Midseason awards: National League

As we near baseball’s All-Star break, it’s time to take a look at the players who have really stood out thus far in the season. Yesterday I took a look at some outstanding players in the American League. Today I’ll do the same for the National League.

NL MVP

We find a mix of old and new names in the National League MVP conversation. Pirates center-fielder Andrew McCutchen is having a great follow-up to his 2013 MVP campaign, as his .319 average ranks fifth. This, along with his 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases, is proof of his all-around greatness.

Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy has always been a solid hitter, but he has pulled himself into MVP consideration for the first time this year with a .323 average that ranks third in the league, and an .897 OPS that is sixth. His Milwaukee team has also surprised baseball by maintaining first place in the competitive NL Central (though a 4-game sweep at the hands of a weak Phillies team can’t be encouraging).

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Midseason awards: American League

As we near baseball’s All-Star break, it’s time to take a look at the players who have really stood out in the half-season gone by. There has been a plethora of outstanding individual performances so far, so it is difficult to determine who specific award winners would be if the season were to end today. That said, it’s an entertaining exercise to predict which players will take home the trophies, specifically the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards. We’ll see how they stand up at the end of the year.

Don’t view this list as the be-all and end-all, but more as a way to better understand what each player has done up to this point. Today I’m going to take a look at some American League standouts. I’ll do the same for the National League tomorrow.

AL Most Valuable Player

In the American League, a handful of players have really pulled ahead in the race for MVP. Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout, possibly the best all-around player in baseball, is having another outstanding campaign. His batting average (.303) and stolen bases (10 SB, 0 CS) are slightly down from previous years, but his 20 home runs and 64 RBIs are on pace to set career highs. He has scored 60 runs, has a .986 OPS, and leads the league in the sabermetrician’s favorite stat, Wins Above Replacement (5.1) .

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