2009 MLB Mid-Season Awards

With the 2009 MLB All Star Game tomorrow and the Home Run Derby tonight, it’s time to look at the first half of the season and hand out some hardware. Beginning in the American League:

MVP: Justin Morneau

He is tied for 4th in home runs, 2nd in RBI, tied for 7th in batting average, 10th in OBP, 4th in OPS, and 3rd in Slugging. Morneau’s stats don’t sound like those of an MVP, but the AL is so even this year that no candidate stands out. His biggest competition may be teammate Joe Mauer, but I’m giving the Morneau the edge due to HRs and RBI.

Cy Young: Zach Greinke

He has by far the best ERA in the AL, is tied for 2ndin wins, is 3rd in strikeouts with 129 in 127 1/3 innings, has just 21 walks, is tied for 1st in Quality Starts, and is 2nd in WHIP. Greinke has had a phenomenal year in every facet of his game and is the clear Cy Young award winner for the first half of the year.

Rookie of the Year: Ricky Romero

He is 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and has 69 strikeout in 87 innings. He has a 1.26 WHIP and has been solid for Toronto all year. The AL doesn’t have any stand out rookies so Romero’s solid stats give him the award for the first half of the year. Continue reading “2009 MLB Mid-Season Awards”

2009 AL All Star Starters

With just a couple days left for fans to vote for the starters of the 2009 MLB All Star Game, it’s time to look at which players deserve that honor. First up, the American League:

Catcher: Joe Mauer

This one is easy. Mauer leads all American League catchers in Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, Runs, Hits, On-Base-Percentage, and Slugging Percentage. He’s made just one error on the season and has thrown out 9 of 26 batters who have tried to steal against him. The one negative for Mauer is that he missed the first month of the season with an injury. That just makes Mauer’s stats all that more remarkable as he leads all AL catchers in all those categories despite many fewer at-bats.

First Base: Justin Morneau

One of the tougher choices in the AL, First Base has many deserving players. Kevin Youkilis leads the league in OBP, 38 points higher than Russell Branyan who is in second place, but has just 12 home runs and 42 RBI on the year. Carlos Pena leads with 23 home runs, but sports just a .238 avergae. Mark Teixeira has 20 homers and 60 RBI, but just a .276 average. Only Justin Morneau is complete in all the stats with 18 home runs, 63 RBI (most amongst first basemen), and a .309 Batting Average. His .389 OBP is 5th between AL first baseman and his .960 OPS is 4th. He has made just one error this season and has the second highest Zone Rating amongst AL first basemen. Continue reading “2009 AL All Star Starters”

Oh What A Game!

If you didn’t stay up until the end of Tuesday night’s MLB All Star Game, you missed out on some great defense (well except for Dan Uggla’s three errors), some nasty pitching, and some incompetent hitting. Before I get to the crazy extra innings and the managerial headaches that made this game thrilling to watch, let’s take a look back at the opening ceremony and first nine innings at Yankee Stadium:

The evening began with 49 Hall of Famers parading from the outfield to their respective positions as the crowd roared. The All Star starters then joined those Hall of Famers at their positions one by one as they were introduced to the New York crowd. As a Red Sox fan, I value Fenway much more than Yankee Stadium, but I cannot say that Yankee Stadium is not a magnificent ballpark. The third oldest ballpark in baseball, it is the House That Ruth Built and has been the home for as many memorable moments as any place in history. From boxing to football to the New York Yankees themselves, Yankee Stadium has been a cathedral for sports. With only half a season remaining in this amazing place’s life, it is only right that it hosted the 2008 All Star Game. It is only right that the greatest collection of players ever assembled in one place at the same time, was assembled in Yankee Stadium during its final year. And it is only right that the 2008 All Star Game was the longest All Star Game in baseball history as the Stadium became home to yet another instant classic. Continue reading “Oh What A Game!”