If The Season Ended Today…First Month Awards
We’re almost a month into the MLB season, and all results should be taken with a grain of salt considering the sample size. April statistics often end up as outliers, especially during a year where games are being canceled due to snow, or being played in sub-freezing temperatures. The introduction of inter-league play during the first month of the season is another factor that creates some uncertainty, yet despite all these disclaimers, here are how things would play out if the season ended this week:
A.L. MVP: Chris Davis (1B, Baltimore Orioles)
Not exactly a big name to lead the balloting, but Davis leads the American League with 8 homers, and became the fourth player in history to being the season with four homers in his first four games. Yes, he’s a slugger, who leads the A.L. in slugging percentage, but he’s also fifth in league with a .354 average, and second in the majors with 24 RBI. Triple Crown winner in 2013? Doubtful.
N.L. MVP: Justin Upton (OF, Atlanta Braves)
The Braves started the season 13-2 and were undefeated in games in which they scored. So it goes without saying that they were undefeated in games in which Justin Upton homered. Their new acquisition has 11 home runs and 3 stolen bases in 22 games, putting him on pace for 85 homers and 26 steals this season. Obviously he won’t go on to shatter the single season home run record (probably) but for now, he’s the best offensive player on the best team in the National League.
A.L. CY Young: Yu Darvish (SP, Texas Rangers)
He was an out away from a perfect game in the first week of the season, and hasn’t really had a poor start for the first place Rangers thus far. Yes Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore is a perfect 4-0 and has a lower ERA, but Darvish has been more dominant, allowing no home runs while posting a 0.80 WHIP through five starts. Oh, and he also leads the majors with 49 strikeouts.
N.L. CY Young: Matt Harvey (SP, New York Mets)
Duh. Even though Harvey appeared to be human last Wednesday against the Dodgers, his teammates picked him up and he did not suffer his first loss of 2013. Again, pitchers who don’t allow base runners are likely to continue to give their team a good chance to win, so Harvey’s 0.69 WHIP should translate to at least 20 wins over the course of the season, and this is one result we can expect to hold.
A.L. Rookie of the Year: Nick Tepesch (SP, Texas Rangers)
Wow, talk about your thin categories. With Jackie Bradley Jr. completely flopping at the major league level with the Red Sox, and fellow rookie outfielder Aaron Hicks, joining him by hitting under .100 for the Twins, this race is wide open. Tepesch has done a nice job as the Rangers fifth starter, albeit against poor competition, but his 2-1 record, 2.53 ERA, and 14:3 K:BB ratio is good enough to earn him this honor through the first month of the season.
N.L. Rookie of the Year: Shelby Miller (SP, St.Louis Cardinals)
There are a number of enticing rookies in the National League this season. Didi Gregorious is coming on strong for the D’backs, but has only played 7 games this season, Matt Adams and Evan Gattis (a.k.a. El Oso Blanco) were destroying baseballs for the Cardinals and Braves respectively, before they each suffered setbacks in the past week. Therefore the award belongs to a young arm once again, as Miller is 3-1 with a 1.44 ERA for the first place Cardinals. No way to predict how this race will shake out, and it seems likely that once the bats catch up to the arms in warmer weather will be talking about Gregorious as the top rookie.
A.L. Pennant Winners: Your Boston Red Sox (16-7)
Although they’re tied for the A.L’s best record with Texas, the Red Sox complete turnaround is a better story. Clay Buccholz and Jon Lester have completely revived their sputtering careers under new manager John Farrell, while Mike Napoli has started to make Fenway Park look like a little league stadium in the past couple weeks. David Ortiz is back and hitting around .500, Napoli leads the majors with 27 RBI, and with Ellsbury, Victorino, and Pedroia getting on base in front of them, it appears as though the high-powered Sox offense has returned.
N.L. Pennant Winners: Your Atlanta Braves (15-7)
The Braves have cooled off a bit since their 13-2 start, but they still are one of the more complete teams in baseball. Their top four starters haven’t been locked in at the same time, but Mike Minor, Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, and Paul Maholm have been dynamite during stretches this season, and if they’re able to pitch well in the postseason, the Braves also have the best closer in the game right now in Craig Kimbrel, to close out big games.
Only five months left for these players and teams to change things, but if history is any indication, things will be completely different by the time the real awards are handed out this fall.
Posted on April 27, 2013, in 2013, MLB and tagged Aaron Hicks, Chris Davis, Clay Buccholz, Craig Kimbrel, David Ortiz, Didi Gregorious, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Gattis, Jackie Bradley Jr., jacoby ellsbury, John Farrell, jon lester, justin upton, Kris Medlen, Matt Adams, Matt Harvey, Mike Minor, Mike Napoli, Nick Tepesch, Paul Maholm, Shane Victorino, Shelby Miller, Tim Hudson, Yu Darvish. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.