LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The MLB does not have any official awards given out at the All-Star break, but as the season just passed the halfway point, let’s take a look at the players who dominated the first half of the 162 game campaign.
National League Most Valuable Player: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona DiamondbacksREAD MORE: Supply Chain Issues: How Are Global Shortages Affecting Local Customers?
Goldschmidt is absolutely tearing the cover off of the baseball this season. He is hitting .345 with 20 home runs, 69 RBIs, 59 runs and 16 stolen bases. He ranks first in the National League in average, RBIs and runs scored, walks, intentional walks and plate appearences. Goldschmidt has a .998 fielding percentage as well and has only committed two errors thus far on the season. He has also played in 84 of the Diamondbacks’ 85 games so far on the year.
The Diamondbacks find themselves with a record of 42-43, and only 6 games back of the division-leading Dodgers in the NL West. Goldschmidt is the heart and soul of the Diamondbacks lineup, and in his fifth season in the major leagues, he is on pace to shatter his previous career highs in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. He is a three-time All-Star, including being selected for this year’s game.
Runner Up: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Harper is hitting .342 with 25 home runs, 60 RBIs, 58 runs, four stolen bases and a .703 slugging percentage. It is basically a coin-flip between Goldschmidt and Harper right now.
National League Cy Young Award: Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
Cole sports a record of 13-2 this season and was selected to his first All-Star team in 2015. Cole’s 13 wins are already a career-high, as he is on pace for over 20 wins on the year. Cole has an ERA of 2.30 which is good for sixth in the National League. He has tallied 116 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings pitched, and has only walked 28 batters.
The Pirates have the second-best record in the National League, although they sit in second place in their division behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates have won 13 of Cole’s 18 starts this season, and the third-year player out of UCLA has been absolutely dominant as opponents are hitting just .239 against him.
Runner Up: Zach Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
If Greinke can find a way to keep pitching the way he has been and continue to tally up wins, he will be the NL Cy Young Award winner at the conclusion of the season. Greinke is 8-2 this year in 18 starts with a major league leading 1.39 ERA. In 123 1/3 innings pitched, Greinke has 106 strikeouts and just 20 walks, while allowing a meager 19 earned runs on the entire season.
He is only the fifth pitcher in the common-era to enter the All-Star break with an ERA below 1.40
National League Rookie of the Year, Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
Bryant is hitting .272 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs as we approach the All-Star break. Bryant spent the first week of the season in Triple-A but has taken the league by storm since being called up. The only reason he was in the minors at the start of the year is so the Cubs are able to keep him under contract for another season.
Bryant was selected to the 2015 All-Star team in his first year and is a reserve behind Todd Frazier and Nolan Arenado. Bryant also has eight stolen bases and 76 hits.
Runner Up: Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers
Pederson has smacked 20 home runs this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers while totaling 39 RBIs, 66 hits and 46 runs. If it weren’t for his .228 average, Pederson would be the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award.READ MORE: Woman Escapes From Police Car In Oxnard, Later Captured
American League Most Valuable Player: Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
Fielder is having a comeback season after playing in just 42 games last season, hitting .247 with three home runs and 16 RBIs. Fielder has finally his swing back in his second year with the Rangers, as the six-time All-Star is hitting .345 this season, which is good for second in the American League and third in the entire major leagues.
Fielder has hit 13 home runs this year with 51 RBIs and an AL-leading 112 hits. His slugging percentage is .523 and he has played in 83 games this season as the Rangers find themselves just 4.5 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros.
Runner Up: Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
Donaldson had as hot of a start to the year as one could possibly have and made his second All-Star team this season after being selected last year with the Oakland A’s. Donaldson leads the AL in games played (87), at-bats (348), runs (65) and total bases (189).
He has 21 home runs and 60 RBIs, as he is on pace to break both his career high in home runs (29) and RBIs (98), both set last year with Oakland. Donaldson is hitting .299 and has been a staple at third base as the Blue Jays find themselves just four games back of the Yankees in the AL East.
American League Cy Young Award: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
Keuchel has been nothing short of spectacular this season for the first-place Astros, as he leads the American League in wins with 11. Keuchel also has an ERA of 2.14, which also leads all AL starters. In 130 1/3 innings pitched, he has 110 strikeouts and opposing batters are hitting just .206 against the left-hander.
Keuchel leads all of baseball with his 130 1/3 innings pitched, and leads the AL in Hits per 9 innings (6.7) and shutouts (2). He has three complete games on the season and was selected to his first All-Star team this season
Runner Up: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Hernandez also has 11 wins, tied with Keuchel for the AL lead. His ERA is 2.84 and he has 112 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings pitched. His five losses compared to Keuchel’s three are the difference in the race right now.
American League Rookie of the Year: Devin Travis, Toronto Blue Jays
Travis is just one part of that potent Blue Jays offense that leads the MLB in runs scored, but the rookie is no joke. In just 49 games so far, Travis is hitting .296 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs. His slugging percentage is .492, and since he has only played in 49 games, he does not qualify to be among the league leaders, but if he did, that would rank him second among AL second basemen.
A left-shoulder injury landed him on the disabled list earlier this season, but he does lead all AL second basemen in wins above replacement at 1.9. Travis will be an important part of the Blue Jays’ offense as they look to break their 21 season postseason drought. They last made the playoffs when they won the 1993 World Series.
Runner Up: Carson Smith, Seattle Mariners
Smith replaced Fernando Rodney as the Mariners closer about two months into the season and has not looked back. Smith boasts an ERA of 1.78 and has six saves in seven opportunities. In just 35 1/3 innings pitched, Smith has registered 45 strikeouts and only walked six batters.MORE NEWS: Medina Spirit, Kentucky Derby Winner That Failed Drug Test After Race, Dies During Workout At Santa Anita Park
Smith has been the rock in an otherwise-shaky Seattle bullpen, as the Mariners currently sit 7.5 games behind the Astros for the AL West division lead.