National League Mid Season Award Winners

Matt Harvey

(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

The All-Star break gives us the perfect opportunity to evaluate what we have seen over the first half of what has been yet another exciting season. So, let’s get right into who I have as my Mid Season Award Winners for the National League.

Cy Young: Matt Harvey, New York Mets.

This might be the toughest award to call, which is why I am starting with it. My pick of Harvey also might stir up some controversy, discussion, and disagreement so let’s get right to it. Just because Harvey started the All-Star game, it does not mean that it should have been a foregone conclusion to name him Cy Young.

In just about any other year, Clayton Kershaw runs away with the award. The Dodger left hander has struck out 139 batters in 145.1 innings while sporting a 1.98 ERA to go with a .91 WHIP. The only possible knock one could have on Kershaw, is that he only has a record of 8-6.

However not to take anything away from Kershaw, Harvey has simply been ridiculous. Obviously based on the statistics, Kershaw has certainly dominated the opposition and not given them a chance to do much of anything offensively, but Harvey has taken it another level.

Each time he takes the mound for the Mets, the right hander has a legitimate chance at a no hitter or perfect game. And at least four times this season, it has been a real possibility for Harvey. Statistically, his 2.35 ERA is not that far off from Kershaw’s and is nothing to be ashamed of. In almost any other year, Harvey would be leading the league. His WHIP of .92 is equally as dominating as his counterpart and the same goes for Harvey’s 147 strikeouts in 130 which actually give him a slight edge. The Mets’ ace has a 7-2 record as he has suffered from lack of run support.

It is close here to say the least, and some might blame an east coast bias, but I have to go Harvey here.

Manager of the Year: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates.

For me this is an easy one. Hurdle has Pittsburgh one game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central and four games up in the wild card.

Last season the Pirates flirted with success, but by this time last year they had started a downhill run. However, this season, that does not seem to be the case. Right now the Pirates are for real.

And Hurdle is doing this really on the shoulders of one star player, Andrew McCutchen. It has been a total team effort as the Pirates have five All-Stars including four first timers. In his first time as a closer, Jason Grilli has found success along with Mark Melancon who has been even more dominating handling the 8th inning.

Pedro Alvarez has been a consistent power threat, Russell Martin was a welcome addition in the offseason, and Starling Marte has met if not exceeded expectations so far this season under Hurdle. While they are all good players, Hurdle is not managing a team of proven All-Star caliber players. Heading into the season, Pittsburgh was expected to flirt with .500 and send McCutchen to the All-Star game as their lone representative. Things have gone just a little different, and for that Hurdle deserves some credit.

MVP:  Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals.

I was close to going with McCutchen here. He is a star player on a good team that is exceeding expectations. The Pittsburgh outfielder also is a well rounded player contributing in all facets of the game including with his speed and defense.

But Molina really takes it to the next level, with everything except his speed.

Molina plays the most physically demanding position, and is beyond an asset to the Cardinals behind the plate. Not only does he exceed at calling a game, handling pitchers, and blocking the plate, but he is impossible to run against. So far this season the Cardinals’ backstop has thrown out 45% of potential baserunners.

It does not stop there for Molina as he is hitting .341 this season driving in 49 runs while scoring 40 runs to go with seven home runs. That production stands out from any position, especially catcher.

In every aspect of the game Molina, to me, is the most valuable player. There may not be a player in the National League that is having a better first half defensively, and not many are doing the same offensively. Combine the two, and that is why I have to give this award to Molina.

Rookie of the Year:  Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins.

For me this award comes down to two starting pitchers, Fernandez and Shelby Miller.

Miller might get a little publicity since he pitches for a winning team team and has nine wins while Fernandez is 5-5 and is stuck down in Miami.

But Fernandez has been in the big leagues for the whole season and has struck out 103 batters in 104.2 innings. His 2.75 ERA and 1.08 WHIP makes him look even more attractive to me as I am searching for my Rookie of the Year. The fact that Fernandez is only 20 years old had never pitched about high A-ball prior to this year makes it that much more impressive for me. And hitters are hitting .196 against him if you needed any more backing evidence.

So, I have given you my award winners, now it is time for feedback. Was I right on, or totally wrong?