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Legends On Deck

MLB Mid-Season Awards

The 2016 Major League Baseball season has reached the All-Star break. We’ve surpassed the half way point and have seen some surprises, both positive and negative.  Here are the Legends On Deck Mid-Season Awards.

American League

MVP: Jose Altuve, Astros

So far the American League’s best player has been Mike Trout. However, there’s a difference between the best player and the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Trout has not been the Most Valuable Player to his team, as the Angels have extremely under-performed. The MVP award should belong to the young Astro second baseman, Jose Altuve. Altuve has had a stellar season thus far– batting above .350 with 14 HRs and 49 RBIs– as he continues to prove that he is one of the games young top talents. The Astros started miserably but Altuve has kept them relevant and afloat as they are right in the mix of the Wild Card race.

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Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports

Runner Up: Manny Machado, Orioles

Manny Machado was not far behind in this race. He’s absolutely raking for the first place O’s– 19 HRs, 53 RBIs, .318 batting average. He’s stud and there’s no way around it.

Cy Young: Chris Sale, White Sox

Finally. 2016 will be the year Chris Sale gets his well-deserved MVP award (if he continues to pitch as well as he has). Sale has been a workhorse for the White Sox even during their brutal years, but now with the White Sox fighting got a Wild Card spot, Sale’s dominance is even more important to this club. He’s been an All-Star every year since 2012, making this year five straight. He posts a career 2.92 ERA. He’s currently 14-2 with 118 strikeouts. In other words, he’s lights out.

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Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Runner Up: Danny Salazar, Indians

Danny Salazar has been great for the Tribe, he’s 10-3 with a 2.36 ERA. He helped secure 3 of the wins during the Indian’s 14 game winning streak over his last 7 starts he’s 6-0. Hats off to Salazar on being named to his first All-Star game.

Rookie of the Year: Michael Fulmer, Tigers

Michael Fulmer has been absolutely stunning. 2.11 ERA through 13 games with a 9-2 record. He was drafted by the Mets in 2011, but was dealt to the Tigers as apart of the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Fulmer is another first time All-Star Selection.

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Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Runner Up: Nomar Mazara, Rangers

Mazara’s production has kept the Rangers in first place. He has been everything the Rangers hoped and more. The Rangers may have found a young talent to reenergize this club. At .282 with 11 HRs, Mazara was just short of an All-Star selection.

Comeback Player of the Year: Ian Desmond, Rangers

Ian Desmond could’ve been a million dollar man. But after turning it down and having a rough 2015, he was signed for just a mere eight million dollars. On top of that, he switched positions. Desmond moved from shortstop to center field. He hasn’t skipped a beat, he looks brand new. This fresh start in Texas was well needed– he’s batting .319 with 15 HRs and 52 RBIs.

Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports

Runner Up: CC Sabathia, Yankees

CC Sabathia has been the glue for my beloved Yankees, along with Beltran. Without Sabathia, the Yankees would’ve fallen out of any contention a long time ago. For more on CC’s comeback season, click here.

Manager of the Year: Buck Showalter, Orioles

Not many baseball fans across America had the Orioles making the playoffs, let alone being in first place in the AL East. Buck Showalter has taken this club to a new level. Setting MLB Record for the most HRs in the month of June with 56, it’s clear that the Orioles are loaded with power. Showalter hopes to bring the Fall Classic to Baltimore this year and he’s got the bats to do it.

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Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Runner Up: Jeff Banister, Rangers

Jeff Bannister’s resume speaks for itself. The Rangers have been at the top of the division with an extensive lead. Bannister hopes to do what former Ranger manager Ron Washington couldn’t– win a World Series.

National League

MVP: Kris Bryant, Cubs

Kris Bryant has showing nothing but star power since getting called up last season. A year and a half later and he’s an MVP candidate. Bryant has made his name known with 25 HR and 64 RBIs. He’s on pace for 42 HR and 113 RBI. The Cubs are going to need Bryant’s bat to stay hot if they’re looking to win the World Series this season.

Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Runner Up: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

See NL Cy Young Award below.

Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Is an explanation really necessary here? This should be unanimous, Clayton Kershaw is the NL Cy Young and if the Dodgers make a decent run in the playoffs, Kershaw may even win the NL MVP. Even though he’s currently on the 15 day DL, it doesn’t take away from his dominance. 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA? Absolutely astonishing.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Runner Up: Jose Fernandez, Marlins

Jose Fernandez is the real deal. His fierce way of competing makes him exciting to watch he’s having a phenomenal season at 10-4 with a 2.69 ERA. Miami should try to lock him up long term before the 23-year-old ace gets away.

Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, Dodgers

After Trevor Story’s incredibly hot start, the NL Rookie of the Year seemed like it was in the bag. But slowly, Story cooled down and Seager’s game rose. He’s part of the games new wave of shortstops. He’s batting .304 with 17 HRs and 41 RBIs and he has helped keep this team upright. Especially with Kershaw on the DL, the Dodgers are riding on the offense, Seager’s bat included.

Photo Courtesy of the LA Times

Photo Courtesy of the LA Times

Runner Up: Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals

Aledmys Diaz has been named to the All-Star roster which automatically shot him into a ROY conversation. He’s helped fill the hole the Cardinals’ had after Jhonny Peralta went down earlier this year. .315 as a rookie? Impressive.

Comeback Player of the Year: Wil Myers, Padres

After only playing in 60 games in 2015 with a .253 average, Wil Myers looks better than he ever has in a Padres uniform. He’s already played in 27 more games than he did last year, his average is above .285 and he’s staying in San Diego for All-Star weekend.

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Photo Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Runner Up: Melvin Upton Jr., Padres

Myers, teammate, Melvin Upton Jr. is following the same road. He also has bounced back in 2015 after battling a string on injuries.

Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Cubs

When you take a look at the NL All-Star team roster, you’re looking at a roster that’s filled with Chicago Cubs. Maddon has done things no other manager would ever think of doing. He’s played a pitcher in left field so he and who ever was on the mound could legally switch position after any hitter. Maddon has led the Cubs to first place and beyond. The Cubs are among the favorites for this year’s World Series.

Photo Courtesy of MLB.com

Photo Courtesy of MLB.com

Runner Up: Bruce Bochy, Giants

Bochy has turned the Giants into even-year dynasty. After winning the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014, the Giants are back in contention. They’re in sole possession of the NL West and have looked as good as ever. Will the Giants make it four titles in seven years?

All stats as of July 6th, 2016.

Steven Cardona

Steven Cardona

Steven is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida who lives in Naples, Florida. At USF, he is studying Business Management. He has an immense love and passion for the game of baseball. He worked with the Fort Myers Miracle in 2014 as a Public Relations intern. In 2016, he continued his work experiences within America's pastime with the New York Mets as an American Culture Instructor at the Mets Academy in the Dominican Republic.
Steven Cardona