Memorial day is one of the few checkpoints in the season where the contenders start to gain their identity, and the pretenders make themselves evident. All of the offseason acquisitions have either made themselves comfortable in their new home, or can’t get their minds off of the millions of dollars they just made. In this post, I will be making my picks for the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year.
Cy Young Award
National League: Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.93 ERA, 74 K)
Signature Performance: May 7th Vs. White Sox- 9 IP, 1 H, 12K, 0 ER, 0 BB
What more can be said about the Mets young pitching phenom Matt Harvey? He has just flat out dominated the league in his first full season. While he is only 4th in the NL in ERA and tied for 10th with 5 wins, he leads the league in nearly every other important stat. He leads the NL in (go to the bathroom now, this might take a while) opponent AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, and WHIP. For you newer baseball fans, those stats basically mean that nobody has done a better job of getting batters out than the Dark Knight of Gotham, Matt Harvey.
Runner-up: Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 1.68 ERA, 77 K)
American League: Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.84 ERA, 91 K)
Signature Performance: April 2nd Vs. Astros- 8.2 IP, 1 H, 14 K, 0 ER, 0 BB
This one wasn’t easy at all. There are about 5 other pitchers that you could make a valid argument for at this point. But the Japanese import star has been the most dominant this year, dating back to his very first start when he was just one out away from pitching the 24th perfect game in MLB history. He has held batters to a league best .179 AVG, while also striking out 91 batters, which is 10 more than anybody else. You go, Yu
Runner-up: Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73 ERA, 73 K)
Most Valuable Player
National League: Paul Goldschmidt (.320 AVG, 12 HR, 39 RBI)
Signature Performance: May 17th Vs. Marlins- 4-5, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
With the loss of Justin Upton, the Yankee-esque spending of the Dodgers, and the return of the world champion Giants, the Diamondbacks did not seem destined to pose a threat in the NL West. Yet, as we sit here on memorial day, the Diamondbacks stand in a first place tie atop the division. The major reason for that is the red hot start of 25 year old Paul Goldschmidt. He has been remarkably consistent in most offensive categories. He ranks in the top 3 in RBIs, OPS, HRs, OBP, and SLG. But what has been most remarkable is his clutch .429 AVG with runners in scoring position, which makes him the most VALUABLE thus far in the 2013 campaign.
Runner-up: Carlos Gonzalez (.306 AVG, 13 HR, 32 RBI)
American League: Miguel Cabrera (.377 AVG, 14 HR, 57 RBI)
Signature Performance: May 19th Vs. Rangers- 4-5, 1 BB, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 Runs
Who else? After winning the first triple crown in over 40 years, Miggy hasn’t missed a beat. He is in great position to be the first to ever win back to back crowns, leading the league in AVG by 45 points and RBIs by 11. He does trail Chris Davis in HRs by 2, but that can easily be attained. The center of the Tigers offense, Cabrera is currently on pace to break the single season RBI record (191), set 83 years ago by Hack Wilson. At this rate, Cabrera will get his second straight MVP award, while giving the Tigers their 3rd straight.
Runner-up: Chris Davis (.341 AVG, 16 HR, 46 RBI)
Rookie of the Year
National League: Shelby Miller (5-3, 2.02 ERA, 65 K)
Signature Performance: May 10th Vs. Rockies- 9 IP, 1 H, 13 K, 0 ER, 0 BB
This has been the year of the pitching diaper dandies. But out of all of these young pitching studs, Shelby Miller has proved to be the most electric. In just a span of 3 years, the former 19th overall pick went from single A ball to the major leagues. Throughout his time in the minors, he was constantly ranked in the top 5 pitching prospect lists, and he hasn’t failed to live up to those expectations. Leading all rookies in every major pitching statistic, this 22 year old powerhouse seems to have a bright future ahead of him.
Runner-up: Evan Gattis (.271 AVG, 11 HR, 31 RBI)
American League: Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.88 ERA, 37 K)
Signature Performance: April 9th Vs. Rays- 6 IP, 4 H, 8 K, 1 ER, 1 BB
The pickings are insanely slim when it comes to the best rookies of the American League. While there hasn’t really been a lead horse in this race, 24 year old Nick Tepesch has been the most impressive. He has easily been the most consistent rookie starter. However, the race for this award looks like it will be very similar to the 2002 NL ROTY race. That year, Jason Jennings took the prize with a very unflattering 4.52 ERA. But because of the inefficiency from the rest of the NL rookies, he took the award by default.