been a beast so far this season for the Blue Jays and is definitely following in his father’s footsteps so far in his Young career. He leads the AL in RBIs (73) and in batting average (.332) and is second in homeruns (28). He has been a nightmare for opposing pitchers all season and was even the All-Star MVP this season crushing a 468 ft bomb in that game. He’s a huge reason why the Blue Jays are above .500 this season and will be fighting for a playoff spot this season. He’s a ton of fun to watch and should be one of the best players in baseball for years to come.

NL MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr

Fernando Tatis Jr.
om Pennington/Getty Images

Here’s another pick that probably shouldn’t go to this player (cough…DeGrom….cough) but for article sake I’m going with Tatis Jr here and for good reason. Much like Vlad, Tatis Jr is a next generation player following in his fathers footsteps. He’s been mashing all season for the Padres leading the NL in home runs (28) and is fourth in RBIs (60) and top ten in batting average .286. He’s an important piece to an extremely strong Padres team who I had as World Series Champions before the season started. When Tatis is locked in he’s impossible to get out or even keep in the ballpark. He was last years Silver Slugger and at this rate he’s on his way to repeating that. I love watching this kid play and I see him being a hall of famer at the end of his career when all is said and done. 

AL Biggest Surprise Team: Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
John Tlumacki Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Being a die-hard Boston fan it gives me great joy writing this. Who seriously thought the Red Sox would be the best team in the AL at the break, let alone above .500?? I know I didn’t to be honest with you. This team has been an offensive powerhouse this season behind the core of Raphael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and Victor Martinez. Behind these three players the Red Sox are the highest scoring team in the AL this season and are a nightmare to face. Young faces like Bobby Dalbec, Michael Chavis and Alex Verdugo have all been solid this season as well only bolstering this lineup as a legit force. The one downfall or weakness the Red Sox have is their pitching. Outside of Nathan Eovaldi, who was an All-Star, this team has had issues keeping opponents in check. Hopefully Chris Sale returning at some point will be a huge help but E-Rod, Martin Perez and Garrett Richards are all getting smacked around this season. The bullpen struggles as well outside of Matt Barnes and a few others. I hate to say it but it’s going to be extremely hard for Boston to keep this success up in a tough AL East if their pitching doesn’t improve soon. However at this point Boston is killing it, keep it up Sox Nation!

NL Biggest Surprise Team: San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants
Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group

Much like the Red Sox, very few people had the Giants atop the National League halfway through the season, yet here we are. The Giants own the best record in baseball at 57-32 and hold a two game league over defending World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers. In a heavily talented NL West the Giants have held their own behind excellent starting pitching and a surprising offensive lineup. Kevin Gausman would easily be the NL Cy Young Award winner if it wasn’t for Jake DeGrom as he’s having a career year. Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani have been excellent all season as well anchored by the crafty veteran Johnny Cueto. Their bullpen is legit as well powered by Jake McGee, Tyler Rogers and Zach Littell, these guys have been shutting down hitters all year holding teams to one of the lowest runs per game in the league. The Giants offense is what most people thought would be their biggest issue this season but so far they have over-performed by a mile. Led by Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and All-Star Brandon Crawford this Giants offense has been a thorn in opposing pitchers side all season. With a ton of role players like Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores and Mike Yastrzemski doing their thing the Giants could very well find themselves making a deep playoff run this season. 

World Series Prediction: Chicago White Sox v San Diego Padres 

World Series Trophy

There’s a ton of great teams this season but overall I see the White Sox and Padres as the two top teams at seasons end. Both teams have solid pitching and potent offensive lineups. The White Sox are well in charge of their division at this point and barring an epic collapse they should breeze into the playoffs behind players like Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu. I love the est this team plays as a unit and will be a challenging team to beat in a playoff series.      The Padres, much like the White Sox, are an extremely well-rounded team. They have great pitching led by Yu Darvish, Ryan Weathers and Joe Musgrove. Their bullpen is extremely solid as well with Mark Melancon, Mike Clevinger, Denilson Lamet and Daniel Camarena. Then there’s the offense. The Padres are loaded this year with players like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers just to name a few. This lineup is scary from top to bottom and I just think they will be too much for opponents to overcome in a playoff series. 

World Series Champion: San Diego Padres

I think this World Series could be one for the ages. With all these household names and excellent pitching we could see some epic games in this matchup. In the long run though I think the Padres will be too much for the White Sox to overcome and the Padres will be World Series Champions winning this series in six games. I have Manny Machado winning the World Series MVP in this series as well.

   Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen! This first half of the season has been fantastic as we have had some huge surprises and lots of top notch performances from the worlds best players. I for one have thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the season and can’t wait to see how this all pans out in the second half. Until next time folks this is Frittsy signing off! 

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