Welcome back to Reviewing the Brew’s Mid-Season Awards ceremony, ladies and gentlemen. If you’re just joining us, you can check out all of the Brewers-only winners here. Thank God we had that ceremony, otherwise I don’t think Milwaukee would have had anything to win, am I right folks?
(Rimshot, hold for laughter)
But seriously folks, we’re here to celebrate the best of the rest of the National League in our season so far. The National League’s awards stack up just the same as Brewers awards did: MVP, one Silver Slugger, one Gold Glove, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Best Reliever. Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.
Most Valuable Player: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is the obvious consensus pick, as he has completely obliterated opposing pitching so far this year and is a big reason the Cincinnati Reds are looking down at everyone else in the NL Central. He’s hitting .354 so far this season, and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. He won the NL MVP in 2010, and adding to his 14 home runs and 47 RBI’s will only increase the odds that he will be making room for a second plaque in his trophy room. Just for fun, his OBP is .476 and his Slugging Percentage is .639. I think if you ask Cincinnati residents, he’s also making a strong showing in this year’s Presidential race. There’s just no one else you bring into the discussion for MVP right now: it’s his world, and we’re all just lucky he lets us watch.
Fun fact: Lou voted for him three times, giving him a total of 6 votes in a four-man voting pool. I think that makes him double MVP – a real honor.
Silver Slugger: David Wright, New York Mets
David Wright received three out of four votes to take home a definite Silver Slugger in our awards, and
it is nearly a foregone conclusion that he will pick it up for his position at the end of the year. As a matter of fact, if anyone could challenge Votto for MVP, David Wright would be the guy. He’s battled injuries, and ridicule for that enormous helmet he had to wear, and all the while has been the one piece of the New York Mets that no one could overlook. In 2012, he’s hitting .359 with 50 runs batted in, and a .452 on-base percentage to boot. If the Mets could ever have a hope of salvaging another season, it rests on the shoulders of David Wright.
The Silver Slugger runner-up was Carlos Gonzalez, the hard-hitting Rockies left fielder who has posted a .338 average and 17 home runs up to this point. So much for another “year of the pitcher,” right?
Gold Glove: Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers
Yeah, that’s right – we picked a pitcher. Greinke got two of the four votes, on the idea that it’s just fun to watch him field his position. But the fact of the matter is when it comes to pitchers, Greinke really does take to the defensive side of it really well. He communicates constantly with the infielders and the catcher in order to determine how to get the fielding job done, and he attacks bunts with aggressiveness that borders on the unnecessary. Bottom line: Greinke wants to win, and he knows that once the ball is hit, his job isn’t over. Sometimes, when you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. If you need some numbers to back it up, here you go: in 102 innings, Greinke has zero errors, two double plays and a range factor of 1.38.
Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
I’m going to be honest, two of us just flat out forgot to vote for ROTY, but Bryce Harper still wins it anyway because he has been the most noticeable in doing an incredible job at the plate as a rookie. Harper is hitting .280 right now with Washington, with eight home runs, 22 RBI’s and more hype than any prospect in the last five years – and he’s cashed in on it and then some. To say Harper has not been instrumental in the success of the Washington Nationals since his call-up this year would be denying one of the better stories of baseball in 2012. Bryce Harper has helped to energize that club and keep Washington on top of a very tough division.
Who else would deserve the ROTY in the National League this year? Clown question, bro. It’s gotta be Harper.
Cy Young: R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
WHAT? TWO METS HAVE WON AWARDS? WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THIS?
There is some kind of magic in R.A. Dickey’s pitching, and not only because he’s a knuckleballer who seems to specialize in making opposing batters look stupid. He’s a workhorse, and a father who is unflinchingly self-effacing and humble. His knuckleballs are a reflection of his struggles growing up – driving forward with the force of his whole body, and unsure of where or when they eventually come back to earth. Through it all, Dickey has been performing at a rate unseen by pitchers in years. In the middle of June, Dickey threw two consecutive one hit shutouts – and struck out 25 batters in the process. His opponents batting average against him this year is .190. .190! That’s like spending every start just continually throwing to Rickie Weeks. If there is a discussion about who gets the Cy Young this year, it should only revolve around what to do with the dissenting voters – because no one deserves it more than R.A. Dickey.
Best Reliever: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
It’s really hard to think of a closer more suited to his position than Craig Kimbrel. He’s 22 for 23 in save opportunities this year, and has struck out 48 batters so far in 2012. 18 of those K’s have come in his last ten appearances. He’s struck out the side six times to shut the door for Atlanta thus far in 2012, and simply dominates when he’s on the mound.
What more do you need to know? How about the fact that he has a 1.55 ERA and opponents can only muster a measly .130 batting average against him? How about a WHIP of .79? How about we just give him the award and hope we never have to face him in a save situation?
Congratulations to all of our winners today. You probably see all of these winners in the National League side of the All-Star Game – and good thing, too. the Senior Circuit has an incredible amount of talent this year, and these players are all worth watching through the second half of the season.