Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Comparing Our Midseason Award Winners to the Actual Outcomes

Back at the All-Star break we wrote an article about the midseason award leaders, breaking down who was ahead in the MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year races; we also added some of the least valuable players through the first half the season. With the award winners being announced recently, what better time to check back and see how we did? Here we will compare the midseason award winners to the real award winners announced at the end of the season. Follow the link here to check out the full midseason awards recap.

AP Photo

Midseason Pick: Miguel Cabrera, Third Baseman Detroit Tigers

Actual Winner: Miguel Cabrera

This was probably the least surprising pick of the award winners. Cabrera actually put up better numbers than his triple crown MVP season in 2012 finishing with .348/.442/.636 slash line with 44 homeruns and 137 RBI. It is hard to imagine that he would have actually had better numbers had he not been dealing with injuries towards the end of the season. He played in 148 games on the season but plenty of those were through injury as he toughed it out for his team. Cabrera is easily the best hitter in baseball right now and it is a pleasure that we get to see the greatest hitter of our generation and maybe in the history of baseball.


Midseason Pick: Andrew McCutchen, Centerfielder Pittsburgh Pirates

Actual Winner: Andrew McCutchen

This award was given to McCutchen not solely based on stats as he epitomized what an MVP really is; the most valuable player to his team. McCutchen is the heart and soul of the Pirates and was the leader on a team that broke their 20 season playoff draught. He also put up good stats are while playing outstanding defense at a premium position in centerfield. McCutchen finished the season with a slash line of .317/.404/.508 with 21 homeruns, 84 RBI and 27 stolen bases. For the first time in his career McCutchen had some help in the lineup and it resulted in the highest individual honor a player could receive in baseball. Next season he will look to help the Pirates advance even further in the postseason.

AL Cy Young

Midseason Pick: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Actual Winner: Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

Here is the first midseason pick that did not turn out the same at the end of the season. Darvish had a solid season, finishing 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 277 strikeouts but he did not compare to Scherzer, who finished the season with a 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 240 strikeouts. Scherzer became the ace of a loaded Tigers staff that also included former MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, AL ERA leader Anibal Sanchez and more than serviceable Doug Fister and Rick Porcello. Scherzer was great in the postseason as well, starting three games and giving up seven earned runs in 22.1 innings pitched to go along with 34 strikeouts. Scherzer will be in line for a massive extension when he becomes a free agent in 2015.

NL Cy Young

Midseason Pick: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Actual Winner: Clayton Kershaw

This one was right up there with Cabrera as the easiest pick of the awards. Kershaw was the most dominant pitcher in the majors all season despite the struggles the Dodgers had for most of the first two months of the season. Kershaw finished the season 16-9 with an astounding 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 232 strikeouts. How he ended the season with just 16 wins and nine losses is mind boggling by just looking at his stats but goes to show just how poorly the Dodgers played at points this season. Kershaw is a big reason for any success the Dodgers had this season and will have in the coming years as he looks poised to sign the biggest contract in MLB history not only for a pitcher but for any player.

AL Rookie of the Year

Midseason Pick: Jose Iglesias, Shortstop/Third Baseman Detroit Tigers

Actual Winner: Wil Myers, Outfielder, Tampa Bay Rays

Iglesias was the best of the bunch at the halfway mark but his hitting fell off to the point the Red Sox felt comfortable enough shipping him out in the trade that brought Jake Peavy into town. Myers showed why he was thought to be one of the hottest prospects in baseball with a slash line of .293/.354/.478 with 13 homeruns and 53 RBI. Keep in mind that was in barely half a season for Myers, as he appeared in only 88 games as the Rays are very meticulous and careful in promoting prospects. Myers is the third Ray to bring home the award since 2008, following in the footsteps of Evan Longoria and Jeremy Hellickson.

NL Rookie of the Year

Midseason Pick: Jose Fernandez, Starting Pitcher Miami Marlins

Steve Mitchell/Getty Images
Actual Winner: Jose Fernandez

At the midseason point this was the most scrutinized pick that was made as most of the baseball community was swept up in the craze that was Yasiel Puig; in reality this was never really a race. The flame-throwing Fernandez, who turned only 21 years old in July, shut down lineup after lineup throughout the season. At the beginning of the season many baseball pundits thought this was a move being made by the Marlins as a publicity stunt, as Fernandez was one of the top prospects in their system and the team was expected to struggle again. But he quickly quieted the doubters showing ace quality stuff and looking like he will be a lynchpin in anything positive going on with the Marlins along with power hitting Giancarlo Stanton. Fernandez finished the season with an impressive 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 172.2 innings pitched over 28 starts. The Marlins watched him closely this season but next year the reigns should almost be off as Fernandez will continue what looks to be a very promising MLB career.

AL Manager of the Year

Midseason Pick: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox

Actual Winner: Terry Francona, Cleveland Indians

Each manager deserved the award as both turned around teams that had poor 2012 into playoff teams in 2013, with Farrell leading the Red Sox to the World Series. For Francona, he led what had been a cellar dwelling Indians franchise to a 24-game turnaround in 2013 from 2012 and into the AL Wild Card game. He got the most out of what was thought to be an underachieving roster as the Indians were one of the top offensive teams in the majors to help an average pitching staff. Francona looks to have the Indians heading in the right direction as another franchise turnaround under his watch looks to be underway.

NL Manager of the Year

Midseason Pick: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates

Actual Pick: Clint Hurdle

There were a couple of other managers that deserved some recognition for the work they did such as rookie manager Mike Matheny but he was dealing with an already loaded deck; Hurdle was facing a 20-year losing season and no playoff draught in Pittsburgh and he conquered it. That is really all the qualifications needed for Hurdle to take home manager of the year. The Pirates had been the first half Cinderella for two seasons prior but were finally able to put it all together this season for a full season. The future is bright in Pittsburgh with Hurdle at the helm and players such as McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole not even hitting their primes yet.

So there you have it the complete rundown of our Midseason Award Winners and the actual winners. The final count was five of eight predicated correctly. Continue checking back as we will update Mets and Yankees offseason news and keep you posted on everything New York baseball.

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