American League Most Valuable Player
This was a tough decision because there are many players with lots of homeruns but low averages. Then, there are players that have high averages but almost no homeruns. Then there are players that have fantastic stats all around but are on teams that are doing poorly. Well, I went through about ten players and then I decided on Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. When you look at his stats, his power numbers don't leap out at you like his average does (which is at a crazy .366), but his power is pretty much on par with all of his other seasons. He has 10 homeruns (good for 18th in the American League) and that's about on par for him since that's about a 35-homerun pace. He also has 37 runs batted in which puts him in ninth in the American League and that is about a 130-RBI pace. Also, the fact that the Tigers are in first place in their divison just make his stats look sweeter.
Runner Up: Jason Bay, Boston Red Sox
National League Most Valuable Player
Unlike the AL MVP, this decision was much, much easier. I picked Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies. Put these stats inside your head; Ibanez has 44 runs batted in (first in the National League), 17 homeruns (second in the NL), and a .339 batting average (embrace yourself, only ninth in the league! The NL must be fixed). I said I wasn't going to put what I think what the players are going to do down the road into any value but I just had to do it with Ibanez. The following are his stats if he were to go on the same pace he is going on now throughout the whole season:
.339 AVG, 61 HR, 158 RBI, 137 R, 40 2B, 14 SB
Pretty amazing, eh? The Phillies were previously first place in their division although the Mets took over that title last night. Don't blame it on Ibanez though, even if he has seen his average drop by almost .020 in the past ten games. You're not going to win many games when your pitching gives up six runs.
Runner Up: Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres
American League Cy Young
And the winner is, control phenom Fausto Carmona! You know I'm joking. As easy as the choice may sound for this award, I was stuck between three pitchers. I crossed out Justin Verlander because his five wins and 3.55 ERA aren't nearly as sick as his 85 strikeouts. Then I had to stop thinking about Roy Halladay, he was lucky he was third in the AL in strikeouts since he's so far behind the top two. That left me with Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals. If he's not on the Royals, they are easily last in their division and one of the worst teams in the league. Since he is on the Royals though, they are in third place in their division and are not too far behind the first place Tigers. Greinke has won over 25% of the Royals' games which is pheonomanal and I think he can keep it up since who else is going to win on the Royals? He also has a .84 ERA with a whopping 81 strikeouts. I can see him slowing down heavily but this isn't a blog to discuss that.
Runner Up: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (over Halladay because of K's and team success)
National League Cy Young
Easy, easy, easy. Johan Santana of the New York Mets is my pick for this award thus far. All the hype is about Greinke but in my opinion, all of the hype should be on Santana. He should have at least nine wins if his bullpen could handle on to his leads. His ERA is slightly worse than Greinke's (still at a stellar 1.77) but the dude has 86 strikeouts in 66 innings which trails Justin Verlander by a little bit for first in the league. To put that into perspective, Greinke has 81 strikeouts in 75 innings. Yowzers! We know who the true ace this year is - Santana.
Runner Up: Chad Billingsly, Los Angeles Dodgers
A little bit faster now!
American League Rookie of the Year
Not a great crop of rookies thus far. If David Price and Matt Weiters started the season in the majors, they would have been an easy choice for this award. Instead, there are really only two choices and I've decided to go with Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers. There is not really much I can say about him. He's hitting .284 with three home runs and nine runs batted in through about 150 at-bats. He also has six steals. Again, not a great rookie crop.
Runner Up: Andrew Bailey, Oakland Athletics
National League Rookie of the Year
The National League rookies are worse. I guess I'll have to pick Luke Gregerson of the San Diego Padres. You are probably asking "Why would I pick a reliever?" First, there wasn't anyone better and second, the kid isn't half bad. He's a lock for 100 innings and 100 strikeouts, averaging over one strikeout per inning. His ERA is 3.54, very good for a rookie reliever. He has filled in now-closer Heath Bell's setup role extremely well and has played a key part in the Padres' surprisingly good season this year.
Runner Up: Colby Rasmus, St. Louis Cardinals
American League Hank Aaron Award
If you have not heard of the award, it is awarded to the player with the best offensive stats regardless of his value to his team and other variables like that. My choice is a player who also was in consideration for my MVP award - Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. For most of his career, Morneau was considered a player that just drove runs in while he hit for a less-than-spectacular average and just average power. Now you can throw all of that out the door. Morneau is hitting .346 this year with a .425 on-base percentage. He also has 14 homeruns so far. The only way this could get better if the Twins were piling up the wins. They aren't so Morneau is the winner of this award thus far, not the prized MVP.
Runner Up: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
National League Hank Aaron Award
I didn't want to pick the same player twice but I just had too. Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies is my choice for this award. Like I said earlier, Ibanez is just hitting amazing this year. Here is yet another example of the monster numbers after a player switches from the American League to the National League.
Runner Up: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Now I'm just going to do one award per both leagues.
Delivery Man Award
This award is given to the relief pitcher who amasses the best performance out of the bullpen. This was tough but I decided on Trevor Hoffman of the Milwaukee Brewers. Before the season started, I knew he was going to be great while everyone else had their doubts. I mean, he is the All-Time saves leader for crying out loud! He has 12 saves with a (get ready) 0.00 ERA (and 0 non-earned runs as well). You can't get any better than that. His zero walks aren't half-bad either.
Runner Up: Jonathan Broxton
Comeback Player of the Year Award
I have to pick Victor Martinez of the Cleveland Indians. In 2006 Martinez hit 25 homeruns which led the league for catchers. In '07 he hit just tw homeruns with a .278 average and was injured for about half of the year. Ugly stats to say the least. This year he has turned it around and is hitting .356 with seven homeruns and 36 runs batted in which is amazing for a catcher. It's just a shame all of his talent is going to waste since he is on such a bad team.
Runner Up: Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
Roberto Clemente Award
If you don't know this award, it is given to the player who is the most helfpful and giving player off the field. Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals is that kind of guy. He may be a great player on the field but off the field he has done numerous things; Improve the lifes of people with Down Syndrome, provide support to under-privelaged kids in the Dominican Republic and donates to many charities like the Boys and Girls Club and the Ronald McDonald House. Just think about that, an athlete so down to earth that you can't even tell he is making millions. That is something that is really special.
Runner Up: Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
MLB Clutch Performer Award
Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals is going to join Ibanez as a two-time award winner. No matter what situation Greinke is in, clutch or not, he delivers no matter what. For more, read the Cy Young award, everything is said there.
Runner Up: Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox
Manager of the Year Award
Maybe I am being a homer but I have to pick Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers. There was talk of firing him during the off-season and Tigers management refused to extend his one-year deal. Leyland ignored all of this and is leading his injury-riddled team to first in the division anyway. By injury-riddled, I do mean injury-riddled. Marcus Thames, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Jeremy Bonderman, Joel Zumaya and Matt Treanor have all missed signifigent time with injuries this year but Leyland has worked around it. It's time to give this old, spike wearing, cigarette smoker some credit.
Runner Up: Joe Girardi
Do you have any differences?