With the quarter pole of the Major League Baseball season having been passed this week and Memorial Day on the horizon let’s take a look at my award winners at this point of the season.
Predictions sure to be debated and not necessarily an indication of the award winners come the end of the regular season, but let’s take a look at the best hitters and pitchers who figure to be in the conversation come October.
Despite missing time on the disabled list with a hamstring injury last year’s runner-up to Ryan Braun in MVP voting played like a man angry he was not elected as the league’s most valuable player in a season in which he almost won the Triple Crown and just missing going off for a 40 homerun/40 stolen base campaign.
Hitting .359 with 12 hr’s with 28 RBI and 29 runs scored the Dodgers Center fielder will look to make up for missed time when he comes off the DL June 1st.
Second Place: Carlos Beltran
Leads the NL with 14 homeruns and is second to Andre Ethier of the Dodgers in RBI with 38 while carrying a batting average of .292 for the reigning World Series Champion Cardinals. Beltran has stayed healthy while providing more than adequate numbers replacing Albert Pujols’ power numbers in the middle of the St. Louis lineup.
AL MVP: Josh Hamilton
Leads all of baseball with his 19 hr’s and 50 RBI and trails his teammate, Ian Kinsler for the ML lead in runs scored with 36. Oh and he’s hitting .378, three points behind Paul Konerko for the league lead and trails Derek Jeter for the lead in hits by two with 62. He’s doing all this for a team in first place by six games. A Triple Crown watch will be going well into the summer for Mr. Hamilton.
Second Place: Adam Jones
The Orioles Center fielder has come into his own this season for the surprising Orioles, who own the best record in the American League. Jones has 14 hr’s, 31 RBI, 33 runs scores, and has swiped seven bags while hitting .310 and playing Gold Glove defense at a premium position. The slugger is rumored to be close to signing an extension with the Orioles after his hot start.
Last season’s winner has picked up right where his 2011 season left off. 4-2 on the year, and his two losses came in which his team gave him 2 total runs of support. Owner of a nifty 1.97 ERA and tied for the league lead with a 0.90 WHIP for the NL West leading Dodgers gives Kershaw the slight edge over Cole Hamels and Brandon Beachy.
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
Last season’s AL MVP and Cy Young winner leads both leagues with 75 strikeouts and nearly thew his third career no-hitter two starts ago, coming a mere two outs away from pitching immortality with a third no-no. His 0.81 WHIP is best among starters and has limited opposing batters to a .172 batting average against his arsenal of pitches. Verlander beats out Jered Weaver and the resurgent Jake Peavy
Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt
Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports fan and an avid college football fan, particularly the SEC. Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com every Wednesday morning from 8-10. View his show’s website here. And read more of Patrick’s blogs here.