PhillyFan83's Midseason Awards
NL Manager of the Year
1. Fredi Gonzalez, Florida- Nobody expected Florida to contend for the East this year. If I told you that on July 1, the Marlins would be sitting .5 games out of the lead in the East, you'd call me crazy. But after trading away their best player-Miguel Cabrera and best pitcher-Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins are a team on a mission. There's no quit in them. Gonzalez has them playing like a team. He's developed the young guys nicely-Scott Olsen, Andrew Miller, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Jacobs, and so on.
Runner up: Tony LaRussa, St. Louis- Took a Cardinals team with a bunch of "nobodys" outside of their star first basemen and have turned them into a contending NL team. Despite injuries to Carpenter, Wainwright, Pujols, and the inflamation of their bullpen, the Cards have held their own in the Central. LaRussa gets 100% out of his players. Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumaker, Aaron Miles are former bench guys would have the chance to play, and aren't letting go of it. This could be one of LaRussa's best season's considering the talent he has to work with.
AL Manager of the Year
1. Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay- By now, it's no secret about the Rays. Ask any of the Rays players for a reason for their success. Their answers will be the same: their manager Joe Maddon. This team has something the teams in the past did not have: confidence. Maddon, like Gonzalez has worked with these young guys nicely and has taught them discipline and the Rays have confidence they can win the East.
Runner up: Bob Green, Oakland- Look at the A's lineup. Ther 2nd highest hitter is Bobby Crosby. His average, a measly 257. So how is this team 8 games over .500 are contending for the AL West. Pitching. Pitching. Pitching. The ML's lowest ERA for SP combined with a great bullpen. A real surprise team. Green has handeled the pitching staff well. Nobody expected much from the A's this year. And again. They surprise us all.
NL Rookie of the Year
1. Geovany Soto, Chicago- He leads all catchers in OBP. He's been arguably the best catcher thus far, props to Brian McCann. His 13 HR's are 2nd among rookies as well as his 45 RBIs. But what really gets him the extra nod is his ability to control the pitching staff for the Cubs-which has been one of the best in the league.
Runner Up: Kosuke Fukudome, Chicago- Another Cub here. He leads all rookies in OBP, and is 7th in the NL. Spotted nicely by a 296 AVG and solid numbers across the board, to combine with some clutch hittings puts Fukudome in serious contention for ROY with Soto. While not proven himself yet, Jay Bruce can be the guy with the silverware by September.
AL Rookie of the Year
1. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay- A big reason why the Rays are doing so well. This young bat has produced and gets a slight nod here over Joba and Ellsbury. He leads all rookies in HRs and RBIs with 15 and 47, despite missing the early part of the year while being in AAA still. He's still learning but he has done the job power wise to be in the lead.
2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston- Only gets above Joba because of Joba's pitch counts each game and his inability to pitch deep. Ellsbury meanwhie leads the AL in SB with 35. His defense has been excellent and while his AVG (277) isn't great for the leadoff man, he's done the job for the Red Sox at the top of the lineup by getting on and making noise on the basepaths.
So here's a recap of the 1st part of 2 for the awards
NL Manager of the year
Fredi Gonzalez, Florida Marlins
AL Manager of the year
Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
NL Rookie of the year
Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs
AL Rookie of the year
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Coming soon.. AL & NL CY Young along with AL & NL MVP