Yesterday we released the voting for the Brewers first half Cy Young winner. I’m including just three players in the voting for Brewers first half MVP, mostly because the next closest players, Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez, were well behind in terms of production. As this voting is for the first half MVP, please remember to (try to) disregard any amazing or terrible performances since game 81.
The 2011 NL MVP has improved his dipping power and walk rates over his injury-riddled 2014. Braun has also begun stealing more, as he did in healthier years. Neither rWAR or fWAR sees Braun’s first half as very good defensively, but the slugger isn’t expected to be great in the field, and even then it’s an improvement over his performance last year.
He lead the team in first half home runs, runs scored, runs batted in, and isolated power. It’s difficult to say given his return from injury if Braun can be expected to live above .300 BABIP like he did earlier in his career (.340 BABIP from 2007-12), but either way, his improvements in the first half have quelled some fears about an aging Braun.
312 PA 15 HR 53 RBI 8.7 BB% 20.8 K% .221 ISO .302 BABIP 9 SB 1 CS .271/.338/.493 1.2 fWAR
So this is the guy the Blue Jay didn’t want to pay $7.5 million? Maybe not. While he has maintained the same high average he had late in his Jays career, his recent surge in power is going against the grain. Lind’s ISO last year was .159, and he hit just six home runs over 318 plate appearances. This year, he has doubled that number in fewer PA, showing pop that many mused may be gone forever.
Lind lead the team in hits, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, fWAR, BB%, wOBA, and wRC+. Lind has also passed the eye-test on defense with flying colors, particularly considering his terrible reputation at first base. According to DRS (defensive runs saved), Lind saved -10 runs from 2013-14 at first, yet has saved three runs in the first half of this season.
293 PA 12 HR 46 RBI 10.2 BB% 18.1 K% .207 ISO .328 BABIP 0 SB 0 CS .295/.365/.502 1.6 fWAR
Khris Davis could have been my dark horse for this list at the start of the year, but Parra has been a revelation. He lead the team in batting average in the first half, thanks to consistent excellence since a poor April. Parra has posted a .724 OPS against his fellow lefties, a crucial departure from his poor career splits.
It is worth noting that defensive measurements (DRS and UZR via FanGraphs) hate Parra this year, and place him among the worst defenders in the league. His lowest DRS in the last six seasons was eight runs saved, while this year he is on pace for negative four. Still, he has an outstanding defensive reputation and is hitting like never before. His value for other teams (and subsequently, the Brewers) has never been higher.
265 PA 5 HR 22 RBI 4.9 BB% 17.7% .154 ISO .348 BABIP 5 SB 1 CS .300/.333/.453 0.5 fWAR