First Half MVPs – NL West


As we approach the half way mark of the 2011 baseball season, I thought it would be interesting to find out which players our team sites believe have been most valuable to their clubs this season.

We’ll kick the series off by taking a look at the NL West’s MVPs.

Arizona Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a lot of players starting to contribute to the rise of the team’s path to the top of the NL West standings.  Justin Upton, Daniel Hudson, Ian Kennedy, Chris Young, Miguel Montero and Stephen Drew, just to name a few guys.  They all have made major contributions.  However if you are looking for a 1st half MVP for the Dbacks, look no further than the pitching “ace” of the starting rotation, Ian Kennedy.  Kennedy has been the most consistent producer since opening day.  Kennedy is 8-2 with a 2.95 ERA as of June 24th.  He is almost certain to represent the Dbacks at the All-Star Game on July 12th in Phoenix.  He is the only sure thing right now, if there is such a thing.  Without Kennedy, the Dbacks would most certainly not be leading the division.

Scott AllenVenom Strikes

Colorado Rockies Jhoulys Chacin

The first-half MVP for the Colorado Rockies would have to be Jhoulys Chacin. The hitters have been too inconsistent for any of them to warrant the honor. Chacin should have been the Rockies’ #3 starter this year, behind ace Ubaldo Jimenez and veteran Jorge de la Rosa. Jimenez has been all over the map, and De La Rosa pitched for the last time on May 24th before a ligament tear required Tommy John surgery. Chacin has had to step up and be the #1 guy, and he has risen to the challenge beautifully. He leads the team in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, and WHIP, and his ERA is best among the starters. In June, he’s posted an ERA of 1.01. He showed signs of brilliance in 2010, but I wouldn’t have guessed he’d turn out to be such an anchor for the team. Injuries and meltdowns are unfortunate, but the fringe benefit is that they allow sleepers like Chacin to shine.

Michelle HoagRoxPile

Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp

For the Dodgers it’s without a doubt Matt Kemp. As of last night he was in the top 3 in BA, HR and RBI in the NL, while adding 21 SB. Considering the lack of protection he has in the lineup behind him it’s amazing he has the numbers he has as there is no reason to pitch to him. Stats wise he’s the NL West MVP and it’s not even close, however considering the Dodgers are near the bottom of the standings it’s hard to make a case for him cause his team isn’t winning.  But they would be dead last without him.

Kenny ShulsenLasorda’s Lair

San Diego Padres Heath Bell

It is hard to pick an MVP for the Padres when we are having such a pitiful season right now, but our best player is Heath Bell with his 19 saves and 2.70 ERA. When we get to the late innings with the lead, we know that the game is in good hands with the back end of the bullpen and we know that Heath will shut the door. He is a self proclaimed drama queen, because he gets himself in some hairy situations in the ninth, but he always finds a way to get the job done. If only we could get the ball to him more often!

Ernie PadaonChicken Friars

San Francisco Giants Freddy Sanchez

I think I have to go with Freddy Sanchez. Despite being on the DL and some uncertainty about what will happen with him the rest of the season, he’s been by far the most consistent bat and defensive player in our lineup. He hasn’t sparkled with a lot of home runs or anything, but prior to getting hurt, you could always count on him to be in the lineup and he was leading the team batting .289, which again, isn’t spectacular, but on a team that has struggled at the plate this season, I’ll take it.

I guess I could have went with the easy answer and threw a pitcher out there, Vogelsong, Wilson, Romo, Lopez, but as far as the most valuable player every day out there, it has to be Freddy Sanchez for me and I can’t wait until he’s healthy and back in the lineup.

Melissa FelkinsFrisco Fastball