Even though it has only been thirty games, the MLB has reached the halfway mark of the season, meaning that the awards discussion will begin to be a major part of the season. In this article, the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards will be covered. Both the NL and AL will be talked about.
AL Rookie of the Year: Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners
Lewis is a centerfielder for the Mariners, and he is off to a hot start. He is hitting .350/.447/.547. His BABIP or, Batting Average on Balls in Play, is a certainly unsustainable .442, seeing as the league average is .300, but if he is able to continue this start for the next thirty games, he will be a solid rookie of the year pick. He leads the AL in hits, has hit seven home runs, and has driven in twenty runs. He is getting ridiculously lucky in terms of his BABIP, so don’t expect him to be a long-term star, but hitters can get lucky for sixty games.
NL Rookie of the Year: Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers
May is a starting pitcher for the Dodgers, and he’s arguably been their best starter this season. He’s 1-1, but has a very impressive 2.79 ERA. He’s a fireballer, with a 98 MPH sinker, and most impressively a 90 MPH changeup and a 87 MPH curveball. He relies heavily on his sinker, throwing it over half of the time. He also uses his cutter over a third of the time. He’s got a changeup, curveball, and four-seamer, but he doesn’t use any of those pitches more than ten percent of the time. He pitched in a couple of games last season, but has added a couple of ticks on the radar gun to every pitch. He is making his case for rookie of the year, and unlike Kyle Lewis, his production is sustainable.
AL Cy Young: Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
Beiber’s pitching is a major reason for why the Indians have been able to win games, despite a team batting average of just over .200. He announced himself to the world when he won the All-Star Game MVP last season, and after the shocking trade of Corey Kluber, he became the opening day starter. He has been fantastic, he’s got a 6-0 record, a 1.35 ERA, and has struck out a league leading 14.5 K/9. He is the major favorite for the Cy Young award and could even be talked about as an MVP favorite, which would make him the first pitcher since Clayton Kershaw to win both, which he did in 2014.
NL Cy Young: Trevor Bauer, Cincinnati Reds
Bauer has been absolutely stunning this season. He is 3-1, has a 1.65 ERA, and a league best .735 WHIP. He had a tough outing last time out, giving up four runs in six and a third innings of work, but after his first four starts he had an absolutely ridiculous 0.68 ERA. If he can return to that kind of form, and keep it up, he will almost certainly be the NL Cy Young. Due to the Reds being just 11-19 at this point, there are some rumors, via SportingNews.com, that Bauer could be moved to a World Series contender. He is a free agent after 2020, and if he finds himself in the right ballpark, he could get even better.
AL MVP: José Abreu, Chicago White Sox
While the superstar names of Mike Trout and Aaron Judge have been great as always this season, Abreu has had better statistics this season. He’s hitting an impressive .320/.366/.672, with twelve homers, and has driven in thirty runs. He had six home runs in his most recent series against the Cubs, while driving in nine runs in the process. With Aaron Judge going on the ten day-IL, and Mike Trout hitting .255, his worst average since his debut forty game season in 2011. He is hitting well enough that with a solid thirty games, and without a player having a superstar season in the AL, José Abreu will find himself as the AL MVP.
NL MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres
Fernando Tatis Jr. is off to an absolutely ridiculous start. He is hitting a solid .300/.381/.654. He leads all major leaguers in home runs with thirteen, RBI with thirty, runs with thirty-one, and with eighty-five total bases. He’s also been fantastic in the field, with just one error in sixty-one chances, and he has stolen six bases without being caught this season. He has an overall WAR of 2.1, putting him in the top three of all players. He’s homering in 8.8% of his at bats, walking in 10.2% of his at bats, and is striking out 26.5% of the time. These are all better by at least two percent than last season. Also, he’s twenty-one years old.
There’s a lot that could change in the final thirty games of the season, but if players continue to produce at the same rate, these players have good shots to win the big awards in the short season.